Tucker Carlson Says Media Has Pushed Obama’s Sizzle, Not His Substance

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carlson msnbc twn.jpg
I have some real concerns about the hype about Barack Obama. On the other side of the equation, I have concerns about some of the decisions that Hillary Clinton made in matters of war and peace — and her emphasis on “coercive diplomacy” rather than the broad range of diplomacy and statecraft that needs incentives and a sense of tipping point dynamics more than military muscle.
But Tucker Carlson in the following comment was honest about media complicity in selling Obama’s sizzle but not engaging him on ideas, policy proposals, and the strengths and weaknesses of his proposals.

TUCKER CARLSON: I think this all increases the pressure on Barack Obama to be an actually good candidate in the general and an actually good president if he’s elected. Who is Barack Obama, though (laughs), we’re gonna have to stop and ask ourselves that question when the buzz wears off, don’t ya think?

This is more an indictment of the media than of Obama. Carlson and his colleagues should be kicking the tires of these candidates based on contrasts in issues and policy proposals.
But Carlson’s comments — as true as they may (or may not) be — show that this election process is still very flawed.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “Tucker Carlson Says Media Has Pushed Obama’s Sizzle, Not His Substance

  1. Will Bower says:

    Here’s the letter I’ve just sent to MSNBC:
    Dear MSNBC,
    If anyone were to have asked me three months ago “What is your favorite television network?”…
    I would have said “MSNBC”.
    If anyone were to have asked me three months ago “What is your favorite television show?”…
    I would have said “Hardball”.
    If anyone were to have asked me three months ago “Who is your favorite anchor?”…
    I would have said “Keith Olbermann”.
    Today, I can say none of those things.
    You have become for Barack Obama what Fox News used to be for George W. Bush.
    You have been doing to Hillary Clinton what Fox News did to Al Gore.
    Most amazing to me of all is that I now have to *turn* to Fox News to get fairer election coverage.
    So, without further ado, goodbye MSNBC. I would like to say I’ll miss you, but I’m not sure that I will.
    Your former fan,
    Will Bower
    Washington DC

    Reply

  2. Kathleen says:

    Jacek and susan.. thanxx so much for the valuable info in your posts.. I learned a lot from them…
    carroll… not have been permitted indeed… might just be enough for me to go for Obama when push comes to shove.
    Tucker is a dweeeeb and I just want to twang his bow tie even though he doesn’t where one anymore.

    Reply

  3. flo says:

    I think what he means and what you, steve think, is that people try to be obama the guy they want him to be and they put him as a symbol of a new america and a new policy , something one person cant reflect nor archieve alone.a society needs maybe to change. one person cant change,even so everybdy can amke a change, true.
    hes beginnig to be a messias which he not is, even though hes a good politican, which hillary is too. i find the primaries from a distant perspective more and more confusing.
    It makes me actually worry more and more about whats gonna happen in the real elections….or better afterwards. Or put it like this: I hope that the candidates no matter who its gonna be, gonna add some more reality into the presidential campaign. Not so much wish and would !but at the end, compared to the last campaigns its already a much more realistic one, to stay positive.
    good luck america.dont vote change make change
    greetz from the old europe.flo

    Reply

  4. flo says:

    I think what he means and what you, steve think, is that people try to be obama the guy they want him to be and they put him as a symbol of a new america and a new policy , something one person cant reflect nor archieve alone.a society needs maybe to change. one person cant change,even so everybdy can amke a change, true.
    hes beginnig to be a messias which he not is, even though hes a good politican, which hillary is too. i find the primaries from a distant perspective more and more confusing.
    It makes me actually worry more and more about whats gonna happen in the real elections….or better afterwards. Or put it like this: I hope that the candidates no matter who its gonna be, gonna add some more reality into the presidential campaign. Not so much wish and would !but at the end, compared to the last campaigns its already a much more realistic one, to stay positive.
    good luck america.dont vote change make change
    greetz from the old europe.flo

    Reply

  5. Nobcentral says:

    I’m not convinced that the perceived “lack of details” surrounding Obama’s platform resonates with the public. This is part of the problem with the blogosphere – it doesn’t accurately reflect the general, uninformed slogan driven public. For better or worse, this is how democracy functions. We get taglines – “hope” vs. “experience” – and people vote largely on that level. I have yet to see any evidence that this dynamic is going to change anytime soon – no matter what Mr. Bowtie says.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I heard on the news yesterday that that shrew Pelosi is “leaning towards Obama”. Now tell me, why would Pelosi abandon the AIPAC and arms industry Queen, Hillary, for Obama??? Such an endorsement causes me to trust Obama even less.

