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Ed Driscoll

The Making of the President

“MSNBC panel wonders: Just what is Hillary Clinton’s unique qualification for President?”, as spotted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

No, seriously, Bill Kristol asked on Morning Joe today: What makes Hillary Clinton the most well-qualified woman for the presidency? Kristol argues that Claire McCaskill has more accomplishments in the Senate, and that can also be said for other “governors and Senators” in the Democratic Party, “that made it on their own, I would add.” The panel, which initially scoffed at Kristol’s question, cannot name any accomplishment at all, and Chuck Todd ends up talking about how much she traveled as Secretary of State.

As John Ekdahl writes at AoSHQ, “this is just a great clip all around”:

And it comes with an enormous sense of deja vu, doesn’t it? Let’s flashback to February 19th 2008, when Chris Matthews(!) asked State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-TX), an even more than unusually rabid Obama supporter among the left in early 2008, what exactly were the tyro senator’s legislative accomplishments that qualified him to be the next president of the United States?

As Jonah Goldberg once wrote, “In the movie Animal House, the Deltas are put on trial for their antics. When offered a chance to defend themselves, the best argument the fraternity’s president can come up with is, ‘But sir, Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence both to its members and the community at large.’”

Hillary Clinton has a much longer tradition of existence within the Democrat party than Obama did in 2008; does that alone, coupled with household name recognition qualify her to be president? Based on Obama’s supporters in 2008 (the same Obama supporters who were busy trashing Hillary and Bill as crypto-racists that year), the answer, sadly is yes.

Unless the GOP actually decides to play to win for a change, of course.

Update: We are the Manolo Blahniks we have been waiting for! A woman protesting Hillary’s speech today in Las Vegas threw an object at the former first lady, which was reported to be a shoe.

It’s  not the first time Hillary has dodged a projectile pump, either.

‘Political Correctness Is Dead’

March 19th, 2014 - 6:37 pm

“It’s official,” Gavin McInnes writes. “On Sunday, March 9th, 2014, political correctness breathed its last breath:”

It had been careening out of control since trannies took over the controls, but the moment that Beyoncé starred in a PSA to ban the word “bossy,” PC lost its last shred of credibility.

Beyoncé is the songstress who warbles such sweet lines as, “I fill the tub up halfway then I ride it with my surfboard, surfboard/Grinding on that wood, grinding, grinding on that wood.” Her husband loves her very much and has made it clear that he has “99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one.” This dumb bitch, who spends thousands of dollars weaving white women’s hair into her own, is telling young girls to be themselves. Did you know “bossy” is a sexist term used to prevent girls from becoming themselves? Me neither. I don’t think anybody did. When the NAACP had a funeral for the N-word, it seemed silly, but at least the word “n****r” had a built-in pejorative taint. But now the PC Squad has resorted to opening the dictionary and pointing at whatever words their fingers touch first.

I’m all for banning bossy — as long as we start at the source:

ban_bossy_hillary_3-19-14

Related: Violent, potentially murderous hate-filled eliminationist rhetoric from anti-choice reactionaries.

More: “Marxism is, in general, cleverness for stupid people. You get to use words like ‘hegemony’ and analyse the world, albeit in unusually fatuous terms.”

“L.A. Street Artist Behind the Ted Cruz Bad Boy Posters Speaks Out” to PJM’s Paula Bolyard:

After attending art school, Sabo worked in advertising but didn’t find the work to be a good fit. When George W. Bush became president, Sabo says life became difficult for Republicans in Hollywood. He was frustrated by the onslaught of messages from the left. “Where were the voices on my side? I just felt like the left was defining who I was. I didn’t see anyone on the right setting them straight,” Sabo said. “I just said, screw it, man. I’m going to do my part.”

“My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can,” he boasts on his website. “Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience, the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own.”

Sabo’s work is controversial, intended to shock and provoke thought. “Politically incorrect” does not begin to describe it: Nazi flags with the Obama symbol. “Hillary 2016″ on a flying monkey from Wizard of Oz. Beyonce with a Burka. A sign that says, “Fags the New Nig**rs.”

A quick check of Google makes it obvious that that last slogan unnerved the left — which seems rather odd, considering that John Lennon and Yoko Ono were each given a pass decades ago by the left for saying (and singing) virtually the same thing.

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In 1974, Walter Cronkite demonstrated to his credit that he was willing to poke fun at his courtly manners and stentorian voice by appearing alongside Ted Baxter, his fictional doppelganger, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which appeared each week on CBS, the network where Cronkite had made his home since 1950.

But in retrospect, there were more than a few similarities between Ted Baxter and Walter Cronkite; both men succeeded as a result of their deep voice and trustworthy looks, rather than actual knowledge of the world. And both men were more than a little silly; Baxter deliberately so, Cronkite by embracing every fad aspect of liberalism that came down the pike.

According to Douglas Brinkley’s 2012 biography of Walter Cronkite, a year after yucking it up with Ted Baxter, the veteran CBS newsreader claimed that his favorite album of 1975 was Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, whose title was “an apt description for a wizened TV survivor like himself,” as Brinkley writes.

As with much self-deprecating humor, there’s more than a little truth in Cronkite’s claim. Brinkley’s biography is a story of a man moving further and further to the left, as his party did over the years, before collapsing into insanity.

