All three journalists invited to the journalists' roundtable on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR Friday played down the Fast and Furious scandal as a loser for Republicans. Jeanne Cummings of Politico wanted Congress to drop it like a hot potato: "to create this big constitutional clash with the White House makes Congress, once again, look like it's just got its eye off the ball. This isn't what people want them to do... we're going nowhere here."
NPR reporter Ari Shapiro recalled how Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales was dogged by a U.S. Attorney-firing scandal because Republicans were willing to harp on it. But the Democrats are united for Obama, so it somehow cannot be a scandal: "I think it's only when and if we see Democrats turning against Holder, which I don't expect we're going to see, that this will really enter a new phase." How convenient is that reasoning?
CBS's Mark Knoller reported Monday evening at CBSNews.com that "The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency." "The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office," the veteran White House correspondent noted.
But for all their professed obsession with all things inside the Beltway, Politico failed has so far failed to cover the story (h/t email tipster James Harper). Searches of the Politico website for "national debt" or "Bureau of Public Debt" between March 19 and today yield no hits. By contrast, when then-President-elect Obama was gearing up to take office, Politico was certain to skewer Bush for leaving him a massive national debt.
Bloomberg's Jeanne Cummings got a much-needed lesson Friday about money not being everything in politics.
After she claimed on PBS's Inside Washington that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's revival in the race was all due to multimillion dollar donations from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer correctly replied that the former Speaker's ascendancy resulted from his debate performances in South Carolina not money (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is clearly not going to tolerate anyone on his program saying Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich isn't racist.
Politico's Jeanne Cummings had the nerve to do exactly that on Thursday's "Hardball," and for her sins Matthews relentlessly browbeat her until she finally gave up (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Could Andrea Mitchell possibly be more snide and condescending toward Sarah Palin? On her MSNBC show today, here's how Mitchell introduced her interview with Jeanne Cummings of Politico concerning Palin's current trip to India and Israel:
"Well. Heh-heh. Where do you start?"
Dismissive as was the language, only the video does justice to the derision in Mitchell's tone.
This weekend’s Inside Washington put on full display the liberal sensibilities of the Washington press corps as Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas yearned for a win in Colorado for incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, “a good guy,” wishing “sometimes justice does triumph,” and former Wall Street Journal reporter Jeanne Cummings, now with Politico, was upset Republican Meg Whitman might win the California gubernatorial race: “She’s built a turn-out operation of her own and it worries me.”
Thomas soon hailed Lincoln Chafee, the ex-Republican who campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 and is now an independent candidate for Governor in Rhode Island, as “a tiny little ray of hope” since he’s the kind of “liberal Republican” which “did the Republican Party a lot of good.” Despite the fact he abandoned the GOP, Thomas trumpeted him as “a voice for reason in the Republican Party.”
The news that it could be a good year for women electorally did not cheer up the likes of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson and the Politico's Jeanne Cummings, because it turns out it's only going to be a good year for women on the Republican side like Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman, and Carly Fiorina or as Carlson put it: "It's not a compassionate women year." [audio available here]
Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, invited on Carlson and Cummings to take a look at "gender politics" and found that it could be a good year for women, just not the kind of women they like, in other words the more conservative momma grizzly types that Sarah Palin supports. Cummings even bemoaned that a loss of the House could result in "one giant blow to women" in that it "could take down the Speaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi" who was "a real shining star for the achievements and the rise of women in government."
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the August 30 edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews got together with the Politico's Jeanne Cummings and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page to look down their collective noses at the concept of Sarah Palin as a writer on Tuesday's Hardball, with Matthews even questioning the former vice presidential candidate's mental state as he pondered: "Is this delusion here?" After playing a clip of Barbara Walters' interview with Palin, in which Palin says of a possible talk show hosting gig that she'd "rather write than talk," the MSNBC host called the idea "daffy," and Cummings giggled, "It's all illusion and delusion. Smoke and mirrors everywhere!" while Page insultingly interjected, "Well Chris don't forget...she was a journalism major. That's what she got her degree in. So I suppose in...her head she's...still a writer who just hasn't written in a while." [audio available here]
The following exchange was aired on the November 17, edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," invited on California Senator Barbara Boxer to dismiss the increasing number of townhall protestors opposed to Obama's liberal agenda as the "angry, and "noisy," "well-dressed middle-class people in pinks and limes...Brooks Brothers Brigade." After playing brief clips from the townhall protests Matthews devoted the first half of his show to knocking down their legitimacy, something Boxer actually instructed Matthews to do, as she urged the MSNBC host: "You, you in the media have to take a look at what's going on here. This is all planned. It's to hurt our president and it's to change the Congress." To which Matthews suggested the grassroots revolt should be ignored, as he depicted the protestors as stooges of the health care industry.
MATTHEWS: Do you think the health insurance companies that have made money for years on health care are the bad guys here? Do you think they're behind these so-called Astroturf demonstrations? That they're not really grassroots. These Brooks Brothers attacks on these congressional meetings?[audio available here]
Before the Boxer interview, Matthews invited on the Politico's Jeanne Cummings who also pooh-poohed the demonstrators:
After playing a clip of Rush Limbaugh charging Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with bigotry and racism, Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," implied Limbaugh was the racist as he asked a guest panelist Jeanne Cummings of the Politico, "Is this the pot calling the kettle black?" To which Cummings responded that the radio talk show host was going to "chase," all the Hispanics away from the GOP:
Well all I know is it's the worst nightmare for the Republicans, I mean they're trying to calculate whether they should vote against her, how aggressively they should try to sort through her record and challenge her during hearings. And with things like that, and all that calculation to try to keep Hispanic support, even as small as it's gotten for Republicans. Rush Limbaugh can chase ‘em all away in an afternoon with that kind of talk." [audio available here]
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the May 27 edition of "Hardball":
The Politico's Jeanne Cummings, a veteran of the Wall Street Journal, fretted on this weekend's Inside Washington that former Vice President Dick Cheney has “changed this debate in a way that has made it much, much harder to close Guantanamo, which the President is already committed to doing.” So he's done an awful thing in daring to oppose something President Obama is “committed to doing.” Dreadful!
In fact, she soon charged that in complicating Obama's intention to close Guantanamo -- which Obama had announced without any plan for where to place the detainees -- “Cheney really did damage to the effort to keep our country secure by turning this into a political issue. We were going to have to deal with this and to make it a political issue is not helpful. It's just not.”
To which a befuddled columnist Charles Krauthammer retorted by pointing out the overwhelming bi-partisan vote to block the closing: “Cheney is the one who turned it into a political issue? I thought it was a 90-6 vote in the Senate. Just about every Democrat in the Senate-” Cummings jumped in to blame Cheney for turning virtually every Senate Democrat against Obama: “No, Cheney started making political arguments a week ago. That is when you did start to see the tide turn up on Capitol Hill. It was after Cheney started to talk about 'I don't want to be the Member who says I brought a terrorist to a jail in my district.'”