    Reply

  7. susan says:

    I read this yesterday: It was published in Business Week:
    Obama vs. Clinton: Leadership Styles
    http://tinyurl.com/2tx4yn
    His approach of visionary leadership is appealing but risky. Her health-care reform managerialism already has been proven ineffective
    by James O’Toole
    The virtual dead heat in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary is being attributed by the punditocracy to the absence of any significant policy differences separating candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The two nonetheless have drawn clear distinctions between the ways in which they each propose to govern the nation, and those differences sound a lot like a rehashing of past debates about opposing styles of corporate leadership.
    Senator Clinton (D-N.Y.) argues that the role of the President is not only to provide visionary leadership outward from the Oval Office to the nation and the world but also to control and direct the federal bureaucracy downward to ensure that policies are carried out faithfully and effectively.
    In sharp contrast, Senator Obama (D-Ill.) declares he will do the chief executive’s job by focusing completely on providing leadership vision, judgment, and inspiration. As for controlling the agencies that would report to him, he says he will delegate that responsibility. He pledges to stay above the managerial fray and, instead, hold agency heads fully accountable for the performance of the bureaucracies in their charge.
    On one level, these visions seem to reflect a Carteresque tendency to micromanage (Clinton) and a Reaganesque organizational nonchalance (Obama). But each candidate is actually putting forth a well-reasoned philosophy of leadership, and their distinct approaches have implications for their respective abilities to deliver on the changes the majority of the nation seems to desire. From the vantage point of a business school professor, what is particularly striking is that the two candidates clearly articulate competing theories of leadership that have been the focus of much scholarly research over the last several decades; what I’ll refer to as the “managerial” and “transformational” approaches.
    Textbook Exercise
    As Clinton reminds us, she has actual experience in the practice of the former. As head of the health-care reform initiative during her husband’s first Administration, she conducted a near-textbook exercise in managerialism. She closeted for months in the White House with an impressive team of technocrats who thoroughly reviewed all the relevant data about the U.S. health-care system, analyzing various and opposing views about what should be done to improve its performance, and bringing forth a highly detailed national health-care plan. In assembling that complex plan, the technocrats included ideas from numerous, conflicting ideological and professional camps, assuming what they each would need to have in the plan in order to support it.
    But instead of building a consensus for change, this exercise actually created deep dissatisfaction among all the relevant constituencies needed to enact the proposed legislation. By deciding what these players required without involving them in the process, the technocrats built resistance to the very changes they proposed. The result: gridlock and, subsequently, a dozen years of a worsening health-care crisis.
    It is noteworthy that while claiming the mantle of experience, Clinton has not spelled out what lessons she learned from this lost opportunity. Based on the detailed policy positions the wonks on her campaign staff have put forward on every conceivable national issue, it would appear that she is still of the managerialist persuasion.
    That’s not surprising. After all, managerialism was, until relatively recently, the dominant school of thought in the corporate world as well. Influenced heavily by the quantitative techniques developed by Robert McNamara’s Whiz Kids at the Pentagon and Ford Motor (F), it was promulgated at the nation’s leading B-schools and, in the 1970s and ’80s, led not only to the wide-scale practice of management science in business organizations but also to the creation of large, centralized planning staffs and the top-down leadership methods known collectively as “change management.”
    Micromanagement Misfires
    As attractive as it once may have seemed to put the best and brightest technocrats in the corporate driver’s seat, managerialist approaches seldom worked well in practice. In particular, top-down efforts to micromanage corporate change have proved almost totally ineffective. An impressive body of research and well-documented case studies of large corporations reveal few instances in which a CEO successfully transformed an organization by preparing detailed blueprints for change and then directing the implementation of those plans downward through the ranks.