In 1991, Christopher Hitchens wrote that “television is a megaphone for the transmission of official wisdom.” Outside of the Soviet Union, nowhere was that more true than the news shows of the original big three American networks, which by the late 1960s served essentially as the dissemination mechanism of Democrat Party talking points. In Cronkite, one of Brinkley’s worst conceits is that he repeatedly seems to imagine that his eponymous subject simply moistened his index finger and placed it into the breeze ever few years to determine what the public was clamoring for. In actuality, Cronkite simply adopted whatever was the current pose of his fellow liberals (at least as they described themselves back then) to serve as a national mouthpiece.

Books such as the first volume of Steve Hayward’s The Age of Reagan, and How We Got Here, David Frum’s look at the 1970s, do a far better job of explaining how liberals moved further and further to the left, using weapons such as poisoning American support for the Vietnam War and, shortly thereafter, radical environmentalism to increasingly sink America’s vitality.

Two Cronkites In One

While I doubt this is Brinkley’s goal, because of Cronkite’s longevity as first a reporter and then a television newsreader, Brinkley reveals numerous examples of plenty of hypocrisy from his subject, as Cronkite internalizes leftwing pose after leftwing pose. For example, in December of 1973, “the Gay Raiders,” a protest group designed to generate a more sympathetic portrayal of gays on both fictional and news TV programs, sent Mark Allan Segal and Harry Langhorne, two of its representatives. to sneak into Cronkite’s TV newsroom set in New York under false premises, to hold up a sign saying, “Gays Protest CBS Prejudice” while Cronkite was live and on the air nationwide with an audience of over 60 million viewers. While they succeeded, the CBS cameras quickly went black.

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R-S-P-E-C-T

March 8th, 2014 - 2:12 pm

“Obama accidentally misspelled ‘respect’ while introducing singer Aretha Franklin during a tribute to “Women of Soul” at the White House Thursday,” Fox News reports, asking if it was Mr. Obama’s “Dan Quayle Moment:”

“When Aretha first told us what … R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,” Obama said, pausing briefly before the audience began laughing, apparently realizing his mistake. “She had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans and women and anyone else who felt marginalized because of what they looked like, who they loved. They wanted some respect.”

Also looking for some respect is Quayle, who in 1992 was schooled by a sixth grader on how to spell potato.

Quayle was at the Munoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, N.J., when he relied on a notecard provided by the school on the spelling of the word potato, a word used in the contest. The notecard incorrectly added an “e” to the end of the word, and Quayle advised the student to spell it that way.

In his 1994 autobiography, Quayle called the day “a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable.” He added, “Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.”

But Quayle — who had more years as a senator in DC before becoming vice president than Mr. Obama did before running for president — endured a baptism by nuclear fire from the monolithically leftwing media in 1988, which magnified every one of his minor gaffes into momentous character flaws. All in sharp contrast to the way the media greased the skids and downplayed every gaffe from Obama and his vice president — who’d I’d refer to as the “equally Quayle-esque” Joe Biden, except that would be an insult to Quayle himself.

(And it goes without saying that Mr. Quayle’s youthful culinary habits were far more refined than Mr. Obama’s of course.)

Over To You, Hillary

March 6th, 2014 - 8:32 am

“Here we go: HHS announces that insurers can keep extending un-canceled health plans — until October 2016,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air:

Here’s the new ObamaCare “fix” that The Hill promised a few days ago — although, unless I missed something, no one knew how far the new extension would reach until now. As Ed noted earlier, this is pure politics: Originally, King Barack’s generous allowance for insurers who wanted to resurrect plans canceled under the new ObamaCare rules was set to expire on January 1st of next year. Problem is, that would have required sending out new cancellation notices months earlier, which would have blown up in Democrats’ faces right before the midterms. Today’s fix is designed to deal with that problem by punting the deadline to purge un-canceled plans alllllll the way to October 2016, a month before we choose the next president.

Your problem now, Hillary.

“And if you think he’s not going to figure out that, hey, October 2016 is just before an important election and then delay it until May 2017,” Ace adds, “then let Rob Halford disabuse you of that mistaken belief.”

In other Obamacare news, Patrick Stewart and Stephen Colbert are goofing on those who’ve lost their policies and their doctors. It’s yet another reminder of John Nolte’s observation last year on how what’s called “liberalism” increasingly involves overt attacks on the innocent and the less-well-off, on behalf of the wealthy and powerful.

I’ve Seen This Movie Before

March 5th, 2014 - 10:16 am

“DNC Attendees Can’t Name a Single Hillary Accomplishment,” Matt Vespa writes at CNS News.com:

Last week, the Democratic Party had their winter meeting and MRCTV’s Dan Joseph decided to ask DNC committee members and guests if they’re ready for Hillary–and why.

Some said she had about a hundred moments of greatness when she served under President Obama – but, strangely, couldn’t name a single accomplishment of hers, besides marrying Bill Clinton.

Another attendee mentioned Clinton’s stance on abortion as a reason to be super excited for Hillary Clinton in 2016. As for her accomplishments, none came to mind, but she noted that Obama saw a reason for her to be nominated as Secretary of State.

Uh, it’s called politics.

Click over to watch the video, which seems eerily reminiscent of this video from late 2007 or early 2008:

But then hey, you don’t have to fall in love, you just have to fall in line, to coin a phrase.

