Friday, January 04, 2008

Rachel Maddow: Hillary Apologist and Obama Basher

By J. Thomas Duffy

"...I see a lot of shades of George Bush as a candidate in what we’re hearing from Obama ... I think that Obama learned a little bit about how to campaign from what George Bush did. I hope that he would be, of course, a better president than Bush has been though ..."

Who's paying Rachel Maddow's salary, MSNBC, Air America Radio, or the Hillary Clinton Campaign?

The Liberal/Progressive's rising media darling was wearing her Hillary on her sleeve last evening, late into the coverage as a panel member on the MSNBC broadcast of the post-Iowa Caucus discussions.

When you Google "Rachel Maddow", you (or at least my search provided) get 192,000 results.

Looking over the first 100, there's nary a negative word about Ms. Maddow, not even from the Freakshow denizens, Dittoheads, or the Sludge Reports' flying monkies.

And if she is a Hillary fan and supporter, God bless her, but was it part of her assignment with MSNBC last evening to bash Dem Iowa Caucus winner Barack Obama?

Rachel Maddow as Obama Basher

From the MSNBC transcript;

OLBERMANN: Rachel Maddow, the subject of strong views. Did not the strong views get us the president we have as well? Is there not fire to be played with in that category.

MADDOW: Well, it’s interesting. I actually feel like although I like Obama a lot more than I like George Bush as a politician and I guess probably as a person, I see a lot of shades of George Bush as a candidate in what we’re hearing from Obama. In that what Obama’s actually offering are fairly liberal policies, but spoken in language and delivered in a style that’s very moderate and that’s actually kind of post partisan in tone.

We don’t think of George Bush’s presidency as having been that way. But as a candidate, that’s exactly what he was. He was proposing very conservative policies, but in a conciliatory, compassionate, post partisan, can’t we all just get along kind of way. And that’s why people I think maybe ended up surprised at the way he governed. I think that Obama learned a little bit about how to campaign from what George Bush did. I hope that he would be, of course, a better president than Bush has been though.

Whoa, there girl!

Obama is Bush?

If fellow panel member Pat Buchanan said it, you would, well, brush it off, knowing what a whack-job Buchanan is.

And even being cautious about over-praise, being it was only one night, one event, but tying Obama to Bush?

Did the Hillary Campaign hack into her earpiece? Was she reading off the next morning's Hillary Campaign Talking Points?

Because, before she bashed Obama, you could see the hair on her neck rising, when host Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and other panel members were talking in tones of Hillary being finished.

Rachel, The Hillary Apologist

MATTHEWS: This country moves in a strange pattern. In 1870, we gave African-Americans, men, the right to vote, at least in the Constitution. Obviously Jim Crowe got in the way of that for 100 years. But it was written down into law, the amendment to our Constitution, African-Americans, former slaves, will be voting citizens of the United States.

Women got to vote, which is always interesting, 50 years later. So there’s something perhaps primordial about the willingness of this country to at least, in theory, extend the franchise, the presidency, even, to an African-American rather than a woman. That is the interesting question mark that this Hillary Clinton campaign raises.

Let’s go to the panel with this hot potato, starting with Rachel Maddow.

Rachel, and then Howard, I want you, and Pat, and, of course, Gene Robinson, all of you from your different perspectives, what is it about America that here we are in 2008, finally picking an African-American with a real shot to be president of the United States, and a woman just got a very bad night in Iowa?


MADDOW: I think that you’re calling this a really bad night for Hillary too early. I think that we need to see how close it’s going to be. And if ultimately the results are a three-way tie or look close to it, or Barack Obama wins tightly, that’s a story. I think it matters.

I don’t see this as a huge rejection of Hillary if she doesn’t come in with a big win, honestly. I know you see it differently.

MATTHEWS: You mean, the fact that two-thirds of the Democratic Party voted against her isn’t a rejection?

MADDOW: Two-thirds of the Democratic Party will have voted against all of the candidates if it comes in as a three-way tie, Chris. That’s the point.

The issue, if it comes out it’s a really close race, it’s going to be close heading into New Hampshire as well. And I think we discount that at our peril.

If Barack Obama, as you guys are projecting is going to be the winner, I think that’s the America we all want to live in. I think it’s an amazing day for the country and it’s great. I don’t know if it means that he gets the nomination ultimately, but it’s an exciting, historic day for the country.

OLBERMANN: Let me throw something in from the decision desk. Edwards and Clinton are in, just apropos what you’re saying, Rachel, a very tight race for second in the race for the state Democratic delegate equivalent. Those are the numbers we’re seeing so far.

