The Sunday Morning Talk Shows: The Review


On ABC’s This Week, David Axelrod guffawed that McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns. Next up, Rudy pointed out that the Joe Biden selection was one made from weakness. Hillary was the obvious choice, he said, her having received half the votes in the Dem nominating contest.

On FOX News Sunday, Governors Bill Ritter of Colorado and Tim Kaine of Virginia advised Barry to keep doing what he’s been doing. (I wish Ritter, a Western governor, had advised him not to “shoot the horse that brung yer,” but he didn’t.) Next up, Obama campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed Joe Biden’s bizarre scheme to divide Iraq into feuding, ungovernable bits, pin a sheriff’s badge on someone, and leave in this manner: “Everybody’s had a lot of different strategies.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, w/Tom Brokaw, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg said that she thinks and hopes that Obama’s selection of Joe Biden is as good as her father’s selection on Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1960. Nancy was next. She called Joe Biden, in a nice way, a “disruptor.” She declared that Congress’ 14% Gallup approval rating was simply because they have not ended the war, for which she blamed Bush. She accused President Bush of misleading the American people into believing that drilling offshore would instantly lower the price of gasoline, and Brokaw told her that the American people understand that it won’t. Nancy’s willing to consider offshore drilling as part of a comprehensive package, she said, if oil companies are willing to “pay royalties to the American people.”

Sebelius, Rendell, and Jackson Junior on CBS’ Face the Nation. Rendell thinks that both Joe Biden and Hillary are ready to be President. Sebelius thinks Joe Biden understands “working class issues.” Jackson sees Barry with the chance to be the next Martin Luther King, uniting the party and the country with his acceptance speech.

On CNN’s Late Edition, Representative James Clyburn of North Carolina said that Joe Biden’s “clean and articulate” remark was not at all racial, and host Wolf Blitzer chimed in that Joe Biden has an excellent record on race relations. Next up was Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, campaigning for McCain in Allentown. When asked if he could debate a master like Joe Biden, Pawlenty described Barry’s veep pick as “very long-winded” and suggested that whomever McCain picks would do fine against Joe Biden.

The Review is, of course, beneath the old.AXELROD ON TW. United convention, George, we’re going to have a united convention. First up for host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week was Obama’s political strategy mentor, David Axelrod. Axelrod said that the real focus of the campaign is going to be how we cannot afford four more years of the same policies. He laughed that McCain said that the economy was strong but doesn’t know how many houses he owns.

Stephanopoulos asked him if he had selected Joe Biden to be Obama’s veep because he thought that too much emphasis on change was too risky. No, asserted Axelrod. Biden was chosen for his “wisdom,” which he then described as having gone through tragedy in his life and having been born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Steph pointed out that three in ten Hillary supporters were not backing Barry. Axelrod said that this is okay, as the “gap is closing.”

What if it rains on Barry’s speech Thursday night? Axelrod said that he does not see “any clouds on the horizon.”

Steph did not ask if people could paint their faces and wave those foam Number One signs.

RUDY GIULIANI ON TW. Steph’s next guest on ABC’s This Week was Rudy Giuliani. Steph opened the segment by playing Joe Biden’s debate line about how unqualified Rudy was to be POTUS, how every sentence he speaks has a noun, a verb, and 9-11. Rudy graciously called Joe Biden his friend and talked about legislation on which they’d worked together.

He said that the problem is Obama, not Joe Biden. Joe Biden, he said, was chosen from weakness, to shore up the areas where Obama is lacking. (That’s what Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, admitted on FNS. See below.)

Giuliani said that Hillary was the obvious choice, having received half of the Dem vote in their nominating process.

KAINE AND RITTER ON FNS. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter were first up for host Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday, in the FNC box in the nosebleed section of Denver’s Pepsi Center (no Coke). United convention, Chris, we’re going to have a united convention.

Governor Ritter said that Joe Biden was a great veep choice for Obama, because his foreign policy and national security experience helped to round out the ticket. It was a tacit admission that such things are lacking at the top of the ticket.

Wallace brought Joe Biden declaring Obama not ready to be President – played the clip – and talked about it being used in attack ads. Governor Kaine said that “they can run any attack ad they want,” but Joe Biden understands the plight of average Americans. He came to this understanding, Kaine said, “growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania.”

Wallace asked if Hillary’s angry supporters will be “bought off” by the Obama-thrown sop of letting her give a speech and a roll call vote. Kaine said no, but they will be bought off by the speech itself. And by Bill’s speech the next night.

Ritter’s advice to Obama is to “keep talking about change.”

Kaine’s advice: “Don’t get off what got you here.”

