"Did Al Gore Cry?"; "Use DeLay's Extremism" As a "Foil"; Gumbel: Ignore GOP Extreme and Follow McCain's Lead
2) Face the Nation hosts pounded away at Dick Cheney, pressing the winner to embrace Democratic policies. Gloria Borger suggested they and Democrats "write legislation together" while Schieffer dreamed: "Will there be a place where you will say to Democrats ....'You've had a better idea on this than we do'?" Schieffer urged Bush to "resist and isolate" conservatives.
3) Bush should "use DeLay's extremism and general awfulness and low popularity as a foil," argued Newsweek's Evan Thomas. Nina Totenberg of NPR and ABC: "The Republican Party is only going to really survive and prosper if it doesn't stiff the moderate wing of its party."
5) Gumbel to McCain: "Would you advice...George Bush, as he looks to the Senate, to look to the centrist coalition rather than to the conservative agenda of the extremes of his own party?" CNN's Schneider: "I'd argue that what Americans voted for with this closely divided result was, in a way, John McCain's approach."
>>> CyberAlert Countdown Calendar to the 1,000th CyberAlert. Today's is the 991st, so 9 to go. It all started with 22 subscribers in April 1996 with 122 CyberAlerts distributed that year. It jumped to 199 issues in 1997, rose to 207 in 1998 and dipped to 193 editions in 1999. Those years totaled 721 CyberAlerts followed by 270 as of today this year as primaries, conventions, debates and the Florida recounts fueled content.
we'll miss when CNN's Bernard Shaw retires in a few weeks. Shaw to
Gore Chief-of-Staff Roy Neel in a taped interview clip played during
CNN's 9pm ET/PT special Sunday night on Time's "Person of the
Year," George W. Bush:
Neel gave the politically correct answer: "Oh I'm sure he cried, how could you not..."
Matching liberal conventional wisdom, the Face the Nation hosts on Sunday pounded away at Dick Cheney, pressing the winning ticket to embrace the policies of Democrats and abandon any pretense of actually following through on any conservative campaign promises.
Bob Schieffer referred to "this enormous tax cut that George Bush proposed during the campaign" and insisted Cheney react to how "Tom Daschle said this morning, 'I can't think of anything that would divide this nation more than you pushing that tax cut at that size.'"
Gloria Borger suggested the Bush administration and Democrats "write legislation together" while Schieffer dreamed: "Will there be a place where you will say to Democrats....'You've had a better idea on this than we do, and we might take your position on this.'?"
Schieffer wrapped up the show by urging Bush to abandon conservatives: "By Wednesday night, he was clearly back in the middle, but already the 'my way or no way' crowd is trying to force him back to the right. If he is able to resist and isolate them, he will find a middle ground occupied by friends, allies and -- if I may say so -- most of the American people."
Here are all of the questions posed to Cheney by Schieffer and Borger on the December 17 CBS show:
-- Bob Schieffer: "It occurs to me that you are about to become what all Vice Presidents try to be, want to be, but never are. And that is a real force in the administration with a real job. It seems to me that -- from what I've seen so far, that you're going to be the chief operating officer of this administration with George W. Bush as sort of a chairman of the board. Is that a fair way to put it?"
-- Schieffer: "Well, let me ask you, I mean, you obviously are going to have to spend a lot of time up on Capitol Hill with this 50-50 Senate because you'll need to be there to break the tie on votes. But will you continue to play an active role in this administration as you have throughout the transition?"
-- Gloria Borger, in the only non-liberal question: "Mr. Vice President-elect, conservatives are watching you very closely. They're looking for signals that this administration is not going to desert them on issues like tax cuts, partial-birth abortion, anti-abortion rights. What would you say to conservatives right now about that?"
-- Cheney replied: "It's why we got elected. So
we're going to aggressively pursue tax changes, tax reform, tax cuts,
because it's important to do so, partly for economic reasons, partly
because we have this growing surplus and some of it ought to be
-- Schieffer: "Well, okay, let me just make sure I understand what you're saying here. You're saying you're still going to push the tax cut that George Bush pushed during the campaign because there have been other people who have said maybe it'd be a little easier to take that step by step."
-- Borger: "Mr. Cheney, with all due respect, the Democrats are saying that this administration cannot proceed as the Reagan administration did, for example, with a large tax bill because you don't have the mandate that a Ronald Reagan had. And it's not going to be good enough, they say, to cherry pick one or two Democrats here and there and get them to sign on to whatever tax bill you have. What they are asking for, in a lot of areas -- not only taxes but, say, campaign finance, education -- is to sit down with Republicans in advance and actually write legislation together. Would you be willing to do that?"
-- "Let me talk to you about just a couple of
specifics. For example, many of the conservatives in your party are saying
that the person who heads up Health and Human Services, that Cabinet
position, must be a pro-choice person. Will there be that, that pro-life
person. Will there be a litmus test on that?"
