A fascinated George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday analyzed a Tweet by Christine O'Donnell as a sign of support for Hillary Clinton. The Good Morning America host played up the approving comment by the Republican regarding the Secretary of State's handling of the Wikileaks scandal.
"Hillary Clinton for president?...You're going to vote for Hillary Clinton," he murmured after O'Donnell urged a 2012 run. Stephanopoulos' hopes were dashed, however, after the former Delaware Senate candidate explained her reasoning: "...Anybody is better than Obama." (O'Donnell also called for Clinton to "take out" Obama in the primary.)
The Morning Mix panel retained its decidedly liberal outlook, despite O'Donnell's appearance. Comedian D.L. Hughley compared Sarah Palin to a "greeter at Wal-Mart," adding, "But I still wouldn't want him running the country." Host Stephanopoulos approvingly recounted Palin criticism from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
Stephanopoulos, who rarely quotes conservative and Republican voices approvingly, recited a column by Scarborough in Politico: "Here's what he says: 'The most talked about figure in the GOP is a reality star who cannot be elected. And yet, the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012, are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It's time for the GOP to man up.'"
This Morning Mix panel at least had a Republican voice. The October 27 edition featured Hughley and liberal editor Tina Brown. On that program, the leftist comic derided Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement: "There were a bunch of angry, white people, saying they wanted their freedom back."
On Tuesday, he seemed to find a racial component in the reaction to Barack Obama's 2008 victory: "For me it was sweet. For the Tea Party it was kind of bitter."
Hughley's other comments weren't particularly insightful. Of the WikiLeaks scandal, he observed, "Wikileaks, if it's sinister, they have to make the name tougher. It sounds like one of the Teletubbies. Is that the little gay toy telling on people?"
A partial transcript of the November 30 segment, which aired at 8:15am EST, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You surprised me yesterday, Christine.
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: How so?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I was watching Twitter. And you actually had good words for Hillary Clinton. You said, "Some may cringe when I say this about Hillary. You go girl. She's no Reagan yet. Her verbal lashing against WikiLeaks, is tough. Watch out, Obama." You liked her response on this WikiLeaks release.
O'DONNELL: I did. I did. I thought that she was tough. I said she was no Reagan because I'd like to see her take it even a step further and say that these leaks are going to be charged with treason. There has got to be consequences.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They're thinking about that or at least some violations of the Espionage Act.
O'DONNELL: I sure hope so. I sure hope so.
D.L. HUGHLEY: From 1970, right? The law?
HUGHLEY: That law. Wikileaks, if it's sinister, they have to make the name tougher. It sounds like one of the Teletubbies. Is that the little gay toy telling on people?
O'DONNELL: I hope she runs for president. The reason why I-
STEPHANOPOULOS: [Incredulous]: Hillary Clinton for president?
O'DONNELL: I sure do. I would love to see her take out Obama in the primary. I would even be tempted to change any registration so that I can vote for her in the Democratic primary. I love everybody on the Republican side who is considering throwing their hat in the ring. So, I'd be happy with any candidate who gets the Republican nomination. So, that's why-
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're going to vote for Hillary Clinton? Is that because you think she's easier to beat?
O'DONNELL: No. It's because right now I think anybody is better than Obama.
HUGHLEY: I don't think that's true. There are couple people I wouldn't think that are better than Obama.
O'DONNELL: Like who?
HUGHLEY: Like Sarah Palin. I wouldn't think-
O'DONNELL: Oh, come on!
HUGHLEY: I actually don't.
O'DONNELL: Sarah shoots from the hip. She shoots from the hip.
HUGHLEY: So does the greeter at Wal-Mart. But I still wouldn't want him running the country. I don't get that.
O'DONNELL: I love- I love what Rudy Giuliani said, that people dismiss that Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama did when he stepped into the Oval Office. People are ignoring that and trying to disqualify her and mischaracterize her because she is someone who shoots from the hip.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, one, one of the people that is ignoring that is Joe Scarborough, of course, Republican, who takes her on. He says, the Republican Party, he's got a new column out this morning saying the Republican Party has to man up. Here's what he says: "The most talked about figure in the GOP is a reality star who cannot be elected. And yet, the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012, are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It's time for the GOP to man up."
O'DONNELL; You know what-
HUGHLEY: That is a phrase they use a lot, man.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They do.
HUGHLEY: Yeah. Yeah.
O'DONNELL: When I read that, it sounded like whining to me. He didn't go after her for her policies. He didn't go after her for anything legitimate or attacking her by viability. He took a few statements that she said and took them out of context.
STEPHANOPOULOS: About Ronald Reagan. About George Bush.
O'DONNELL: She never diminished dismissed Ronald Reagan and diminished him as an actor. She was saying, look, this is what they criticized him for, too. And he proved to be one of the greatest presidents. He ended the Cold War.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, he also writes in that- He takes your point directly. He says, that her experience makes Barack Obama like Winston Churchill.
HUGHLEY: Here's the thing. She has a great reality show, I understand and she's a nice looking woman. But, in the battle of wits this woman comes unarmed. Let's just be real. She is not- No matter, by any standards you want to measure. She didn't finish her term as governor of Alaska. And, now, all of a sudden, I'm glad that some people- I agree that I haven't been altogether pleased with the things this President has done.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What are you unhappy with?
HUGHLEY: I don't think he has stood for the principles that he- look. I cried when he was elected. I cried because I thought this was finally something that would be noteworthy. And now, I'm mad that I cried. I clearly don't think he's governing the way he ran. But this woman here, it is- when there's so many problems in the world, for world to actually think, or this country to think that she is the answer, that really puts us at- I think we're in a lot of trouble.
O'DONNELL: Well, I'll agree about Barack Obama. It- [Stephanopoulos and Hughley laugh.]
HUGHLEY: You are spectacular.
O'DONNELL: It was a bittersweet moment when he got elected because it was a real mark towards healing of our divided past.
HUGHLEY: For me it was sweet. For the Tea Party it was kind of bitter.
O'DONNELL: No, no, no. But the vote we changed for, was not to change America but to change Washington. And his policies are radically changing America and everything that she stands for. If you look at Sarah Palin's record, what she did as governor, the reason why she stepped down. Her family was put under scrutiny that-
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's going to happen if she runs for president.
HUGHLEY: Let's face it-
O'DONNELL: There seems to be a double-standard when it comes to women who run for office. Hillary included.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to have to leave it here. We heard it here. You want Hillary up against Palin in 2012. Thank you both very much.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.