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Mitchell Hails Success of 'Obama Doctrine,' Palin's Wallace-Like Appeal 'Does Frighten Me'

As the lone journalist on Sunday's Meet the Press roundtable (with Newt Gingrich, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick), NBC's Andrea Mitchell insisted the "Obama Doctrine" has "borne fruit," but "it is not perceived yet" - though the President has already "united the world behind the United States."

Citing all those who "camped out" for the Sarah Palin book signings, Mitchell denigrated her appeal as evidence of how "they are so hungry for a symbol for anyone who can give them answers" it shows "there's an anger out there" she hasn't seen since George Wallace in 1968. And that, she maintained, "is the angry populism which is not fact-based, it's just furious at everybody; angry at Democrats, at Republicans." (Apparently, favoring conservative policies and rejecting liberal big government spending is "not fact-based.")

Ruing "the tea party has higher numbers in our last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll than either of the other traditional parties," Mitchell, NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of MSNBC's weekday 1 PM EST hour, declared that "does frighten me." While she acknowledged "this spirit of America is so large and embracing," she feared "there is an angry subtext because of economic dislocation that is very, very worrisome."

Two of Mitchell's expositions on the Sunday, December 27 Meet the Press in a segment recorded before Christmas:

♦ I think the doctrine of engagement, on which he campaigned, has borne fruit, but it is not perceived yet. I mean, what he has done is united the world behind the United States. I'm not going to predict that the security council's going to move in an aggressive way, but they are doing things. The financial - what the Treasury is doing on some of the banking systems, through Dubai and other places against the Iranian elites.

There is more divergence of opinion now in Iran than there was a year ago, and so we have to see whether that regime collapses in and of itself. The Speaker [Newt Gingrich] is correct, it is the biggest single threat, I think, that we face. But the Obama Doctrine, I think, is to be solid militarily, but not be aggressive and internationalist in that sense that we think of the Bush doctrine.

....

♦ What I noticed when I was out covering Sarah Palin when she was out on the book tour, at 4 and 5 and 6 in the morning on freezing days, when people had been out for hours, camped out with their kids because they wanted to see her, they are so hungry for a symbol for anyone who can give them answers. And in this case, she was just signing books. But there's an anger out there, and I have not seen it since my very first campaign, which was 1968 and George Wallace. And that is the angry populism which is not fact-based, it's just furious at everybody; angry at Democrats, at Republicans.

The tea party has higher numbers in our last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll than either of the other traditional parties. And that is what I think this news cycle which you referred to is feeding into, and that is what does frighten me. This spirit of America is so large and embracing, but there is an angry subtext because of economic dislocation that is very, very worrisome.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center