Rare Moment of Truth
“There’s also the press out there. There’s an establishment press — which is just as establishment as the establishment of the Democratic Party — who can’t wait to write that fawning piece, ‘Here come the Clintons again.’”
— Hardball host Chris Matthews prior to the New Hampshire primary talking about the obstacles facing Obama’s candidacy, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 7.
Victim of Sexist Double-Standard
“Is there a no-cry zone for politicians, for female politicians, especially for Hillary Clinton?...From this woman in particular, who remains stoic publicly even as her emotional world caved in, who has cultivated such an image of strength and invulnerability, it was a surprise that just might pay off. And people are still talking about it this morning. We’re here at a polling station, and it’s so fascinating when you are the first woman to make a serious stab at the presidency, every move, every emotion is fraught and scrutinized.”
— ABC’s Claire Shipman, Good Morning America, Jan. 8.
”Last week the campaign launched...a new Web site called ‘The Hillary I Know.’...As I looked at it, it’s terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, ‘They like me, they really like me.’ And I wonder if there’s not a double standard? I don’t see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?”
— ABC’s Cynthia McFadden interviewing Hillary Clinton on Nightline, December 19.
Hillary Clinton: “You know, I don’t really care about any of the hits that people make on me. It’s, that’s fine. I can’t control it. They can say whatever they want.”
Correspondent Cynthia McFadden: “There’s never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you’re in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, ‘I just, this just hurts too much?’”
— Exchange later on the same show.
Real Hillary Is Lovable Fuzzball
“While her critics assail Clinton as overly calculating, up close the Senator and former First Lady is natural, confident and warm....I think she relates a lot to young people. She has a daughter, you know, who’s young, so I think she really connects to young people.”
— Co-host Meredith Vieira talking about her interview with Hillary Clinton, NBC’s Today January 2.
Beware Voters’ “Inherent Racism”
“What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America’s inherent racism?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to Barack Obama in a December 20 interview on Good Morning America.
The Cure for “Despised” America
“Barack Obama, on the eve of Iowa, is the very name tonight, the very statement, the very being of the word ‘change.’ If I sit here tomorrow night reporting that he has won the Iowa caucuses, the world will hear it and the world will be stunned, because the United States of America, despised by so many for lording it over the world these days, for dictating regional solutions by virtue of our military power, will be saying, ‘No more.’ No more of invading countries. No more dictating a war-Americana. No more, ‘Our way or the highway.’ No more Bush Doctrine. No more Bush.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, January 2.
“If he [Obama] wins tonight, that’s the shot heard ’round the world. This is Lexington and Concord with the target being not King George but President George this time.”
“There’s no way to read it except as a rebuke to President Bush....I think the world will be very happy to hear this.”
“He’s a man of the world....You know, I’ll bet there’s not a Peace Corps volunteer in the country who served in the Peace Corps in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s or recently that won’t vote for this guy. He is so emblematic of our attempt, I think, to rejoin the world.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about Barack Obama’s Iowa victory during live coverage, January 3.
Putting Their Objectivity Aside
“There is no getting around it, this man who emerged triumphant from the Iowa caucuses is something unusual in American politics. He has that close-cropped hair and the high-school-smooth face with that deep saxophone of a voice. His borrowings, rhetorical and intellectual, are dizzying. One minute he recalls the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his pacing and aching, staccato repetitions. The next minute he is updating John F. Kennedy with his ‘Ask not what America can do for you’ riff on idealism and hope....Such words mine a vein of American history that leaves more than a few listeners misty-eyed.”
— New York Times reporter Michael Powell in a January 5 news story about Obama campaigning in New Hampshire.
Swept Up by the Dream Machine
“Inside Obama’s Dream Machine; An icon of hope, he won’t ‘kneecap’ his foes. But Obama knows what it takes, and how to win.”
— Headline and subheadline of Newsweek’s January 14 cover story on Obama.
“On the bus ride along the snowy road to Lebanon, New Hampshire, I showed him this week’s Newsweek, hot off the presses. [to Obama] How does this feel, of all the honors that have come your way, all the publicity?...Who does it make you think of? Is there, is there a loved one?”
— NBC’s Brian Williams on the January 7 Nightly News.
Huckabee vs. “Hateful” Pro-Lifers
“The conventional wisdom says [GOP candidate Mike] Huckabee is only attractive to evangelicals, and so what he is trying to do is what George W. Bush did in 2000. Take his faith and be able to say, ‘Now let me be compassionate when it comes to the economy, when it comes to education, when it comes to health care. Sure, I’m a staunch pro-life person,’ but he isn’t perceived as being hateful as other people who are pro-life.”
— CNN contributor Roland Martin on CNN Newsroom, January 4.
Only GOP Voters Are Extremists
“The Democrats are moderate. Only about 16 percent of them call themselves ‘very liberal.’ There’s a cliche that only liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans show up. That’s half true. Republicans are very conservative. Almost half of them say they are ‘very conservative.’ But Democrats are pretty moderate voters.”
— CNN political analyst Bill Schneider describing voters during live coverage of the Iowa caucuses, January 3.
Castigating Romney’s “Ignorance”
Clip of Mitt Romney at campaign event: “When I watch John Edwards from time to time get up and talk about two Americas, I’m tempted to, well, offer an expletive like ‘baloney,’ because, you know, we are one America!”
ABC’s Chris Cuomo, to Romney: “Let’s talk about this. You’re talking with [about] Edwards there about how two Americas versus one. Let me ask you about that. When you say ‘This is one America,’ that could be a unity statement or it could be one of, perhaps, ignorance to the fact that in this country you have the rich growing at ten times the rate as the working class. Do you deny that that’s the situation in this country?”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, January 3.
Gore’s “Moral Obligation” to Run
“The President of the U.S. can better shape the response to climate change than any other person in the world. Given the importance of this issue and the fact that you have emerged as its global spokesman, don’t you have a moral obligation to put yourself forward for the presidency?”
— Time’s Bryan Walsh in an interview with former Vice President Al Gore, who was runner-up in the magazine’s December 31 “Person of the Year” edition.
Chicken Little Journalism
“It’s such a polite, unthreatening word: ‘adapt.’...Although some adaptations will be modest and low tech, such as cities establishing cooling centers to shelter residents during heat waves, others will require such herculean efforts and be so costly that we’ll look back on the era beginning in 1988, when credible warnings of climate change reached critical mass, and wonder why we were so stupid as to blow the chance to keep global warming to nothing more extreme than a few more mild days in March.”
— Newsweek senior editor Sharon Begley in the magazine’s year-end December 31/January 7 issue.
Toss ’Em Over a Big Wall
ABC’s Chris Cuomo: “Now, Gianna, for you, immigration. You’ve been naturalized. You’re now here a naturalized citizen three years. But it’s a big issue. Everybody wants to put up a big wall and then find who’s not supposed to be here and throw them over that wall. But what is your perspective on that?”
Gianna, an Iowa voter supporting Hillary Clinton: “Okay. I think that, one, it’s not going to work....”
Cuomo: “But for a politician, you want that red meat. You want to be able to be strong and we want them out!”
— Interviewing various Iowa voters on ABC’s Good Morning America, January 3.
Still Beating Impeachment Drum
“It’s time for Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney — so says George McGovern, the Democratic Party’s 1972 candidate for President....Quoting McGovern here, ‘Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses....Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world.’...In fact, McGovern says that the case against impeaching the current President and Vice President is far stronger than was the case for impeaching President Nixon.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty setting up his question of the 6pm EST hour on The Situation Room, January 7.
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