This Just In

March 3rd, 2014 - 10:33 am

“WaPo: ‘President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy,’” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:

That’s not me being reductivist or twisting the meaning of yesterday’s lead editorial at the Washington Post. It’s a quote of their own headline, which is itself a good recapitulation of their overall message. Barack Obama and John Kerry talked about “19th century act[s]” and Vladimir Putin’s lack of game on “soft power,” but all that did was highlight the fantasy world both inhabit when it comes to the threats in this 21st-century reality:

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.” …

Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.

Gee, if only the Post and its subsidiary publications Slate and Newsweek had figured that out in 2008 — or even 2012 — before going all-in to support Mr. Obama. Which brings us to the passage below, which has made the rounds on the Internet and email lists for several years; one of Ace’s co-bloggers linked to it yesterday:

The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President.

I don’t really blame the American people — particularly in 2008 — who voted for Obama. For over six years (allowing for a brief timeout in the left’s culture war during 9/11) they were bombarded with messages that George Bush was the anti-Christ. By 2007, began to be bombarded by a same volume of messages that Obama was the perfect cure — not just for American politics, but to the heartbreak of psoriasis and waxy yellow buildup as well. Given the media — including the Post, as their late ombudsperson Deborah Howell admitted in November of 2008 — went all-in to promote the man, it’s a wonder the election was as close as it was.

Related: “Hurts so bad that Palin was right and Obama-Media Industrial Complex wrong,” David Gerstman writes at Legal Insurrection. “For Politico and others, ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word.”

To paraphrase the  wisdom of our current Secretary of State, who wants to be the last leftist to watch his reputation die for his ideology’s past mistakes?

The Drama of the Gifted Man-Child

February 14th, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Peggy Noonan explores “What Diane Blair’s papers tell us about the Clintons, and why people preserve their archives,” concluding with the following four observations:

First, the Blair papers remind us the Clintons in their early days in the White House were much like the Obamas. They didn’t know Washington and were taken aback by its meanness and mayhem. They thought it was something personally directed against them. Their reaction in turn was outsized. They thought, essentially, that any means necessary were justified in fighting the opposition’s wickedness. They didn’t understand wickedness was par for the course. In both cases their simple lack of sophistication in this area warped the politics of their era.

Second, the Clintons were of the Democratic generation that disdained Chicago’s first Mayor Richard Daley, whose administration they literally fought in the streets. He was rough, tough, the machine. The Clintons rose and went on to become . . . rough, tough, a machine. In politics as in life you can become what you hate.

Third, the Blair papers remind us that in the past quarter-century the office of the presidency has become everyone’s psychotherapy. There is an emphasis on the personality, nature, character and charisma of the president. He gets into dramas. He survives them. He is working out his issues. He is avenging childhood feelings of powerlessness. He is working through his ambivalence at certain power dynamics. He will show dad.

History becomes the therapist. The taxpayer winds up paying the therapist’s bill.

This wouldn’t be so bad—it would actually be entertaining!—if the presidency were not such a consequential role. People can lose lives when presidents work through their issues. This Endless Drama of the Charismatic President is getting old. And dangerous.

Calvin Coolidge once said that the best feature of his presidency is that his administration minded its own business. And mister, we could use a man like Coolidge again.

The Golden Egg

February 14th, 2014 - 12:35 pm

“The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media,” are explored by Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon:

When the Free Beacon published “The Hillary Papers” last Sunday night, we knew the story would have to cross a high bar. The piece was scrupulously fact-checked. All of the documents we cited were loaded onto the Internet. Every effort was made to present as straightforwardly as possible the contents of the papers, which show Hillary Clinton as hardheaded, calculating, and, yes, ruthless. (Re-read the part where she axes a Supreme Court appointment out of spite.)

What I did not expect was that the media would undergo such a tortured and dramatic breakdown, would struggle so laboriously to acknowledge the scoop while schizophrenically downplaying its importance. That a conservative online newspaper could have understood the significance of the archive, and actually examined its public contents, seemed too much an embarrassment for the staffs of the major newspapers and networks and magazines to bear. By being the first to report on the papers, the Free Beacon exposed the inanity and irrelevance of the mainstream media. We beat them. And they are sore losers.

Read the whole thing.

And note that Charlie Cook of the establishment liberal National Journal is asking simultaneously, “Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?” As in 2007, the MSM appear to be begging for reasons for Hillary not to run, and/or for a viable alternative candidate, in large part because of the enormous paper trail — and loathsome practices — of her and her husband.

Speaking of Bill, back in 2006, the Washington Post reported him saying:

[Clinton] said Democrats of his generation tend to be naive about new media realities. There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.

But Bill miscalculated slightly: while the media are very much are de facto allies — they’re allies of the Democrat party; they’re not necessarily loyal to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Early the following year, Joe Biden looked at then-rookie Senator Barack Obama’s nascent presidential campaign and infamously muttered, “you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. ”I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” When you translate Biden’s weird and condescending middle-aged hipster patois back into English, what he was implying by the word “clean” is that Obama had little of an obvious paper trail that could serve to trip him up in the same fashion as Hillary, Kerry, and well, Biden himself. (At least, that’s how it seemed at the time, especially given a lazy old media, who as de facto Democrat allies would know not to dig into Obama’s convoluted past.)

Who will be that candidate for the Democrats next year?

