Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Post State Of The Union Address And 2008 Discussion (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Break open the liquor cabinet because it is that time of year again. Tonight America sits though what has become somewhat of a tradition of seeing how much BS our current prez can fit into a 90 minute period of time. Turns out? Quite a lot. With all the focus on who will be the next leader of our great nation, a part of me forgot about him. So tonight was a jarring little reality check that, oh yeah, he's still there. And while some may celebrate the fact that this was our last SOTU from "the decider," I'd like to remind everyone that we're still stuck with him for a whole year. There is a lot you can screw up in a year. Granted, at this point we're running out of things to be destroyed (hey, they still can't make you quarter a soldier in your house, that's something, right?), but I can't exactly say that helps me sleep at night. Have you ever babysat a really bratty, rowdy kid that you end up chasing around all night and watching like a hawk to make sure they don't break anything? This is the situation we're in now. We're running out the clock, praying that the adults are back in charge of the house before the kid breaks a lamp.

Anderson Cooper picks up CNN's coverage about 25 minutes past the hour and we go straight to Ed Henry, who really has nothing to report. There was nothing significant about the speech at all, other than the unmistakable sound of quacking. Can you say lame duck? From here we go to a panel with John King, Gloria Borger, Jeffrey Toobin, and David Gergen. It's weird to listen to them discuss the speech as if anything Bush said actually mattered. I mean, at this point we all know that everything out of the man's mouth is just a crap sandwich. The speech was good for mocking and drinking games, but little else. And actually, 360 must sort of agree since there's not much more talk about the SOTU related to Bush.

We then move on to an interview with Mitt Romney and Anderson asks what he would do to stimulate the economy. Hey, an actual policy question. Part of Romney's plan would involve lowering the corporate tax rate (big surprise) and getting rid of payroll taxes for those 65 and older. When asked about immigration, he differs with Bush in that he doesn't support a guest worker program and he thinks they need to go home and get in line. Because getting 12 million people to go home will be easy. We're then played a clip of McCain calling a Romney a flip-flopper and Anderson wonders if he ever changed positions when it didn't help him politically. Mitt cites his health care plan and his hate of the Department of Education. But that doesn't matter because McCain is desperate and he's a flip-flopper too, doncha know? And McCain is just all kinds of bad things, but Romney here is such a swell guy that he's not going to attack him personally. At least that's what he said...right after attacking him.

Next up, it's Barack Obama's turn and Anderson again begins with the economy. Something Obama noticed in Bush's speech tonight was that there was no urgency, while on the campaign stump he's finding people are very anxious about their finances. He thinks we need a bolder plan than what Dubya is peddling--a long term solution that includes tax breaks for the middle/working class and an aggressive energy policy. Anderson points out that Clinton has similar ideas and wonders what the difference is between them. Obama says that on this issue it's going to come down to who can deliver a consensus by bringing people together. Well, seeing as though the two parties won't even play softball together anymore, good luck with that. Anderson then brings up the Ted Kennedy endorsement and wonders how he reconciles getting an endorsement from such an establishment member of the party and being the candidate of change. Ooh, good question. Basically Obama says they might not always agree on policy, but share a common "can do" spirit. From here they move onto CNN's favorite topic of late, Bill Clinton's involvement in his wife's campaign. Did he cross a line? Obama says he only has a problem with inaccurate statements, but you know he totally wishes the big dawg would disappear.

Speaking of disappearing, next 360 was supposed to have an interview with Hillary Clinton, but she canceled at the last second with no explanation. According to TVNewser, she canceled on everybody but Brian Williams. Damn that Brian Williams! He steals their announcer idea and jacks their Clinton interview. I do believe Anderson has a new nemesis. Anyway, so we're going to John McCain instead and, whoa, that is some scary smiling he'd doing. Again they start with the economy, but I kind of missed it. After that, Anderson brings up Bush's SOTU statement about how he's all about killing earmarks now, though he sure didn't mind them when the republicans were in charge. McCain did though. That's actually an issue he has credibility on. The dude has always hated the pork. Then Anderson asks if he actually thinks they're making political progress in Iraq and McCain is all, sure! Okay. Time out. All I hear lately is how the surge is working and I know that's crap. It doesn't mean it's not working, but I know it's a lot more complicated than that and I'm not really sure why the media has pretty much just decided to stop fact checking on that stuff. What happened to the on-the-ground reporting? Where is Michael Ware? Arwa Damon? Surely CNN has someone there? C'mon. After this there was a little issue over a Romney quote, but I was too distracted by more creepy smiling to properly get it down.

