On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Bill Plante pointed out that "a new poll shows President Obama's support slipping in one key demographic that helped him win in 2008: white men." However, Pew Research Center's presidential exit poll from that year found that Obama actually lost 57 to 41 percent to Republican candidate John McCain.
Plante noted "concern in Mr. Obama's own party that his economic message in recent months is not connecting with voters," but led his report with a silver lining for the chief executive: "The President...has been claiming for months that he inherited the nation's economic problems, and in the new Gallup poll, more than two-thirds of Americans agree. They say that former President George Bush deserves either a moderate amount or a great deal of blame."
Hours before President Obama is to unveil a proposal to raise taxes on America's rich, one of former President Bill Clinton's key advisers has come out strongly against the current White House resident and this move.
In just one segment, on Tuesday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews managed to hypocritically use violent "gun play" language, attack Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin and even likened the Tea Party to the Muslim Brotherhood. Matthews, who made many absurd pronouncements on tonight's show, saved his zaniest comment for the Tea Party as he actually compared their potential primary challenges of Republicans to the Muslim Brotherhood going after Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, as he asked GOP strategist John Feehery: "So the Muslim Brotherhood has a parallel role here with the Tea Party, they're the ones who keep you honest and decide whether you've stayed too long?"
Before that charge, Matthews, who has frequently condemned Sarah Palin for her use of "gun play" language, used his own violent imagery to depict a struggle between the GOP and the Tea Party. In a teaser, Matthews claimed "the Tea Party is out for scalps" and then in the ensuing segment questioned if, by joining with the Tea Party, the GOP was "dancing while they shoot at their feet here?"
Matthews also went after some of his favorite targets, Bachmann and Palin, as he accused the Minnesota Congresswoman of "strange behavior" and applauded his Republican guest for thinking the former Alaska governor wasn't "worth anything."
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to former Hillary Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn and former Bush advisor Karen Hughes and asked about Sarah Palin’s effect on the presidential race: "Well, give us some perspective, Karen Hughes, first, on Sarah Palin, turned the world on its ear when her nomination was announced. It now seems, would you agree or disagree. Is it -- is it still a positive? Or is it beginning to be a drag on the Republican nominee?"
Smith went on to cite a new ABC News poll that gives Barack Obama a nine point lead over John McCain and asked Penn: "How do you explain it?" Penn replied: "Well, Sarah Palin's not going to help in an economic crisis. I think what the people are seeing is that there -- there is a 3:00 A.M. call here, and it's an economic crisis. They think -- they see Obama answering that. He's the kind of person who can be a president in a complex situation like this economic crisis, a manager. And I think that's changing the polls." Rather than challenge Penn’s assertions, Smith wanted to move on, but not Hughes:
HUGHES: Also, even the New York Times conceded, though, that he has no record on these kind of issues-
A former aide to Hillary Clinton's campaign has told CBS News that the media have been much harder on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin than the other candidates in the race, and as a result "have growing credibility problems."
In an interview posted at CBSNews.com Friday, Mark Penn eviscerated the press for "going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed" whilst showing no similar interest for those of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or even John McCain.
Readers are warned to strap themselves in tightly, for Penn spoke more plainly about media coverage of this election cycle than most in his party can tolerate (emphasis added, h/t Jennifer Rubin, photo courtesy CBSNews.com):
Can it be a coincidence that just hours after Bob Novak published his column reporting that it's unclear just who is directing Hillary's campaign--Mark Penn or Geoff Garin--the latter dashed off an email to supporters claiming to be in charge? But if Garin really does have the reins, why is the campaign employing tactics that Novak suggests would be worthy of the "kamikaze" Penn?
Liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, appearing on Monday’s "American Morning" on CNN, defended his labeling of John McCain as a "warmonger" at a recent Obama campaign fundraiser, despite the statement being repudiated by Obama’s campaign. Twice, Schultz stated that "the man [McCain] is a warmonger" and used the term a total of five times during the course of the interview. Not only did Schultz defend his remark, he also claimed that McCain mistreated his fellow veterans with his votes on veterans’ benefits. [Audio available here.]
Co-host John Roberts, who interviewed Schultz, compared the talk show host’s remark to Bill Cunningham’s use of Obama’s middle name "Hussein" at a February 2008 McCain rally and how the Republican candidate repudiated Cunningham. At the same time, Roberts didn’t press Schultz too hard on the "warmonger" labeling.
"We'll deal with him later." -- Clinton co-chair Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, on Mark Penn.
"It's disgusting for him to do this . . . that's just disgusting." -- Clinton supporter Hilary Rosen.