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

February 11th, 2014 - 12:01 pm

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Led by Andrea Mitchell, “NBC affiliates across country refuse to say ‘Washington Free Beacon,’” notes Betsy Rothstein at the Daily Caller. In response, Michael Goldfarb of the WFB delivers some well-deserved condescension to the senior member of NBC’s palace guard:

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and local NBC affiliates across the country are uniformly referring to the Washington Free Beacon as an “anti-Clinton website,” without even mentioning the site’s name.

The description came after the publication’s Alana Goodman wrote a story Monday called “The Hillary Papers,” a window of sorts into Hillary Clinton‘s thinking from her now-deceased best friend.The story was heavily hyped on Drudge before it even ran. Calling the Free Beacon an “anti-Clinton website” is odd treatment for a story that could just as easily landed in The New York Times, New York Magazine or elsewhere.

Free Beacon‘s founder Michael Goldfarb told The Mirror, “The piece wasn’t anti-Clinton, and our website isn’t anti-Clinton, but occasionally the facts are anti-Clinton–and when they are we report them. In this case, some of the documents showed Hillary as ruthless and calculating and vindictive, others showed her in quite a sympathetic light. It’s a shame that Mitchell couldn’t be more graceful in crediting our reporter Alana Goodman for her impressive work, but given her advanced age and deep partisanship–we forgive her for it. You don’t get angry at your grandmother when she says something rude and uninformed, you have to be patient and understanding.”

Damn, that’s brutal.

And quite well deserved. Noah Rothman of Mediate tweets in response, “Condescension is the best revenge.” He has further thoughts on Mitchell’s meltdown at his column.

Mitchell’s circling the wagons in Hillary’s defense and her lack of knowledge of the big, bad, scary 21st century Internet, is eerily reminiscent of Marry Mapes, then a producer at CBS, admitting complete cluelessness about the Blogosphere, after she was busted in 2004 for her role in crafting the infamous Rathergate hit piece on then-President Bush during his reelection bid:

Within a few minutes, I was online visiting Web sites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Power Line. They were hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative sites loaded with vitriol about Dan Rather and CBS. Our work was being compared to that of Jayson Blair, the discredited New York Times reporter who had fabricated and plagiarized stories.

Precisely right, as it turned out. And it’s worth noting Bill O’Reilly’s January 2007 interview with Mitchell, which produced these precious quotes:

It was hard to tell what was making Andrea Mitchell angrier: Bill O’Reilly’s assertions that NBC has a liberal bias, or his repeated and perhaps ungentlemanly references to the lady’s “30 years” of experience. In any case, the look on Andrea’s face was unmistakable: she was not the happiest of campers.

Mitchell appeared on this evening’s Factor for purposes of touting her new book. But kudos to O’Reilly for taking the occasion to directly confront a leading NBC light with the network’s undeniable leftward tilt – which Mitchell proceeded to flatly deny.

This is must-see video, which you can see here, but let me entice you with these two tidbits.

Mitchell on Chris Matthews: “I don’t think he’s a liberal thinker.”

And later: “I don’t feel there is bias in what we do at NBC News. And I don’t think there’s bias in CBS or ABC.”

With due respect to Mitchell, whose scrappiness I admire, if someone won’t admit that Chris Matthews is liberal, why should we believe her when she tells us it’s raining?

We now know that we shouldn’t trust anything that comes out of NBC or its subsidiary networks; their far left bias — “hyperleftists” to borrow Mapes’ formulation — has seriously corroded their judgement and honesty. As Mollie Hemingway tweeted today, “That Andrea Mitchell has a job at all is a complete indictment of NBC.”

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It Takes a Potemkin Village

January 28th, 2014 - 3:10 pm

“Hillary Clinton campaign-in-waiting increasingly strikes me as a large and dangerous Potemkin Village for the Democratic party,” Rick Wilson writes at Ricochet today:

Like anyone with ambitions and a boss to keep happy, Potemkin swung into action to make the Royal progress memorable. Setting aside his actual accomplishments of military victories and the construction of cities, fortresses, armories, ports and so on, history remembers Potemkin primarily by legend that he constructed phony villages stocked with smiling, fake peasants to give Catherine the impression all was well on his watch. This largely anecdotal event became a cautionary tale of how leaders are manipulated by a crafted and shaped version of the landscape before them.

Which is why the Hillary Clinton campaign-in-waiting increasingly strikes me as a large and dangerous Potemkin Village for the Democratic party. Certainly, Hillary is formidable: near-universal name identification, an adoring media (not, in fairness, as adoring as Obama’s), Bill Clinton’s phenomenal political skills, and the perfect stunt-casting as She Who Will Shatter The Ultimate Glass Ceiling. She’ll raise billions of dollars (yes, that’s billions with a “b”) for her campaign, the DNC, and superPACS. She is inevitable, inexorable, and indisputably the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

But what if there’s no there there? What if the media perception of Hillary is so off the charts into self-deception that Democrats find, as they did in 2008, that “inevitability” and “Hillary” aren’t one and the same? What happens if she crashes out in Iowa or New Hampshire? The lessons of 2008 have been almost entirely forgotten, even by Republicans who should know better. Checking every box with every Democratic interest group except for the Iraq War vote made Hillary the certain nominee and should have made her President, right? Hardly.