And again, NBC News has projected, as you heard, Barack Obama as the winner of this Iowa caucus at 36 percent. Those other numbers are as close as you would suggest they would be, 31 percent and 31 percent.

MATTHEWS: But Howard—well, Rachel, I’ll go back to you so you can have a response here.

From the beginning of this year in the polling we’ve noticed that Hillary has been ahead of Obama all year. So she can’t claim to be somehow a comeback kid or someone who, you know, somehow never had a chance. She had a big chance in Iowa and she’s lucky to get second.

MADDOW: No, I think it may be a more comfortable place for her to be running from, to be able to say, I’m fighting for this, and to maybe play the gender card in a big way, to say we have got to fight in order to get a woman in the White House in a way that she couldn’t have played that way had she been in an inevitable front-runner. So, I mean, I think it’ll be real interesting to see how the Clinton campaign responds to this. They’re going to have to come up with something creative, but it’s not the worst position for her to be in.

Funny, I missed the PR this morning, from the Hillary camp, telling us how thrilled they are, going into New Hampshire in five days, from a third-place finish in Iowa.

And I didn't see Big Bill, on camera, extolling how coming in third-place in Iowa was the best strategic way for his wife to start off on getting the nomination.

It has been reported that Ms. Maddow has received a tryout from MSNBC (she's been appearing on the network with greater frequency the past few months), for a possible show, possibly replacing the He-Man, Tucker Carlson

If that is the case, please, someone at MSNBC, take away the HRC pom-poms before she goes on-air.

(Cross Posted at The Garlic)

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  • Wow, DJT, you and I usually agree, but I didn't get that from Maddow. As I matter of fact, during my posting spree last night, this is what I said after hearing the second exchange you quote: "And, P.S., Rachel Maddow on the panel for MSNBC rocks. She's throwing Matthews' conventional wisdom right back at him. She is impressive."

    Matthews is brutal to Hillary, absolutely brutal. Trust me, I'm no Hillary fan, but I just felt Maddow was trying to bring him back down a bit. Not because she's on Hillary's payroll, but because, if Maddow is anything, she is fair.

    By Blogger creature, at 10:21 PM  

  • Say Hey Creature

    Thanks ...

    We may have a Rashomon thing here ... I didn't see her comments as attempting to tether Matthews ... He's a buffoon and goes off on buffoon tangents (especially on the longer broadcasts)and that shouldn't be news to her, or any of the other panel members ... It appeared to me she didn't like the Hillary bashing and was getting her Jones on ... If it was just that, okay, but a short time later taking the swipe at Obama, it seemed to me that she stopped being a pundit and had her advocate shoes on ...

    Thanks again

    By Blogger 13909 Antiques, at 7:01 AM  

  • Regardless of the disastrous presidency that is GWB, he was a pretty good campaigner, more so in 2000 then in 2004. He said a lot of the right things that made people care and listen to him (after all he did "win"). So I am not sure I see the problem here. She never said Obama is Bush. She said that he campaigns like him. Which is not exactly the worst thing in the world -- (damning with faint praise, perhaps).

    Yeah Hillary was leading in the polls, then they tightened...and this is unusual because? Yes Hillary came in third, but just barely. Has anyone noticed that Hillary actually has MORE delegates coming out of IA than either Obama or Edwards. That being said, it was a somewhat stinging loss for Hillary, and she has to play her A game to win NH on tues., but it is not the end of the world ("the worst position for her to be in"). She is leading by like 20 points in both CA and NY, nearly 1/3 of the total delegates needed.

    So tell me again how she is on HRC's payroll? Come on. You sound as bizarre as Matthews did and his anti-Hillary tirade.

    By Blogger Geographic Unknown, at 5:11 PM  

  • Bush fooled a lot of people and got to be president. I hope we are not in for another round with Obama

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 PM  

  • Say Hey Other One

    Granted she didn't actually say the words "Obama is Bush" but, gesh, do you need her to draw a picture? She was clearly defending Hillary and painting Obama with the Bush brush ... I don't believe it was intended to be a compliment ...

    And if you caught her on Dan Abrams last evening, she appeared to be under a bit of pressure, like she has been catching heat for her comments, as she came out, right off the bat, stepping away from "I'm not in Hillary's camp", sheepishly being defensive about it ...

    And, technically, Bush didn't win in 2000. The Supreme Court appointed him President (Gore did win the popular vote) ... And there were a boatload of GOP shenanigans in Ohio, in 2004, that were most suspect (and, I believe, are continuing to be investigated).

    Bush (& Co.) may or may not be great campaigners, but there sure are terrific voting riggers ...


    By Blogger 13909 Antiques, at 7:17 AM  

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