Friday, March 07, 2008

Florida/Michigan Debacle, Obama's Losses, And Bush Endorsement of McCain (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We kick things off tonight with the BREAKING NEWS that there's possible maybe sorta action a-foot regarding those Florida and Michigan delegates. We remember the story here, right? Tired of playing second fiddle to Iowa and New Hampshire, state officials in Michigan and Florida attempted to assert their self-proclaimed super-specialness, and moved their election date up, thus breaking democratic party rules. The national party, being a bit unhappy with this turn of events, went all Soup Nazi on their asses: No delegates for you! And this has just screwed up everything. The irony here is that the states moved their primaries so they could have a big say, but if they'd just left them where they were they would have been a big influence anyway. The problem now, of course, is that neither Obama or Clinton can lock up the nomination with the delegates that are seated (or will be seated). So, do Florida and Michigan re-vote? Do they seat their delegates even though no one got to campaign and Obama wasn't even on the Michigan ballot? Does everyone just close their eyes and wish real hard we weren't in this mess? I suppose time will tell.

Right now though, we've got Anderson Cooper telling us that Democratic lawmakers from the two states were just in a Capitol Hill closed-door meeting, trying to figure this mess out. Joe Johns then joins us live with more. Basically? Right now they've got nothing. No decisions made (and at the time of this blogging they still seem to be fighting about it). The governors want the votes counted, but they're the geniuses that moved the dates to begin with so...sigh. Joe tells us that Clinton is all for having the delegates seated since she "won" both states. But I did not hear it noted that Obama wasn't even on the Michigan ballot. Kind of important there, Joe. Anyway, what a mess. I'd be furious if my vote didn't count, but then again, the states broke the rules. Raise your hand if you think we need a better primary system.

Next up, we have a Candy Crowley piece on Clinton's big wins. So what did it for her? Well, that damn 3 a.m. ad is brought up again, as is Obama's seeming NAFTA blunder. Speaking of that, it seems Clinton has her own NAFTA problems. The piece also mentions the Saturday Night Live skits and I'm still floored by how much a sketch show seems to have influenced some of the press coverage. Pretty sad, actually.

From Candy's piece we move into a discussion with John King, David Gergen, Roland Martin, and Amy Holmes. The kitchen sink strategy is brought up and Anderson wonders if she has more stuff in her sink. This is a contact sport; she'll start throwing the pipes if she has to. The discussion then moves on to how Obama should counter those flying pipes and no one is without an opinion. Because you know, they're always so dead on with this stuff. Anyway, Roland wants him to smack around his campaign and then call out Clinton on her foreign policy experience. Amy thinks he needs to get specific. John King brings up the issue of toughness. Finally, The Gerg ponders whether Obama can throw a punch. Not like an actual punch, because, wow, that would definitely shake things up. We just love our fight metaphors.

On now to a Candy Crowley piece on what happened to Obama. Um, he lost in three states. That's what happened. But you see, this is cable news, and in this story's progression it is apparently time for the "Obama on defense" narrative. I mean, who really knows what happened? Maybe Clinton would have won those states no matter what happened this past week. We can't know for sure. After Candy's piece, we're back with our panel and we're played a clip of Obama claiming Clinton went negative. Yes, she did. But the republicans will be worse. Much worse. Barack might want to invest in a helmet. Amy, being a helpful little conservative, advises the Obama campaign to hit Clinton on the trustiness issue, urging him to ask about her tax records and where library donations are coming from. "I thought you were going to say library books. I was like, are we really at the level of library books?" asks Anderson.

I'd rather be at the level of library books than the level of skin darkening accusations, which is where we are right now. I put the ad and debate videos up next to each other and the ad is clearly darker. But given I have no video experience, that's the only observation I'm qualified to make and think (am hoping) it's likely there's a non sinister explanation. The fact that neither side has attempted to calmly get to the bottom of what might have happened (they're too busy shrieking at each other--and when I say 'they' I mean the supporters) is more than a little disconcerting.