Mark Penn sleeps with the fishes. Metaphorically speaking only, of course.
On this evening's Tucker, Clinton's chief campaign strategist came in for some industrial-strength opprobrium from two prominent members of Team Hillary for his attempt to flee what might be a sinking ship.
Here in Ithaca and no doubt in other liberal bastions across the land, you can still see cars festooned with those bitter bumper stickers: "Re-Defeat Bush!" and "Bush: Selected, Not Elected!" Those sentiments remain reflected in an MSM still smarting from Florida 2000. All of which made Ann Curry's words on this morning's Today, announcing the ascendancy of Raul Castro in Cuba, so ironic.
ANN CURRY: In the news this morning, we begin with Cuba and its [first] new president in nearly half a century. Raul Castro was officially chosen on Sunday to take over from his brother Fidel who announced his retirement last week.
Chris Matthews shouldn't count on a Christmas card from Hillary after the way he absolutely unloaded on her on Morning Joe today. The topic was her Christmas ad [view YouTube here], which shows her "giving" a variety of government programs to the American people.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I always thought the problem with Hillary was, her notion of government was, "I am Evita, I am the one who gives gifts to the little people and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita."
Those Clinton campaigners sure know how to slip the "subliminable" shiv in. Yesterday, chief Hillary strategist Mark Penn managed to work "cocaine use" into his comments while supposedly disassociating the campaign from charges of Obama drug use made by Hillary's New Hampshire chairman. See video of Penn in action here.
Today, it was the turn of Hillary supporter Evan Bayh to whack Barack while pretending to take the high road. A bit after 3 PM ET this afternoon, the Dem senator from Indiana with the Eagle Scout aura [who might well have his eye on the VP slot] was being interviewed by MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell about the current turmoil in Camp Clinton.
Is the MSM deciding that Hillary is irreparably-damaged goods and that it's time to move on to a Dem with a better shot at winning the White House? You might think so after the Today show's dismemberment of the Clinton campaign this morning.
Andrea Mitchell kicked things off with sharp stiletto heel.
The Iowa caucuses might be a few weeks off, but MSNBC pundits have already cast a resounding "no" vote in a referendum on Hillary's credibility. A bi-partisan consensus of blatherers today rejected the Clinton campaign's denial of involvement in NH co-chair Bill Shaheen's raising of Barack Obama's past involvement with drugs.
Meanwhile, things are getting downright nasty among top consultants to the frontrunners' campaigns . . . and Barack made Hillary regret her latest cackle.
That Hillary Clinton -- such a prankster! Yes, if there's one thing Hillary is known for, it's her great sense of humor and light touch. So when she included Barack Obama's statements as a third-grader and kindergartner in her press release for purposes of demonstrating he was lying when he said he hadn't long harbored presidential ambitions, we should have all realized it was just one more of Hillary's rib-ticklers. Too bad that gullible old MSM let itself get spun.
That in essence is what Mark Penn [file photo], Hillary's chief strategist, would have people believe about the press release Clinton put out two days ago. Penn appeared on today's Morning Joe, and talked soon turned to the release. No fewer than four times, Penn tried to pass off the to-all-appearances dead serious kindergarten citation as a "joke":
"You sort of have to be a little careful. There's a whole campaign handbook of things that you say to dismiss polls. But you should mire them in a little bit of truth." -- John Zogby, responding to criticism by Mark Penn, chief Hillary Clinton strategist, of Zogby's online polling.
Mark Twain, famously warning against getting into a spat with newspapers, said "never pick a fight with someone who buys their ink by the barrel." To his chagrin, Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist, is learning a modern corollary: never pick a fight with someone with three hours of national airtime. And for gosh sakes, don't use arguments in picking the fight so false as to be child's play to disprove, and don't leave obvious fingerprints when you try to intimidate the networks.
Update | 10:25 AM -- Zogby says Penn should know better . . . Clinton campaign #1 user of Zogby results. See entire Zogby response at foot.
Presaging the kind of press control a President Hillary Clinton might try to impose, a member of her inner circle scolded Joe Scarborough today for having the audacity to mention a poll with results unfavorable to Clinton.
Yesterday, Zogby International released a new poll indicating that in a general election head-to-head match-up, Hillary Clinton would lose to all of the leading Republican contenders by a 3-5% margin. Even worse from the perspective of Clinton heading into the Dem primaries, the same poll shows Barack Obama beating each of the Republicans by 5-7%.
Chief Clinton strategist Mark Penn was a guest on "Morning Joe" during today's 7:30 ET half-hour. Nothing could be more natural than for Scarborough to raise these newsworthy results. But Penn wasn't pleased.