Read the whole thing. As Wes Pruden wrote at the start of the year at the Washington Times, “Every night’s going to be Halloween night for Hillary. The skeletons in her closet are signing up now for the conga line. They’re impatient to put on their dancing shoes for the 2016 presidential campaign. Like it or not, it’s just around the corner.”

QED:

And just a reminder that the left really is “Potemkin Villages All the Way Down.”

Update: “MSNBC’s Joy Reid: GOP Bringing Up Clinton Lewinsky Affair ‘Might Be the Definition of the War on Women.’

Basil Fawlty, call your office — you too, George Orwell.

Why Does the Left Hate Hillary Clinton So?

January 23rd, 2014 - 12:40 pm

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That’s no moon — it’s an Arkansas space station!

In 2007, Hillary Clinton released her perfectly safe, “Let the conversation begin,” bland, white-bread presidential campaign debut video, which had all of the earmarks of a presidential candidate believing that the election was hers to lose. The Obama campaign immediately blew up both that assumption and her video, by comparing her, in his debut video, to Big Brother in 1984, and (tacitly) Barack Obama to the latest happy shiny product from Steve Jobs, and/or that Macintosh you bought in 1984, and oooed and awwwwed at the sleek, cool modernist styling. Plus they made their video appear as if it was done by some mysterious superfan armed with mad video skillz, which only added to its mystique.

Last year, Hillary released her own weird viral “Ready for Hillary” campaign, with the disembodied head of Hillary printed onto a white T-shirt, Frisbee, and other swag — and the New York Times blows that up today, by comparing Hillary on the cover of its upcoming Sunday magazine to, depending upon whom you read on Twitter, the rock group Yes and David Lynch doing quaaludes and producing a lovechild, Aqua Teen Hillary Force, Hillary as a Saturday Night Live Conehead, Darth Vader sans helmet, the Death Star, etc.

In any case, as one person tweets, “Oh New York Times Magazine. You have unwittingly made millions of conservatives happy. Hahaha.” Not to mention proving that, as in 2007 and 2008, the left is far more willing to dump on her — and her supporters – than they ever were Obama, who was worshiped (quite literally in some particularly pathetic cases) as the Second Coming.

Which means that — as in 2007 — the left aren’t very happy about going to bat for Hillary, and she’s ripe for a challenger. Not to mention, as  Seth Mandel astutely noted yesterday regarding Wendy Davis’ failed attempt at self-mythology, “because modern liberalism is so intellectually conformist”…”to Democrats, your opinion is only valid if it matches a certain biography.”

Or to put it another way, over to you, Fauxcahontas!

Update: Understatement alert: “This is not the first time that New York Times Magazine has humiliated itself,” Truth Revolt notes, mentioning its awkward cover of Anthony Weiner and Hillary aide-de-camp Huma Abedin holding hands. Back in 1991, the magazine featured Woody Allen and Mia Farrow on its cover as an idyllic New York couple — about five minutes, in retrospect, before the words “Soon-Yi Previn” became a household name. I can’t find the cover online, but picture it as a the photographic equivalent of the hagiographic book excerpt inside that issue.

Oh, and pure nightmare fuel here — “Okay, who wants to be the first person to photoshop Bieber’s mugshot into the Planet Hillary cover?” Just remember: What is seen cannot be un-seen.

More: “How The NYT Magazine’s Crazy Cover Came to Be.”

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“The Democrats and the media are now throwing everything they can at him, because they know he is the only guy that can beat Hillary,” said Robert Grand, a major fund-raiser for the party, who is based in Indiana.

Whatever the network’s motivation, it is a jarring change for the New Jersey governor, long the subject of warm and laudatory coverage from the network’s hosts.

Ms. Brzezinski called him “my friend,” her co-anchor Joe Scarborough called him “my main man,” and Chris Matthews referred to him, with the familiarity of a family member, as “the guy we like around here.”

Network figures have hailed him as a gutsy bipartisan hero and a role model for an obstructionist party in need of overhaul. (“I have some advice for all those Republicans trying to re-brand their party,” Al Sharpton said on his show last year. “Watch Chris Christie.”)

Off camera, the governor developed close ties to anchors like Ms. Brzezinski, even showing up at her book signing not long ago. Immediately after Mr. Christie concluded his apologetic news conference about the controversy last week, he spent 15 minutes on the phone with Ms. Brzezinski as he prepared to face Fort Lee, the small community crippled by gridlock from the lane closures, she said.

“For Christie and MSNBC, a Messy Divorce Plays Out in Public View,” the New York Times, yesterday.

A crucial turning point in the presidential race came when the McCain campaign ended its candidate’s habitual informal interactions with the press. The area of the McCain campaign plane where a couch had been installed so the Arizonian could hold court with journalists was cut off with a dark curtain, marking the end of an era.

Since 2000, John McCain had thrived on his irrepressible chattiness with the press, talking about anything reporters wanted for as long as they would listen. The press loved the access and avoided “gotcha” coverage, letting McCain explain any seeming gaffes. The arrangement worked beautifully for both sides — until McCain became the Republican presidential nominee.

Suddenly, he wasn’t afforded the same old courtesy from reporters, and he had to go about the grim business of driving a daily message. With the end of the running bull sessions, a trial separation began with the press that became a divorce that became a feud.