Coming back from commercial, Anderson tells us, "I was just live blogging, and I think I misspelled something. But I was in such a rush, so I apologize to those online." Ha! Neurotic much? Well, obviously we now have to shun Anderson. What's funny is that people on the blog (even Erica, sort of), all start posting that they don't see anything misspelled and then Anderson gets on and says he thought he added an extra 'm' to a word, which he did not. But he did still misspell it and all the misspelling denials makes my internal editor go bonkers. Yeah, I'm one of those people that own a copy of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves." The ironic thing about that is I am so not one to talk. Hell, I don't even edit this blog (and my regular readers are now saying, "tell me something I don't know"). But I'd be lying if I said this massive 360 typo didn't eat at me. Do you see it? But anyway, it's okay Anderson. We know you're now doing more during your broadcast than you signed up for, so a little misspelling is to be expected. (Nobody tell him about the whole 'tonite' thing--don't want to make the poor guy self conscious, heh.) And uh, I promise this will be the most this blog ever discusses spelling.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Tony Blair the rat makes art. No, I'm not being political this time, it's an actual rat named Tony Blair. I don't get this. It's art made by a rat. A rat. And some of it's going for $3500. My question is where these demonstrably stupid people are getting that much cash to throw away on rat art. Must be inherited. The kicker here is this prim and proper woman very seriously explaining the art. Good lord.

Enough with the rats. On to John King's map board! Okay, the situation is as follows: even if Clinton wins, she can't win. Same thing with Obama. Well, that's just awesome. Because we want this to be as complicated as possible. So anyway, it looks like the superdelegates will have to come into play and a brokered convention could be likely. And I know this probably gives the media a newgasm, but if I have to watch the democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I will...well, basically I'll just be very bitter about it. I mean, what, like I'm going to punish them by voting for republicans? I don't think so. That's Glenn Beck logic.

Next up, we have a Dana Bash piece on Bush's endorsement of McCain. Funny story, McCain was late (feel the love!) and Bush was a bit early, so what did he do? He danced! Seriously. I know when I'm early to historic events my first thought is to bust a move as well. Actually, the act of sudden awkward dancing in an uncomfortable situation seems oddly familiar. Perhaps it's an affliction of people who got where they are due to nepotism. Anyway, Bush is standing by his man. But not too close--at least not when the independents are looking. Bottom line is McCain is getting broke and needs the prez here to dance for coinage from conservatives who still inexplicably love him. I guess in Washington, anybody can be your friend if they raise you money. Meanwhile, democrats are loving this. Look for 'McCain lurves Bush' ads come the general.

Back with the panel, The Gerg says people are misunderestimating (gotta gets some mileage out of the Bushisms before he leaves office) the benefits of a Bush endorsement. I guess we'll see. What follows is a lot of discussion on how Bush will help with campaigning and then they move on to how the democratic nominee will go after McCain. Roland thinks they should focus on the economy and that's good, but you know what? I say go Rovian (without the evilness, of course)--hit him on his supposed strength: the war. It's conventional wisdom that he's untouchable here, but any serious listen to his speeches on Iraq or the War on Terror will find vulnerabilities. One just needs to be careful of that war hero/POW minefield. Speaking of McCain and Iraq, Anderson doles out some praise to the senator for going to the country last Thanksgiving. Yes, seeing the situation for himself and visiting the troops is commendable, but let's not forget his previous trip, which was extremely political and shocking in its ridiculousness.

Before going to commercial, we get a preview of The Shot. "Yes, it's a streaking Australian, and no, it's not Michael Ware," says Anderson. You just know Michael has done some streaking in his day. And also? Michael is apparently the only Aussie we know. Anyway, Erica Hill has the headlines and then Anderson adds to them with the news that the creator of Dungeons and Dragons died. "I was a big Dungeons and Dragons geek. I admit it," says Anderson. So that's why he's so pale! Kidding. Kidding. So anyway, on to The Shot, which we know is an Aussie doing the full monty (yeah, I'm mixing my slang) at a cricket match and getting taken out by a player. "Look out for that wicket. Sticky wicket," says Anderson. Oh my. This has the potential for scandalousness. Mommas take your kiddies out of the room.

Erica then shows us another streaker, this guy thwarted by mascot Birdie the Bee. And Mr. Bee is quite proud of his accomplishment, expressing his joy by doing the worm. I think the worm is actually required after you take down a naked guy while wearing a bee costume. Oh, and Anderson points out that the tackle went right for the "bits and pieces." These kids, man. Anderson thinks they need a streaker on the program. (There's a fangirl joke here, but I'm not going to make it.) "Be careful what we wish for," says Erica. Anderson then jerks his head like there's a streaker behind him. Hey, that actually wasn't bad acting. The show was okay, but why only politics? Cover it, but it's not the only thing going on in the world. B-


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