TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads
Good morning, sports fans. Welcome to a special Superbowl Sunday version of this thing we do on Sunday mornings which preserves so many of you from having to watch these terrible shows. Today is the last chance the pundit ninnies have to weigh in on the quintessence of dust before Super Tuesday happens and this elections is finally, FINALLY...uhm...pressed to continue. Y'all know that Super Tuesday might not decide either candidate, right? That this crap could go on and on? Did you know CNN has scheduled two more debates - TWO MORE FREAKING DEBATES?! - for the end of the month? Why does CNN hate America? Only their dark demon lords know for sure. Hell is these people. So let's get on with it.
Oh, as always, leave comments, send emails.
Fox News Sunday
John McCain's grinning dome filled with primal rage appears on the screen. So much is at stake! Can he wrap up the nomination? How many delegates will he win? McCain doesn't have the slightest idea. He's watching the Superbowl in Massachusetts tonight, which means...something. Something bad for Mitt Romney? What's he doing in Massachusetts, anyway? Getting gay married to his crazy mom? Maybe? She makes a return appearance, telling people on video that they will have to "hold their nose" and vote for McCain. McCain basically says that she's senile and crazy and "great for whenever the issue is age."
Did you know that Jack Kemp supports McCain? JACK KEMP! No wonder the McCain candidacy seems like a runaway freight train covered with Solid Gold dancers, frisbee-catching dogs, liquid Ecstasy, and dragons eating helicopters and belching fireworks!
Wallace asks, when it comes to taxes, don't you sound like Obama? McCain says he was a "footsoldier" in the Reagan Revolution. He promises to veto any tax increase, but you should note that he said, "Raising taxes is the worst thing we could do RIGHT NOW." Will he support conservative SCOTUS justices? He says yes. Strict interpretations of the Comstitutions. Which means Barack will be having 3/5 of a vote in the McCain universe!
Hillary appears on the screen! Chris Wallace is the center of a real vanilla Oreo!
I just noticed that McCain's tie looks like it was made from the tablecloth of an Italian restaurant. By the way, whoever's done the lighting for Hillary? Exquisite!
McCain wants to defeat mentally ill suicide bombers with 100 years of Surge! Remember, this is the way the Iraq hawks work. Is the situation in Iraq looking bad? WE NEED MORE TROOPS TO STAY LONGER! Now, is the situation getting better? WE NEED MORE TROOPS TO STAY LONGER! Oops, something goes wrong? WE NEED MORE TROOPS TO STAY LONGER! No matter what happens in Iraq, the prescription is always the same, because the plan is always the same. And the plan? They don't have one!
Now it's Hillary's turn. Okay, the lighting isn't as good as I thought it was. She talks about how the Democrats, and the way they've sort of talked about withdrawal, has forced the Iraqis to try to get their house in order. Chris Wallace basically paints a rosy, silly picture of Iraq and asks Clinton to suck it. She parries him well, saying that he's badly overstating the case. She's right. The surge has not brought about the needed results, and worse, there's just no plan in place to break the cycle of codependency between the U.S. government and the nascent Iraqi government.
"We'll see what happens on Tuesday!" Hillary says. Not if I gauge my eyes out!
Apparently, Bill Clinton helps a Canadian businessman get uranium from Borat or something, and the Canadian gave money to the Clinton Global Initiative. But Dick Cheney likes heartless Eastern European dictators, too, Clinton says? Which makes it okay!
Panel time. Can Obama beat Clinton on Tuesday? Hume says there'll be a split decision on Tuesday and that they will keep battling. Liasson agrees and that this race is going to go on and on and on and on. Colonies on Jupiter will decide the nominee. Bill Kristol thinks some additional endorsements - from Edwards or Gore - could make the decision. Juan Williams says white women are going to be the determining group, and that the "headlines" will report that Clinton is going to win "state after state" and take the momentum. Except the "headlines" might not say that. He goes on to badly misconstrue the role of delegates.
Bill Kristol says white women are the problem but we have to live with them. Williams says, "Not me!" Hume says he has no problem with white women! Mara Liasson is a white woman. I hope someone pulls that video for me!
This Week With George Stephanopoulos
Wow. McCain really is crushing Romney. And look, it's Hillary again! "I'm vetted," she says, "There's not likely to be any new surprises." She's leaving out the possibility that maybe there will be a surprise. She says that she can survive the Republican attacks, like that time Rick Lazio came at her with a menacing piece of paper! Or that time her opponent dropped out of the race! Those were some really vicious attacks. Obama needs to gain some experience of that nature. Can't just beat Alan Keyes!
I'm always a little amused when Hillary suggests that our "prestige" is on the line if we have a meeting with Ahmadinejad. History teaches that a stack of dirty dishes could meet with Ahmadinejad and come away looking more intelligent.
GS asks Clinton to clarify her health care plan. She says that her mandates are not bad, and that his health plan has mandates. Will she fine people? Garnish their wages? Clinton says she won't "fine" people. She doesn't answer the wage garnishment. GS asks again, and she says there will be an enforcement mechanism. But why would anyone not want her plan? And being committed to universal health care philosophically is more important than how that health care affects other peoples' lives.