The enduring scandal of the McCain campaign is that it wants to win. The press had hoped for a harmless, nostalgic loser like Bob Dole in 1996. In a column excoriating Republicans for historically launching successful attacks against Democratic presidential candidates in August, Time columnist Joe Klein excepted Bob Dole — not mentioning that Dole had been eviscerated by Clinton negative ads before August ever arrived.

The press turned on McCain with a vengeance as soon as he mocked Barack Obama as a celebrity. Its mood grew still more foul when the McCain campaign took offense at Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” jab. “The media are getting mad,” according to Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz. “Stop the madness,” urged Time’s Mark Halperin, exhorting his fellow journalists to fight back against the McCain campaign’s manufactured outrage.

—”McCain’s Scandal: The press has turned on McCain with a vengeance,” Rich Lowry, National Review, September 16, 2008.

It was fun for McCain and Christie to cultivate leftwing journalists, scoring brownie points with the press by shafting their fellow Republicans in the process. But when crunchtime comes, journalists will always support a Democrat for president; and part of that process means screwing their former “friend,” whether it’s John McCain, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, or any other candidate with an (R) after his name.

Why don’t Republicans with aspirations for higher office ever seem to learn this lesson?

Related: “Four New Democrat Scandals the Kill-Christie Media’s Covering Up.”

‘A Talking Republican!’

January 16th, 2014 - 11:04 am

In his latest column, Thomas Sowell writes:

The first time I saw New Jersey governor Chris Christie on television, a few years ago, my first reaction was astonishment: “A talking Republican!”

It would scarcely have been more astonishing if there had been a talking giraffe. For reasons unknown, most Republican leaders seem to pay very little attention to articulation — certainly as compared with leading Democrats, who seem to pay little attention to anything else.

Governor Christie’s nearly two-hour-long press conference last week showed again that he is in a class by himself when it comes to Republicans who can express themselves in the heat of political battle.

When it comes to policies, I might prefer some other Republican as a 2016 presidential candidate. But the bottom line in politics is that you have to get elected in order to have the power to accomplish anything. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if you can’t be bothered to articulate them in a way that the voting public can understand.

Chris Christie’s press conference showed that, unlike Barack Obama, Christie did not duck the media or sidestep questions. Nor did he resort to euphemisms or cry out, like Hillary Clinton, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

He met the questions head-on and gave unequivocal answers — the kind of answers that could, and should, destroy his political future if they are not true.

More important, Governor Christie quickly fired the people he held responsible for deliberately creating a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. Contrast that with the many scandals in Washington for which President Obama has not fired anyone.

Perhaps Christie’s ability to seize the moment, and use what I called yesterday “Jersey Jujitsu”  against the feral pack journalism of the MSM, may be why Tom Brokaw is warning his younger, sillier fellow leftists at MSNBC, “You’ve got to move on, guys:”

Appearing on Wednesday’s MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw warned his media colleagues about their excessive coverage of the Chris Christie bridge controversy: “I do think, across the country, however, when they’re looking at long-term unemployment, and they’re looking at the uncertainty of the ObamaCare, they’re saying, ‘You’ve got to move on, guys.’” [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Brokaw continued: “You can only close those lanes for so long if you’re in the national media. I do wonder if this had happened in Nevada, whether it would have gotten much attention.”

Or heck, you know, the District of Columbia.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

Jersey Jujitsu?

January 15th, 2014 - 12:29 pm

“The Big, Fat Chris Christie FAQ,” is rounded up by Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard, beginning with, “1.) So just how bad is this George Washington Bridge traffic incident?”

It’s bad. Pretty bad. Super bad, even. Chief executives just don’t use the power of government to exact revenge on ordinary citizens for what they take to be political insubordination.

To put this in context, imagine what it would be like for a presidential administration to close down national parks in order to intentionally inflict pain on people trying to visit them. Or if some other administration had the IRS target individuals and groups from the opposing side. Thankfully, things like that never, ever happen.

2.) Wait a minute, I see what you’re doing there…

As The One likes to say, let’s be clear: I’m not doing Christie any favors by saying tu quoque and pointing to even worse scandals from Barack Hussein Obama. But I would like to echo an astute observation from John Podhoretz over the weekend:

According to Scott Whitlock of the Media Research Center, “In less than 24 hours, the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they’ve allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service controversy.”

MSNBC is treating this like Watergate, with theories and more theories and (over at the NBC mothership) they’re talking impeachment. Democrats think this is Christmas, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa, all rolled into one. Which means we should expect the feeding frenzy to continue as long as is minimally plausible.

But note this. Responding to the question, err, from himself, “Is Christie finished?” Last responds, err, to himself:

I doubt it, for a couple reasons.

First, this scandal elevates him in the national consciousness. Think of it as something like pre-vetting for the presidential primaries, carried out at a safe remove from the actual voting. Not only that, but it puts him on a pedestal as THE Republican Democrats are trying to take down. And if Christie was going to have trouble with conservative primary voters, having MSNBC obsessed with getting his scalp is a pretty good way to rally them.

Second, did you see his press conference? No one wants to spend two hours explaining to reporters why they’re not the second coming of Richard Nixon. But if you have to spend two hours explaining why you’re not the second coming of Nixon, very few politicians could do it that well.

Christie isn’t just a YouTube sensation. He’s an enormous political talent. People seem to have forgotten that.

And as Jim Geraghty* notes in his emailed Morning Jolt today, “New Jersey Voters: We Trust the Big Guy:”

Go figure!

