Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

A Quick Note on the Sunday Talk Shows

I’m getting as tired of the all-Sarah-Palin-all-the-time coverage as anyone, but I still can’t get my mind around what we’re witnessing here. It feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone, as if John McCain is punking us all and then will reveal his true pick. I really want to pivot away from it, but it’s hard to. Especially after watching the coverage this morning on the Sunday talk shows. I try not to be prone to hyperbole, but other than the so-called coverage of the Democratic convention, this Sunday morning represented perhaps a new low in punditry. And I want to focus in on something specific.

No, it’s not the fact that the press fell completely for McCain’s gambit and ignored any coverage of the Democratic convention.

No, it’s not ignoring the substantive question of whether Palin is qualified (the only question that matters in a VP choice), her background as a governor or her lies about opposing the Bridge-to-Nowhere.

No, it’s not that they ignored the fact that she has never even expressed an OPINION about foreign affairs, let alone had any experience.

No, it’s not that they ignored that for over a year, McCain has been running on the notion that foreign policy and the war on terror is the transcendent issue of our time and nominated a neophyte to be his VP.

No, it’s not that they ignored the vetting process almost entirely and barely mentioned that McCain met her once before offering her the position.

And no, it’s not the fact that they spent their time telling us “how it would play” and the political implications instead of giving us any real information.

It’s two specific people. Two people who revealed themselves to either be partisan hacks or the most intellectually dishonest pundits I’ve ever beheld this morning on ABC’s “This Week”:

First, Cokie Roberts. Now, if you’re like me, you can’t remember the last time she gave an original or insightful piece of analysis that made you think, “Hmm, I never thought of that!” Example, in response to today’s question on whether Palin can be accepted as a credible VP, she said, “It depends on how she performs in front of the American people.” Well, golly, Cokie! I never thought of that!

But it has been what, three or four weeks since the infamous “Obama shouldn’t go to Hawaii, his birth-state, because it’s too exotic” statement? It’s too far away. It’s too different than most of America. That was her point.

I’d expect some sort of consistency in pointing out that Sarah Palin is from Alaska, hardly the type of state most Americans are familiar with. But instead, SHOCK! She fully embraced the candidacy of Sarah Palin, practically frothing from the mouth with glee at her selection, how the “hockey mom” will win “Reagan Democrats” in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

She then continued to down-play troopergate as a non-issue because the trooper in question sounded like a really bad guy – ignoring the fact that he wasn’t the one who was fired. (More on why this is an important story here).

Second, George Will. I know, I know, it’s George Will. But he’s tried to make a name for himself as a genuine conservative, not a partisan-hack. Someone who believes in the essential tenets of conservatism.

George Will has spent the last two years mocking Obama as a neophyte with limited national security experience. Not just Obama, but other Democrats too. When Bhutto was killed in Pakistan, and John Edwards put in a call to Musharraf, Will mocked, “I’m sure the President of Pakistan was thrilled to get a call from a one-term Senator from North Carolina with limited accomplishments to his name” (in interests of full disclosure, I actually agreed with Will on that one).

So, I turned into “This Week” this morning, expecting at least SOME sort of consistency. I expected Will to laud her social positions, but to question her readiness to be Commander-in-Chief. But instead, SHOCK! He embraced her candidacy with a degree of enthusiasm he has almost never shown before. My eyes wanted to pop out of my head. I was absolutely stunned.

Not just me, but Sam Donaldson looked like his head was going to explode. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing from his esteemed colleagues. He tried to get his point across, but failed because he was too flabbergasted that these experienced Washington hands could somehow endorse the notion that Palin is a credible VP (and hence, a credible President).

My God, with the media on Palin’s side like this, is there any wonder the left is in a tizzy?

Sarah Palin is the most preposterous, comically unqualified VP choice in modern history – FAR less qualified than Dan Quayle ever was. It’s a joke, pure and simple. It’s so out there that as cynical and depressed as I am about the press, I actually thought they would call McCain out THIS time.

Well, count me even more depressed than ever. If Obama wins in this media environment, it will be a stunning achievement.


August 31, 2008 - Posted by | Media Strategy, Uncategorized | ,


  1. Just one more note on the Sunday Talk shows. I watched Meet the Press on NBC. There was a roundtable discussion about Palin. They never mentioned Troopergate. Not even ONCE. How can that happen? I couldn’t believe it. They kept talking about how ethical she was.

    Comment by Morris Shaw | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. Dansac, here’s a piece by Frank Rich that you may find interesting:

    Also, there might be a pregnant-gate too. Like the Edwards affair, this might have to be picked up by the Enquirer.

    Comment by Suzie Q | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  3. Just finished watching THIS WEEK on Tivo and completely agree. This “analysis” was just mind-numbing. Cokie Roberts is the Geraldine Ferraro of TV pundits and George Will is an out-of-touch paleocon.

    Comment by Shubash | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  4. Suzie – respectfully, I’m staying the hell away from pregnant-gate. Count me as one who doesn’t believe it for a second and thinks the conspiracy stories WERE true, it would only help Palin.

    Comment by dansac | September 1, 2008 | Reply

  5. aND. . . . . . I am getting tired of all the Obama, or should I say NOBAMA media frenzie ——-


    You are the first candidate the U.S. has had in a long time that has continued to spread false information from the first time you hit the campaign trail.

    I find your technique one of the most offensive I have ever experienced. I find your ethics are on the border of being unethical and your manipulation of the facts most disgusting.

    It is common knowledge that the media will always press United States citizens to vote for the candidate who offers them the biggest kick-backs, pay-backs, and over-all “favors”. That is you, Obama.

    Then look at your over all personas: Your stance, the way you hold your head, your gestures, the clothes you wear, the pronouns and adjectives you use. Everything about you is the personification of an individual, who does NOT, let me repeat DOES NOT, have the United States citizens interests’ at heart. You are an elitist and the persona I just described is living proof — your entire appearance is proof — FACT — of what I say.

    Okay – now let’s talk about education. You have a law degree but did not practice law. Why? Readers – look this one up and you will see why. And, the result is not a positive one.

    Then there is the community organizer work you undertook in the state of Illinois. That, too, has been overstated and turned into something “positive” that it in fact was NOT. Dear readers – check this one out yourself as there are many Illinois citizens who will tell you the “truth.”

    My education – NOBAMA – is equal to or greater than your education. I do have the same ability as you to influence U.S. Citizens: And I certainly am taking the opportunity to exploit you for what you truly are.

    You see I am an educator, who works for a famous “Research One” institution, who has the ability to write Journal Articles that all college students will use for research. The true facts about you will come out and in a place that will most definitely do the most good – to influence voters “young voters” on how to spot an individual who does not represent the United States in the capacity as he states he will. Make no mistake, Obama, people will definitely know the subject of the Journal Articles is referencing you and your 2008 Presidential campaign.

    See you in “honest” fact-finding print.

    Comment by Versailles | October 4, 2008 | Reply

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