Hillary almost chokes on the notion of having Ann Coulter's support. "Strange bedfellows..." she says. Please, God, no. Not that.
Mitt Romney's on! And he won a "gold medal" in Maine. Romney: MY WIN IN MAINE MUST HAVE SHOCKED MCCAIN! No one knew the Maine caucus was even happening. But McCain is a "left turn." GS points out that Romney's made hundreds of "right turns" along the way to position himself as the "full-spectrum" conservative.
Ha! Romney says all the money he's spending on himself is just an issue of "name-recognition." America doesn't know him that well. The problem is, the more money he spends on getting his name out there, the less people like him! Romney might be winning this thing if he was broke! And yet, John McCain's the guy with the poor economic acumen. Trust me: in a year's time, "supported the Romney candidacy for President" will be a phrase no one wants on their resume.
Off topic. I have to admit, I'm torn about the whole Superbowl thing. A strong undercurrent exists in me that roots on the underdog. That side of me wants the Giants to win. At the same time, I hate the smug 1972 Dolphins, and feel that if the Pats go undefeated, the whole matter of going undefeated won't seem as vaunted anymore. And that's a good result, too. Also, I have La Vie En Rose from Netflix and maybe that will be more interesting to watch. (I doubt it.) Hard to decide!
George Will and Robert Reich both predict that the Democratic contest is going to go on until March. Great. Most of the panel seems to think Obama has got the momentum - Dee Dee Myers says it was aone of the best weeks an American candidate has ever had. Let's recall, though...Obama polled well in Florida with the people who only made up their mind three days out. But among those who made up their minds on the last day broke for Clinton. I found that indicator to be terrifically intriguing!
Will and Torrie Clark say Iraq is coming back to the front page. Bad for McCain? He's risen as Iraq has been backpaged!
DeeDee Myers reminds us that there was a point in our lives where having two Southern white dudes on the same ticket represented "change."
George Will says the veep should be chosen so as to shore up a cloase state. Which means prepare yourself for Vice President Tom Vilsack! Will also says that there will be pressure on McCain to choose Charlie Crist as his runningmate. Ehhhhh. DO NOT WANT that silver-haired slice of beef jerky as the Vice President.
Reich thinks that in a side by side with Obama, the candidate in his forties trumps the one in his seventies. Clarke, though, believes that if there is a national security event, the voters will go with the old man.
The Chris Matthews Show
Chris is joined this morning by Norah O'Donnell, Joe Klein, Cynthia Tucker and Jose Diaz Balart.
Oh boy. Super Tuesday, equated with the Superbowl. Yes, we will never get tired of this. Also, Chris Matthews is still all swoony over Ted Kennedy's endorsement, which feels like it was a million years ago. Joe Klein feels that Kennedy gives Obama "chops" and experience - he also says this was the end result of the debate.
How does Kennedy help? WIth the base, says O'Donnell. "Wow," says Matthews. A nice reminder that the most commonplace events just floor Matthews. Balart sort of pooh-poohs Latino support for Obama. Tucker talks about the rift between Latinos and blacks. This prompts a history lesson from Joe Klein. Diaz-Balart tosses another wet blanket, basically saying that if there's a rift between blacks and Hispanics, that it's basically on the black community. That sort of contradicts his earlier wet blanket.
Matthews drifts to talking about his favorite people: the Clinton family. He's excited that Hillary seemed to agree with his assessment that Clinton needed to be "reined in." Jolly time fun for Matthews! Klein mentions that "One on one, she's stronger than Obama. Two on one, she's weaker." I'm left marvelling at Klein's eyes. Has he been seeing the same plastic surgeon as Burt Reynolds? Both men look like vaguely Asian aliens.
As for momentum, O'Donnell feels that the longer Obama stays in the game, the better his chances. Klein seems to backtrack on his earlier opinion that Clinton would take the momentum after Super Tuesday.
Gads. Matthews is reminded on another SNL sketch. Woozily, he muses, "The great....Darrell...Hammond."
How well will McCain do at grabbing indies and conservative Democrats? O'Donnell thinks Obama is a variable--a candidate that grows the base and adds new voters. Klein thinks that if economic issues take center stage, McCain's going to start seeming "thin." He adds that the Dems can take on the issue of the "surge" and point out its failings.
Cynthia Tucker: "If the surge is working, isn't that an argument for bringing the troops home?" Woot. Good on you, Miss Tucker!
Tell Chris something he doesn't know! Like, maybe he needs to find different employment! O'Donnell says the Obama has not "ruled out the return of Oprah" and that he talks to her constantly, because she is his version of Jesus and that she is all around him. Klein says, "I hope it comes down to Ohio." Uhm...okay. Matthews says, stoned, "I think so...I've heard that too..." It's not clear that the two men are even on the same planet. Tucker says that social conservatives aren't happy with John McCain - true, Matthews might be the one man left who "doesn't know" that. She suggests that Mike Huckabee and Sonny Perdue have good shots at being McCain's Veep. Diaz-Balart says that McCain will win a greater proportion of the Latino vote than Bush did, Romney will win less of the Latino vote than Dole, and that if McCain wins the presidency, Joe Lieberman will become Secretary of State and, presumably, bomb Palestine.