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is more of a leader than a bully, voters say 54 – 40 percent today, one of his lowest “bully” scores since the Quinnipiac University poll first asked the question June 17, 2010.

Gov. Christie gets positive marks on key characteristics: Voters say 51 – 41 percent that he is honest and trustworthy; 74 – 23 percent that he is a strong leader and 55 – 41 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.

New Jersey voters approve 55 – 38 percent of the job Gov. Christie is doing, down from his all-time high 74 – 22 percent February 20, 2013. Women approve 55 – 37 percent while men approve 54 – 39 percent. Approval among Democrats drops from 56 – 38 percent last February to a negative 36 – 55 percent today.

For now, the public doesn’t think this was Christie’s call.

Some 93 percent of all New Jersey voters have read or heard something about the controversy surrounding the September traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.

Voters in that group say 66 – 22 that the governor did not personally order the traffic jam. Even Democrats say 53 – 32 percent that Christie was not involved.

Someone pointed out that diverting those traffic lanes made life hell for commuters in Fort Lee in New Jersey… but made life easier for folks from other parts of New Jersey. Maybe some folks feel the lane diversion wasn’t such a bad thing.

As Jonathan Last writes, “If it turns out he was behind the lane closures, he’s toast.” But if not, he’s probably the one GOP governor who’s savvy enough to look at the enormous spotlight the MSM have shined on him at the start of the year, and realized, “It’s showtime” — and have the chops to perform.

On the downside: as with John McCain last decade, if only he hadn’t alienated so many GOP conservatives along the way, he wouldn’t have to go it alone right now.

* AKA the next representative from Virginia, now that punitive far left Jim Moran announcing that he’s cutting and running from Congress.

Update: Heh — “Chris Christie’s Staff Blames Bridge Closing on Anti-Islam Video.”

di_blasio_bane_batman_1-2-14-3

Plus #Bridgegate, Gotham City-style, when “De Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker blocked the Brooklyn Bridge with Occupy Wall Street,” the Daily Caller reports today:

Democratic New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker was arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge while participating in a union-organized Occupy Wall Street protest.

The incident occurred a little more than two years before de Blasio railed against the “immoral” and “not mature” actions of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s aides in conducting a disruptive “traffic study” on the George Washington Bridge for apparently political reasons.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, who became Council speaker last week after de Blasio and his aides lobbied Council members on her behalf, was arrested on November 17, 2011 while sitting with a group on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge chanting “We are the 99 percent” and “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”

Mark-Viverito, an eighth-district City councilwoman, and her group only remained in their position for a “few minutes” before they were arrested, but Mark-Viverito noted that “we probably would have been there you know 16, 17 hours.” SEIU 1199 president George Gresham was also part of the group.

“I was more than happy to participate in this action,” Mark-Viverito said after spending approximately five hours in jail.

The protest was part of a nationwide effort by unions and others to block bridges on November 17 in various cities.

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Ed Morrissey notes that the Feds may be probing Chris Christie over the use of Hurricane Sandy relief funds:

Christie burned a lot of bridges in that debate, and in his embrace (literally) of Obama in those final days of the 2012 election.  Ironically, it’s the Obama administration that is widening its probe into the use of those funds now. Don’t expect too many Republicans to rush to Christie’s side in this fight, except to point out that the $2.2 million difference between the two advertising campaign proposals amounts to 0.041% of the porkfest Barack Obama and Chris Christie demanded from Congress for Sandy relief.  There may be a lot of reasons why victims haven’t seen their Sandy aid yet, but this ad campaign isn’t one of them.

George H.W. Bush tried to make nice with Democrats in 1990 by giving in to a tax increase, only to have Bill Clinton(!) call him a liar and use Bush’s rhetoric successfully against him during the 1992 campaign:

 

John McCain spent virtually his entire career in politics playing the role of iconoclastic “Maverick,” which meant frequently siding with Democrats and pulling the rug out from Republicans, only to discover in 2008 that at election time, the media wing of the Democrat party plays hardball, for keeps, and in the midst of fullblown hopenchange fever cheerfully devoured his presidential campaign in 2008 without batting an eye. Similarly, Chris Christie has all too often as governor of New Jersey embraced Obama and offered very few coattails to his fellow Republicans, particularly when it mattered in the fall of 2012 during the Romney campaign. He too is in the process of having his presidential hopes devoured by the media left.

Charlie Brown never learned that Lucy will always pull the football away; why don’t Republicans ever learn that however much they cozy up to the left, they will eventually be fatally stung. It is the nature of the scorpion.

Chris Christie and ‘Bridgegate’

January 8th, 2014 - 2:26 pm

“Liberals who have been waiting for an opportunity to take down New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seem to have finally fished their wish,” Jonathan Tobin writes at Commentary:

The disclosure of emails linking some of the governor’s top aides to a bizarre mini-scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge provides opponents of the Republican presidential contender with plenty of fodder for attempts to debunk his carefully crafted image as a no-nonsense truth teller who is more interested in getting things done than in partisan bickering. Outlets like the New York Times and Politico are playing it for all it’s worth and some of those hyping the story, like Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, who wrote today about Christie being in “big trouble,” are clearly exaggerating the magnitude of the harm to the governor in the hope that this will hasten the demise of the man who is widely believed to be the most formidable general-election candidate in the GOP stable.