ROBERT GIBBS ON FNS. No, not one of the Bee Gees. Robert Gibbs is an Obama campaign spokesman, and he said that they will have a united convention, Chris, we’re going to have a united convention.

In Obama and Biden, he said, we have two people with the judgment to lead this country, with “unparalleled foreign policy experience.” (Barry has none; Joe Biden wants to divide Iraq into autonomous bits, pin a sheriff’s badge on someone, and leave.)

The Joe Biden quotes about Obama being unprepared to be President, etc., are dated and old, and John McCain is “behind the times on Iraq.” Everyone, even the White House, has adopted Barry’s plan of a responsible, strategic exit from Iraq on a timetable, he said. Wallace asked him about Joe Biden’s plan to break Iraq into autonomous, ungovernable, hostile bits, and Gibbs gave the ultimate answer: “Everybody’s had a lot of different strategies.”

Gibbs admitted of Joe Biden: “We didn’t hire him for his stunning good looks.” (I’ve heard Joe Biden’s charisma mentioned as one of the reasons he was selected, but Gibbs was stayin’ alive.)

United convention. I already mentioned that.

McCain’s new ad, the one using Hillary’s word about Barry and emphasizing that he passed her over as even a veep possibility, is “demonstrably false,” according to Gibbs. I’d like to see him demonstrate it, as those were Hillary’s own words! She’s there, on vid!

Oh, anyway, Gibbs accused McCain of listening to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. A lot of people do, Robert Gibbs, but McCain would have received several earfuls by now if he were one of them.

CAROLINE ON MTP. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, co-chair of Obama’s veep search committee, was moderator Tom Brokaw’s first guest on this morning’s Meet the Press, and she can think of nothing more important she could be doing than helping Obama pick a veep. She said that she’d do Obama commercials if asked.

Talking about the veep selection process she ran with Eric Holder, she said that it was exciting and there were a lot of qualified candidates, but “Joe Biden was absolutely… um, the best.” (No, she didn’t hesitate much when saying it.)

She said that this is about the values for which the Democratic Party stands. Barack Obama stands for such Dem Party values as “how to change direction in this country.” She said that Joe Biden has the “experience and relationships to help him [Obama] govern, both domestically and around the world.”

She said that Tom Brokaw’s name came up.

She thinks their choice of Joe Biden is as good as her father’s selection on Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1960.

Brokaw played the McCain commercial in which Joe Biden talks about Obama (unqualified) and McCain (would be great) and asked Caroline if she was aware that Biden had said these things at a debate before she selected him. She did not answer, instead prattling about Joe Biden knowing John McCain and thus being bi-partisan.

NANCY ON MTP. Nancy is the chairwoman of the convention. She likes the choice of Joe Biden, as Joe Biden is a champion of “personal security.” Crime bills, etc. She said that Obama is the “full package,” but Joe Biden brings “balance.” She said that anyone who knows Joe Biden knows that he is a “disruptor,” because he drives home to Delaware every night and is not a part of the Washington establishment.

Brokaw pointed out that Congress was an issue, and he pointed out that the latest Gallup poll showed that “only 14% of Americans expressed their disapproval” of Congress. Nancy corrected him: only 14% approved of Congress. But Nancy laughed at this poll result. He wanted to know if Congress would be a burden on Barry, and Nancy explained that people do not approve of Congress because they have not ended the war. She blamed President Bush for this.

Brokaw said that he was surprised that a poll showed that 57% of Americans surveyed by Gallup blame Congress for the high oil prices, up there with the 58% who blame price gouging by the oil companies. Nancy protested that people blame the Administration and the oil companies more than they blame Congress. She said that we have to increase the supply of oil to bring down prices, but she added that drilling offshore will not decrease the price of oil. She said that they can talk about drilling, “if it will work,” but also about renewable. And she said that the President must not “fill the strategic petroleum reserve.”

She said that the oil companies owe the American taxpayers royalties for the oil they domestically drill.

Nancy said that drilling offshore will lower the price of gas by two-cents in a decade. She will put drilling on the table, but it won’t pass unless the oil companies can prove that it is worth it and are willing to pay royalties to the American taxpayer.

Nancy said that Bush was misrepresenting offshore drilling by telling consumers that it would instantly reduce the price at the pump. It won’t. Brokaw asserted that “most people understand that.” So if we understand that offshore drilling is not an instant fix, but Nancy insists that we don’t know that, who is misrepresenting what, Madame Speaker?

3 DEMS AND BOB ON FTN/ Host Bob Schieffer, broadcasting from the Pepsi Center (no Coke), talked to Kathy Sebelius, Ed Rendell, and Jesse Junior Jackson. They were seated in folding chairs on a stage. United convention, Bob, we’re going to have a united convention.