Obama-Clinton dream ticket? Klein and O'Donnell say yes. Tucker and Diaz-Balart are on hand to shoot that nonsense down.
Meet The Press
Wow. This Meet The Press panel isn't going to be inclined to do Obama any favors. Hillary shill Carville, Thompson shill Matalin, Romney shill Mike Murphy, and noted loser/likely Hillary shill Bob Shrum. We'll see.
Okay, Murphy says Obama's momentum is a tremendous advantage. Carville says a bunch of stuff "cajun-style" that seems to boil down to, "If the voters like one candidate, they'll vote for that candidate. Unless they like the other one, in which case, hoo-whee! Look out! The other candidate could win!" It's all from Carville's newest book, "Obvious Stuff! It Really Happens!" Shrum agrees: "It could break one way, or it could break the other way," but the "money is important." Of course, it is, Bob. Of course it is.
What would happen if Hillary lost California. "It would be bad," says Carville.
Shrum: "I think [the Kennedy endorsement] was a powerful one." Boy, oh boy, they really have brought out the observations today!
Mary Matalin has now used the term "hoo-ha" twice today. Make of that what you will. Should be hold out hopes for a third mention?
Could someone please suggest an alternative haircut for Mike Murphy? He looks like a badly shaved Wookiee.
Husbands and wives in Connecticut apparently do not share political mail with one another.
Matalin believes that this election is not going to be about Bush, and that Clinton's "clean up after a Bush" line was sophistry. Mike Murphy invokes semen stains! Bob Shrum says Clinton's new stump speech is great, and that it channels Obama! He's really swooning over this last minute decision to radically alter her rhetoric. Matalin says she's not against change, but that change should just happen.
They take up the matter of whether or not Clinton could have credibly expected the vote to authorize military force in Iraq would not have led to military force being used. Carville, in a book, says that the argument Clinton (among many Democrats) has been making is "bunk." Let's watch him wriggle out of it now. No! "That was a mistake," he says! Good thing Russert read the book! Shrum thinks she should have owned up to the mistake two years ago.
Now we're going to have a song and dance about Obama's experience. Carville's not impressed, Shrum defends it. I say, long Senate careers are bad for Presidential hopes.
Apparently, the head-to-heads have Clinton running behind McCain by three points and Obama running ahead by three points. I think there was a wider disparity in those numbers not long ago, but these results, though they still sort of suggest that Obama would do better against McCain, feel sort of "dead heat" to me. Three points? A year away? That's not much to hang a hat on, frankly. Frankly, I think those results ought to tamp down the argument that voters should consider electability--and I couldn't applaud that loudly enough! The problem with considering electability is that you walk into the voting booth and start thinking about what other voters might do. We should come to the polls and give ourselves the freedom to vote their own values and their own interests - not vote someone else's.
Carville says Clinton doesn't have a racial bone in his body, and that he'll blindly defend him untill the end. Murphy sniffs, "He's got a lot of cynical political bones in his body, though." Sure, Mike. Of course, YOU were the one who referenced semen stains. Just sayin'.
Taking up the Republican side...well, seems like Romney's pretty much dead in the water, isn't he? Leading very few places. Yet when they break out the states, Russert suggests the Romney is better than it is. Matalin seems resentful of Huckabee, and feels like he's being a spoiler. A "man-crush." No, I have no idea what Matalin is talking about. It's weird to listen to Matalin suggest that Huckabee being in the race is not fair to Romney. Whatever. Romney's just a bad candidate.
Now Mike Murphy is referencing Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Now Matalin is suggesting, insanely, that McCain would be strengthened by running against an authentic conservative. Uhm, no Mary. He'll take the inside track to the nomination six days a week and twice on Sunday! Then he'll be the only thing even resembling a conservative! Carville notes (a smart point at last), that McCain tried to suck up to the right and ended up looking foolish and coming within a hair's breadth of leaving the race. His comeback has been paced by a return to the old McCain instincts. I'd argue, though, that it's still only a slight return. He's still embracing some important Bush mistakes (the surge and the tax cuts).
They are really sort of kicking Matalin's ass out there. She's utterly clueless. She's one to talk about reflection! Obviously, she has a problem with McCain, but she's really not convincing anyone that her opinion is as widespread as she believes. Seriously...she's going to start crying or something. Oh, but Carville is going to buy her a bracelet or something for being able to name the two teams in the Superbowl.
Well, good for her. And good for us, another day of mindless speculation over horse races is over. I hope everyone enjoys the Superbowl today, and if you are lucky enough to vote in Super Tuesday, please...I beg you: decide our nominees!