Keith Olbermann has forgotten the figure-skating judge's cardinal rule: be sparing in the marks you award early contestants, to leave room for the favorites who perform at the end. After his gushing appraisals of Michelle Obama's and Hillary's convention speeches, how can Olbermann possibly top it in his praise of Biden's and Obama's to come?
Mixing metaphors here, let's compare the baseball scoring the Morning Joe crew gave Hillary's speech at show-opening today with Olbermann's assessment of last night. As you'll see, they range from solid single to Keith's grand slam. As for utility infielder Mark Warner's "keynote": has he considered giving up baseball and taking up knitting?
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A sneaky Joe Scarborough lured a complaisant Mike Barnicle into agreeing it was a grand slam, only to pull the rug [or was it home plate?] out from under him. Obamaphile Mika Brzezinski was much more restrained in her praise.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What a speech last night! It was a heck of speech last night by my girlfriend, right?
MIKE BARNICLE: Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: Grand slam!
BRZEZINSKI: Wait a second.
BARNICLE: Oh, there's no doubt about it.
SCARBOROUGH: Greatest speech ever.
BRZEZINSKI [damning with faint praise?]: I think the best way to characterize it is that it was very good. It was not a grand slam.
. . .
WILLIE GEIST: I wouldn't call it a grand slam. Maybe like an RBI single.
BARNICLE [backing away from his earlier grand slam]: Oh no, no. It was more than a ground-rule double, it could have been a double and you take the extra base on an error committed by someone.
SCARBOROUGH: Really? You know what I thought it was? I thought it was a looping single over the first-base line that you stretch into a double.
Compare and contrast with Olbermann's emoting last night immediately upon the end of the speech, as cheers were still echoing in the hall.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Grand slam. Grand slam out of the ballpark, across the street. Across the buildings across the street . . . I don't know how it could have been better. I don't know how it could have been better, Chris.
Olbermann is not one to spare the superlatives when it comes to his beloved Dems. The night before, he said
Michelle Obama's rather wan performance "could not have done better for them . . . It's wonderful. It really was terrific."
In any case, having gone yard for Hillary, what can Keith have left in his rhetorical quiver for Joe and Barack? Trust him to find some way to outdo himself.Bonus Coverage: Warner's 'Keynote' Bomb
If Hillary's speech was somewhere between a single and a grand slam, what was Mark Warner's warmed-over porridge of a "keynote address" that even as we speak is fast disappearing down the memory hole of history? Called third strike? Foul bunt with two strikes? Infield pop-up? Hit by his own batted ball outside the batter's box? Help me out here.