Schieffer played a clip from a Katie Couric interview with John McCain, who said he felt that Barry had “made a very wise selection” in Joe Biden: “a good friend and a good man.”

Ed Rendell thinks that both Joe Biden and Hillary are ready to be President and speak well for the “working class, middle class voters.” He pointed out that Hillary has a better relationship with a larger segment of voters, but he called Joe Biden: “Harry Truman-like.”

Jackson pointed out that instead of making a “cautious choice,” Obama had chosen a “skilled operative.”

Schieffer continued to tweak on the Hillary thing, playing McCain’s commercial about Hillary not being on Barry’s ticket because she spoke the truth about him. Sebelius said that women around the country will see Obama’s “compelling record.” Joe Biden was big on “working class issues.” Sebelius called it “disingenuous.” Rendell said that the ad will have a “three-day lifespan,” as Hillary is going to “blow it out of the water” with her speech.

Jackson said the convention is about making the party stronger and focusing on John McCain.

Sebelius thinks Hillary’s done a “spectacular job” of moving her supporters to the Obama camp, and that Hillary and Bill support Obama “wholeheartedly.”

Schieffer pointed out that Barry hasn’t done well with “lower income Democrats.” Rendell said that Barry has to talk about “economic issues,” pointing out that Barry would give them a larger tax cut than would McCain.

Jackson said that election is “about George Bush and four more years of the same.” That’s what we’ll hear from the stage, he said.

Back from a commercial, Schieffer pointed out that McCain still hasn’t told anyone how many houses he has. He played a clip from the Katie interview with McCain, and McCain expressed gratitude for a wonderful life, mentioned not having a kitchen for a few years, and talked about his wife’s father – from whom she received her inheritance — who struggled, served in the military, returned, and succeeded. He listed his homes and pointed out that the others were “for investment purposes.” Schieffer asked Sebelius about this, and she said that McCain was out of touch. She said that John McCain does not feel that the American dream should be open for everyone. Jackson said that we don’t want McCain to have an “eighth kitchen table” – the White House – and McCain doesn’t know which key to use in which lock for which home. Rendell said that McCain is “so out of touch” and that everyone is doing poorly.

Schieffer asked if Obama would have to go negative like McCain has been doing. Rendell said that they will fight on the issues because they are right on the issues.

Jackson said that Obama must, at this convention, “rise to the cause of history.” He said that Obama, in his speech, must do what Martin Luther King did. Millions will be watching, he said, and Obama must unite the party and the country.

CLYBURN ON LE. Live from the Pepsi Center (no Coke). Representative James Clyburn of North Carolina, host Wolf Blitzer’s first guest on CNN’s Late Edition, said that Biden’s clean & articulate remarks was not a bad thing, he was just complimenting Obama. Host Wolf Blitzer added that Joe Biden has a ‘excellent” record on race relations.

Gloria Borger, reunited with Schieffer, asked Clyburn if Hillary had been slapped and dismissed. Clyburn said that they would be a united party. Blitzer asked if Hillary’s roll call would divide the party, and Clyburn replied that it could unify the party. If Clyburn had his way, he’d have only the roll call which nominated Obama. Clyburn said he’s unsure if the Hillary people are having trouble getting over it.

United convention, Gloria and Wolf, we’re going to have a united convention.

Clyburn said that there will be a comprehensive energy plan on which the Dems’ will vote this year, but he wants no up-or-down vote on offshore drilling alone.

PAWLENTY ON LE. Next on LE was Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Not in Denver, the Republican Pawlenty was fed there by satellite from Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he was campaigning for John McCain. Wolf asked Pawlenty if he were ready to debate a Scranton native in Joe Biden. Pawlenty replied that whomever McCain selected would be better for Pennsylvania than Barack Obama/Joe Biden.

Pawlenty said that the selection of Joe Biden was an admission that he lacks foreign policy experience.

Pawlenty described Joe Biden as “very long-winded” and thinks anyone McCain picks will be able to hold their own against Joe Biden.

Wolf asked Pawlenty if he were ready to be President of the United States. Pawlenty replied that this would be John McCain’s first priority in selecting a running mate.

The governor mentioned that Obama had pointed out that people in small town Pennsylvania are bitter and cling to their God and their guns, which shows he’s out of touch. Wolf countered that McCain didn’t know how many houses he has. Pawlenty said, “Give me a break.” He listed John McCain’s solutions to middle class problems. He reminded that McCain Obama has his own housing problems.

= = = =

The two main things hammered into my consciousness by this morning’s shows were that the Democrats are going to have a united convention and Joe Biden is from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

This will be an incredible show of unity… between Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio then on through Mississippi, and Georgia, and Texas… YEAAARRRRGH!

Have at it.