But if the governor and his backers think it will all blow over without him having to seriously address the issue, they’re wrong. Christie doesn’t just need to apologize for this mess and then fire the aides who were stupid enough to openly write about their part in a foolish prank that inconvenienced thousands of New Jersey citizens in an apparent attempt to exact revenge on the mayor of the town of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s reelection. Even if there is no proof that the governor personally endorsed or played a part in this mess, Christie also needs to realize that this story bolsters the attempts of his foes to portray him as a bully with a thin skin. More than the fallout from what is nothing more than a minor political dirty trick, the notion that Christie is a political thug with a style that is well-suited to New Jersey politics but not to the national stage could very well materially damage his presidential hopes.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a scandal, so much as simply throwing mud against a wall and seeing what sticks. Scandals achieve traction when they’re simple for the general public to understand — men affiliated with Nixon burglarizing a Democrat campaign office, Clinton and Monica, Obama siccing the IRS on his opponents, etc.  In contrast, as Tobin goes on to note:

Of course, it’s not likely that too many voters in New Hampshire, Florida, or any other early primary state will remember the details of Bridgegate two years from now when the GOP will be choosing its next presidential nominee. It’s doubtful that many of them will understand the mechanics of bridge lane closings and Northern New Jersey traffic patterns sufficiently (something that was also apparently the case for many of those writing about the issue from near and afar) to make the story stick in their minds in a way that will doom Christie’s chances. As far as we know, nobody died as a result of the traffic jams. Nor did this involve stolen money or any of the other clichés associated with scandals that are generally fatal to politicians such as the proverbial “dead girl or live boy.”

But as we move closer to 2015, 2016, and both party’s presidential nominations, this does prove that the left will be doing their damndest to find anything to take down Christie, and any viable candidate who looks like he has a clear shot at the GOP nomination.

Or to put it another way:

Update: Of course, the media’s obsession with Bridgegate today may not be an attempt to sink Christie, so much as an attempt to protect Hillary from Robert Gates’ allegations, by getting the latter story off the front page; it certainly did the trick at the Drudge Report.

More: “As far as we know, nobody died as a result of the traffic jams,” Tobin wrote at Commentary. A New Jersey news site is insinuating that a 91-year old woman died as a result of an ambulance delay “due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge,” to further ratchet up the anti-Christie backlash.

Question Asked and Answered

December 30th, 2013 - 11:59 pm

times_benghazi_tweet_12-30-13

The New York Times has come under serious fire for their article yesterday on Benghazi, the motives of which can be summed up by reading between the lines of a follow-up from Timesman Andrew Rosenthal, in which he responds, Obama-style, “let me be clear: We have not chosen Mrs. Clinton.” In his own defense of it, David Kirkpatrick, who wrote the article yesterday tweets, “we had a reporter on the scene talking to attackers during attack — still invaluable. To which another Twitter user responds, “Either you’re full of sh** or a [New York Times] reporter stood by while 4 Americans died. Which is it?”

Without discarding the first possibility, we can set the Wayback Machine to 1989 and ask the late Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace what they’d do if they were in the field covering that sort of situation:

There’s a reason why that clip is titled, “Jennings & Wallace, reporters first, Americans second.” And that’s very much the attitude that exists at the Gray Lady as well — even when someone from their party is in the White House and Foggy Bottom.

Update: Lots of questions being raised by Twitter users from the above admission by the Times, including, “how does one embed with a random, spontaneous protest sparked by a video? what luck,” “How much of the attack did the NYT witness?!?”, and “So you knew an attack was coming enough in advance to send a reporter?”

Plus this:

See above video, which until informed otherwise, I’m assuming to be the default position of the 21st century New York Times. Perhaps Congress could inquire further…

(Bumped to top.)

ABC-Disney’s Barbara Walters discusses the legacy media’s initial take on Barack Obama with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Piers Morgan: “We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah,” as spotted by Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters:

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?

BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.

It’s very difficult when the expectations for you are very high. You’re almost better off when they are low and then they rise and rise. His were very high and they’ve dropped. But you know, he still has several years to go. What does he have, three years, Piers? And, you know, there will be a lot of changes, one thinks in that time.

There are all sorts of follow-up questions that could be asked of Walters at this point, none of which Morgan is capable of doing — because he too thought of Obama as the next messiah (and very likely still does). Off the top of my head, some of these questions include:

● When you said that “we thought he was going to be…the next messiah,” define “we,” please?

● How could virtually the entire MSM get the biggest story of 2008 wrong? Why did they move in such lockstep?

● This wasn’t a case of single reporter on a crime scene talking live into a mini-cam, and making a snap decision to go with his gut during a fast-moving story that turns out to be wrong — telling viewers that the suspect has a gun, when it turns out later he actually had a knife, that sort of thing. This was a long, slow-moving story that stretched out for years. The cutline on Froma Harrop’s article at Real Clear Politics, titled “Obama Scores as Exotic Who Says Nothing,” was December 26, 2006. Which means that the MSM had over a year and a half to tell potential voters what Mr. Obama wasn’t saying. Instead, in mid-2008, CNN demonstrated how flexible they would be with the truth, first praising hate-filled Obama mentor Rev. Wright’s NAACP, then a week later, tossing Wright down the memory hole on behalf of his most famous parishioner.

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