The liberal media’s attempt to paint Republicans as a party in crisis continues, this time with fresh ammunition from the Republican National Committee’s “Growth & Opportunity Project.” The recently-released report provides a critical review of what went wrong in the 2012 election cycle and how the party can improve its effort to win future elections.
On Monday’s PBS NewsHour, the taxpayer-subsidized PBS network brought on Susan Page from USA Today and Stuart Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Political Report to rip into the Republican Party. Or, as anchor Gwen Ifill put it, the guests were there “to talk about how deep the party's fissures go.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's Bill Press radio show, several "objective" journalists agreed with Press that Hurricane Sandy is a big boost for Obama's election hopes. " Looking at Bloomberg’s endorsement and other factors would you have to say that if there were a political winner out of Sandy, it’s President Obama. " This was early Friday morning, before the negative press coverage really began to kick in.
Joining Press in his sanguine assessment were his guests Margaret Talev of Reuters and Susan Page of USA Today. He told Talev:
You would think after all the negative press MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell got for trashing Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis therapy of riding horses, media members would have wised up.
Apparently not, for on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page referred to Mrs. Romney's remedy as a "very expensive horse riding dressage habit" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One of the key parts of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding the President's healthcare bill was that the fine for not complying with the individual mandate must be considered a tax in order for it to be constitutional.
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, host Candy Crowley didn't think this was a very important distinction (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
The cover story of Tuesday's USA Today blared "Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states." Susan Page reported a new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states found "the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by five points." GOP voters were also found to be more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election, and more convinced the outcome matters. ABC, CBS, NBC coverage? None.
Gallup also found "Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession." Network coverage? None. On Wednesday morning's Early Show CBS reporter Jan Crawford found only the Gallup result that would discourage Republicans:
A headline in USA Today on Monday worried, "Elections are likely to trim number of women in Congress." It wasn't until the 15th paragraph of Susan Page's story that the numerous female Republican candidates running in the midterm elections were mentioned.
Instead, the Washington Bureau Chief explained, "The prospects for female congressional candidates have been hurt by a combination of a tough political landscape for Democrats — women in Congress are disproportionately Democratic— and the nation's economic troubles. Hard times historically have made voters more risk-averse and less willing to consider voting for female candidates." [Emphasis added.]
In an accompanying graph, Senator Barbara Boxer in California was listed as an example of a female who could be defeated. The only problem? Boxer's opponent is Republican Carly Fiorina, a woman. [H/T Hot Air.]
Yesterday the Gallup organization released a poll showing that Americans trust Republicans over Democrats on most major issues heading into the general election season. Today the same polling outfit released a poll that found a large number of Americans blame George W. Bush for the faltering economy.
Nearly two years after Barack Obama was elected president, Americans still are inclined to blame his predecessor for the nation's current economic problems.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, more than a third of those surveyed said George W. Bush deserved a great deal of the blame for economic woes and a third said he should get a moderate amount of it. Not quite another third called that unfair, saying Bush warranted not much or none of the responsibility.
According to USA Today's Susan Page, Lincoln Chafee, a Republican who left the party and voted for Barack Obama in 2008, is simply a "moderate."
A cover story for Tuesday's print edition of the paper featured the misleading sub-headline: "Centrists Fuel Big Crop of Contenders This Year." Nowhere in the 1800 word piece did Page describe Chafee as a liberal.
Instead, the politician, now running for governor of Rhode Island as an independent, is part of a "rebellion in the middle." Page sympathetically described the then-Senator's exit from the Republican Party after losing a 2006 reelection bid: "Chafee felt rejected by the GOP, which no longer seemed willing to include moderate Republicans like himself."
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."
In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.
"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.
Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.
"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
“Will doing 'big things' wind up costing Obama?” a Wednesday USA Today front page article worried, accompanied by a photo of contemplative President Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln in a painting peering down at him. The caption: “History book bound?” The subhead for the story by Susan Page and Mimi Hall: “Voters' anxiety clouds his historic successes.”
The effusive lead presumed Obama deserves credit for great achievements the public has been slow to recognize:
Big problems. Big achievements. Big costs.
Historians say President Obama's legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. But polls show voters aren't totally on board with his achievements, at least not yet, and the White House acknowledges that his victories have carried huge financial and political costs.
“There are always costs in doing big things,” Obama told USA Today.
The duo later declared: “Historians call Obama's record incomparable.” And they meant that as a glowing positive. (Larger jpg of the front page headline and photo)
At the top of Friday’s Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews discovered the reason for President Obama’s political difficulties in recent months: “President Obama has his chin out on just about every hot issue out there....He’s exposed and vulnerable. His poll numbers are dropping. Is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egg head?”
Later in the show, Matthews talked to Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein and USA Today’s Susan Page about Obama’s great flaw. He began by wondering: “I’m not attacking intellectuals because I do appreciate their contribution – but when politicians begin to get a little too intellectual, they lose connection with the American people....I begin to think this administration’s getting almost like one that you would imagine Adlai Stevenson running. Highly ethereal, highly intellectual, egg head. Not connected to real people and their emotional gut feelings about things.”
Page agreed and pointed out: “...there are many strengths to the Obama administration, but they’ve got an awful lot of people who went to Ivy League schools, which is great, but you also need some people who went to big state colleges.” Luckily, Page found an ‘average Joe’ in the administration: “Vice President Biden’s been the target of some fun, he is maybe the only voice in that inner circle that reflects that kind of big state school mentality.”
While two reporters -- Washington Post White House reporter Michael Fletcher and Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Gerald Seib -- criticized RNC Chairman Michael Steele this morning on NPR's Diane Rehm show for issuing a statement against Obama after the Nobel Peace Prize win [transcript now below], will reporters forward and criticize this, from the CNN Political Ticker?
A Democratic National Committee spokesman said Friday the GOP has "thrown in its lot with the terrorists" in criticizing the president's Nobel Peace Prize award.
“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
Michelle Obama has made a lot of news with her now infamous soundbite about how America is “downright mean” and that “for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”
But the mainstream media feel that they must defend the potential first lady and show her “softer side.”
During the 1 PM hour of Monday's MSNBC News Live, host Andrea Mitchell interviewed Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief, about the newspaper’s interview with Michelle Obama. During their discussion of Obama, Mitchell gushed: “She’s Princeton, she’s Harvard, she’s so smart and so beautiful and, you know, a mom and a wife and a partner and yet people get caricatured.”
The airwaves have been filled today with the clip of an angry Hillary saying "shame on you, Barack Obama," and another of Clinton mocking the notion that, to believe Barack, "celestial choirs will be singing."
But on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews unearthed yet another clip of Hillary at her harshest. And after playing it, a butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-mouth Matthews ripped the Clinton campaign strategy. Words won't do justice to Clinton's fingernails-on-blackboard tone, but here's what a raspy-voiced Hillary said in the video Matthews played.
HILLARY CLINTON: Quit misleading people about what I do. [Ed.: shades of Bob Dole's unsuccessful line to George H.W in 1988: "stop lying about my record.'] Quit telling people what is not true about my plan. You know, come on: enough is enough! Let's get real here, and compare exactly what both of us stand for!