-- Borger: "Let me ask you about campaign finance reform. It is something that John McCain has talked about. He says that he's got 60 votes for it right now in the Senate. If that bill passes, that McCain-Feingold bill, would George W. Bush veto it?"
-- Schieffer: "Let's talk about some of that conventional wisdom. You mentioned the conventional wisdom is that George Bush is going to put some Democrats in the Cabinet. How many and is that likely?"
-- Schieffer: "The Washington Post, in a piece this morning, posed an interesting question. They said that somewhere along the way, will there be a place where you will say to Democrats -- in an effort to bring people together to work together -- where you will say to them, 'You've had a better idea on this than we do, and we might take your position on this.' Can you think of any issue that might arise like that?"
-- Borger: "John Breaux has said he's willing
to work with you in the administration as somebody in the Senate, but he
won't join the Cabinet. There seemed to be a lot of bitterness on the part
of a lot of Democrats. Are you having a difficult time getting Democrats
to serve in the Cabinet that you've asked or to serve in top levels in
Schieffer's end of the show commentary portrayed
the primaries through a liberal prism and urged Bush to "resist and
Advice from journalists for George W. Bush, conveyed for free by Inside Washington: He should "use DeLay's extremism and general awfulness and low popularity as a foil" since "the Republican Party is only going to really survive and prosper if it doesn't stiff the moderate wing of its party" and so it should embrace Whitman and Ridge.
On the syndicated Inside Washington show over the weekend, carried by many PBS stations and WUSA-TV in Washington, DC, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas advised Bush from the left: "You know what he ought to do is a Sistah Souljah. He ought to use DeLay's extremism and general awfulness and low popularity as a foil to show what a man of the center he is and stiff DeLay. Why not?"
Nina Totenberg of NPR agreed the key to Bush's success is embracing "moderate" Republicans: "I think his hardest problem really is that the Republican Party is only going to really survive and prosper if it doesn't stiff the moderate wing of its party and if Tom Ridge and Christie Todd Whitman are being vetoed, which they are already by certain segments of the Republican Party from positions in this administration, it doesn't bode well for the future."
Thomas soon repeated his point: "There are two ways to deal with the right here. One is he can let himself get dragged down by them and essentially have what little chance he has of success fail because he kowtowed to the right, or he can use the right as a foil, push off against them, go to the center and get something done."
Kowtowing to the right defines failure to the media.
Speaking of the "awfulness" of Tom DeLay,
you can now view the December 14 CBS Evening News wanted poster-like
graphic which announced "BEWARE" above a picture of Tom DeLay
with this below:
MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has posted a picture of it:
Check it out and you can decide if it looks more like a wanted poster or an old style campaign poster.
The media will play up any and all strategic differences expressed by Republicans. A good example: How the networks have all jumped on Dennis Hastert backing off of Bush's "enormous" tax cut as evidence of eroding support for it.
Friday night on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather announced: "Stress cracks are forming within Republican Party ranks over the Bush's plans for a big across-the-board tax cut. CBS's Phil Jones has been looking into what this may bode for the new President and the Republican agenda in Congress."
Jones picked up on how
"the Republican Speaker said he wasn't ready to give his blessing to
any huge Bush tax cut."
"Conservatives, remembering how they rammed through the Contract with
America, are mounting another $5 million to $10 million public relations
blitz to make sure Republican leaders in Congress don't cave in to
Jones concluded: "Right now, congressional Republicans and Democrats appear to be getting along. But the big question is, can the Republicans keep the peace in their own family?"
CBS's Bryant Gumbel and CNN's Bill Schneider exhorted Bush to ignore conservatives and adopt the non-partisan and "centrist" McCain model of governing.
Friday morning on CBS's The Early Show, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed, Bryant Gumbel pushed McCain to denounce conservatives:
-- "Why have you
decided to join this centrist coalition?"
Last Wednesday, December 13, on CNN's Inside Politics, Bill Schneider first proclaimed as fact: "For the first time ever, the United States Supreme Court decided who would be President by a narrow, highly partisan majority."
Then Schneider proceeded to warn in the analysis
caught by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Bush has to decide how he
intends to govern. Conservatives were amazingly patient during this
campaign. But now Republicans will control the White House and both houses
in Congress for first time into nearly fifty years. There will be pressure
on Bush to press a conservative agenda. But that's not the way Bush
Judy Woodruff asked him: "Bill, are people
voting for a new breed of nonpartisan somehow?"
If McCain was so popular why didn't he win?
From the December 15 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Items on George W. Bush's To-Do List." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Get fitted for an intern
Even when the target is Bush comedians can't avoid some last digs at the Clinton era. -- Brent Baker
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