The interviews were actually better than I thought they were going to be. I went in with really low expectations, thinking it was going to be like when Anderson interviewed Edwards on the fly not that long ago. But there were actually policy questions and everything. Although McCain seriously needs to called on some of that crap he was spouting. Anyway, then Anderson starts talking about Obama and throws back to a clip from the interview he just did by saying, "We just spoke a short time ago." Uh, yeah, a very short time. After that, the panel talks about the Kennedy endorsement. Then they spice things up panel-wise, and have Gloria and Jeffrey pass the baton to Dan Schnur and Amy Holmes. The Gerg and John King stay put. This new panel basically talks about how Giuliani is a total loser. Okay, mild editorializing there. After a McCain clip, Dan tell us that if the debate is about Iraq, McCain will win and if it's about the economy, Romney will win. Interesting. Since I think Romney is the weaker candidate, c'mon economic talk!

Next up, we have Tom Foreman to explain how the whole delegate thing works. So far Obama has the most, but then there are these super delegates that count more. There are 1700 democratic delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday and it's actually possible for a candidate to lose the state but get more delegates. Basically? Democracy is confusing. After Tom, we play musical panel again, with Gloria and Toobin rotating back in, but Bill Schneider kicking out The Gerg. Toobin thinks it's possible that Super Tuesday could end the republican race, but probably not the one for the democrats. That one is going to go on for the rest of our lives, apparently. They talk a bit about how the super delegates are lobbied and Anderson wonders if those conversations might ever be recorded. Heh, you wish. Toobin says the super delegates are the opposite of profiles in courage. Ouch. From here we go to a Suzanne Malveaux piece (I think) about the Kennedy endorsement. Every time I see Kennedy giving a speech now I always think of Jon Stewart doing Mayor Quimby, essentially doing Kennedy. Kinda hard to take him seriously.

The panel then gets mixed up again. And good lord my head hurts. Anyway, they talk about the Florida race. The sister called me this weekend from work to tell me that Giuliani was across the street from her store. His mic was loud enough that she could hear, but surprisingly, she reports "9-11" was not repeatedly heard. She told me that at first she could only make out a bald guy and figured that might be him. It was. Heh. While Florida is make or break for Giuliani, it really doesn't matter to the democrats, since there are no delegates to grab. But since Clinton is ahead, now she's on the "Florida matters" train. Anderson wonders if the press is going to buy into that. Dude, one more time, you are the press! Well, he's part of the press. Don't want Anderson getting a big head or anything. This leads them to all talk about what they think they'll be paying attention to and it kind of makes my head spin around. The media is always distancing themselves from themselves.

It wasn't really a normal show, so I think I'll leave off the grade and just let my commentary stand. Did you guys check out the blog? It's gotten even more fancy-pants. And apparently it is "more interactive and more custom fitted to your daily blog needs." I didn't even know I had daily blog needs. Lookin good.


Anonymous kayli10 said...

I quite agree! Where is Michael Ware? :(

11:47 AM  
Blogger MWmcFan said...

My guess is that Michael is still on vacation, but should be back very soon. Currently Michael Holmes, Arwa Damon and Cal Perry are reporting from Iraq. You can see their footage on the cnn/cnni video web pages. Michael Ware's producer, Thomas Evans, has been reporting from Pakistan along with Zein Basravi and Jennifer Eccleston. Their articles/footage can be found on this month’s cnn’s world asia web pages. Although I appreciate all of these reporters I’m really looking forward to seeing Mick’s reports again soon.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Pati said...

The ONLY thing good about the SOTU - seeing Anderson in LA at that cute little anchor desk (that looked like it was swiped from the Starship Enterprise) and reading Eliza's HILARIOUS commentary.

Eliza YOU are my hero!

6:39 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@kayli10-He doesn't write. He doesn't call. Doesn't he know we worry? ;)

@mwmcfan-Thanks for the head's up. It would be nice if we didn't have to go searching for reporting from Iraq. Just because the candidates aren't talking about it, I don't understand why it's all been suddenly relegated to the web. And of course it's not just CNN. Last week I watched a good report from NBC's Richard Engel, but it was web only.

@pati-A thousand thanks, but I have to say, I think your hero standards are a little lax. :P

12:14 AM  
Blogger MWmcFan said...

Thanks Eliza for the heads up about Richard being back in Baghdad. I thought he was burned out on reporting from Iraq. I checked the msnbc site and they had many of his recent reports. Very interesting.

2:40 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@mwmcfan-I love Richard. And it's eerie how similar his story is to Anderson's. You should definitely check out his war diary special that he did a year or so ago (I'm sure it's online somewhere).

3:33 PM  
Blogger MWmcFan said...

@Eliza, yes Richard's War Zone Diary was incredible. Then I read his book "A Fist in the Hornet's Nest" wow. And now that he is back in Baghdad I wonder if he will stay for awhile. Hmmm. Guess I'll be watching for him.

2:20 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@mwmcfan-I had no idea Richard Engel wrote a book. Thanks for the head's up. It's really cheap online, so I think I'm going to buy it.

2:19 AM  

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