    Instead, when successful transformations have occurred, it has almost always been the result of leaders who offer inspiring visions and values, identify clear goals, and then provide the context and opportunity for those below them to participate in the design and implementation of the actual business of change. That’s why, in general, leaders of large corporations have moved away from top-down “planned change,” and, instead, adopted a values-based, decentralized approach to organizational transformation.
    And that brings us to the kind of President that candidate Obama proposes to be. As a student of U.S. Constitutional history, the senator’s philosophy seems to have been influenced by some of the few words the founders ever wrote with specific regard to leadership. Significantly, they confined their remarks to the task of visionary leadership and were silent on the issue of management.
    In The Federalist, James Madison wrote that the nation’s leaders need to listen intently to the expressed desires of the public, but should not be prisoners to the public’s literal demands. Instead, leaders in a democracy should “discern the true interests” and common needs of the people and then “refine the public view” in a way that transcends the surface noise of pettiness, contradiction, and self-interest.
    Common Values
    To appreciate what that means in practice, it is worth reading Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 “New Nationalism” speech. Delivered in a Kansas cornfield, T.R. addressed the specific and legitimate interests and needs of industrialists, farmers, financiers, laborers, small business owners, and conservationists, showing equal respect for each of their competing values and claims.
    But he didn’t stop there. Roosevelt then elevated the discussion by offering a transcendent vision of a good society that encompassed those conflicting values in a way that each group alone was unable to articulate from their narrower perspectives. He thus showed the nation the way forward by identifying the overarching values the disparate, warring special interests had in common, creating a compelling vision of a better future than one that could be achieved by continuing conflict.
    What Roosevelt did not do is spell out the particulars of how that would be done. Instead, he outlined the basic conditions under which it could be done. He realized the key to implementation was the involvement and participation of all the relevant constituencies. This values-based approach to leadership is particularly appropriate when followers are deeply divided by ideology, religion, and ethnic backgrounds, as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Vaclav Havel each demonstrated in complex situations during troubled times in their respective homelands. Corporate leaders have also discovered that this approach is the most effective way to lead complex organizations in turbulent environments.
    What kind of national leadership does the U.S. need in the next four years? That is what voters must ultimately decide in the remaining primaries and in the final test in November. On the one hand, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated that she has experience using the managerialist approach. On the other, it is uncertain whether Barack Obama is capable of transformational leadership because it is not something that can be practiced in a deliberative body like the Senate. And all history tells us is that occupants of the Oval Office either rise to the challenge or they don’t. It is never known in advance if an untested President will turn out to be a Roosevelt or a Harding.
    Hence, betting on a candidate’s ability to provide transformational leadership entails an element of risk. Yet, judging from what we’ve seen in both the national and corporate arenas, there’s a relatively high degree of certainty that managerialist leadership is unlikely to achieve the deep changes for which the nation’s voters are calling.
    James O’Toole is Distinguished Professor at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, and author of Leading Change and The Executive’s Compass. He was formerly executive director of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, and executive vice-president of the Aspen Institute.

    Reply

  8. KOJ says:

    Carroll,
    “If I was offered a guarentee of performance
    that went like this…….Hillary will “use the system” to give you what you want and Obama will “change the system” to give you what you want….I would go for the change”
    Good point… but exactly HOW would Obama “change” the system???? To me it all boils down to this!

    Reply

  9. JohnH says:

    Dan: great comment. Why indeed doesn’t Steve root out differences in candidates’ foreign policy positions and keep his readers informed about foreign policy developments instead of venturing off into foreign territory (domestic politics)? For starters, how about reporting on rumors that Bush released the NIE in exchange for Iran stopping its support of the Mahdi Army?
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jNGTi8innuNtfLDtI4kYglMAOmPAD8UOT6F00

    Reply

  10. Jason says:

    Great comment, Dan. You need to start a blog.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    The ant colony is in a tizzy running to and fro on Obama and change.
    Iraq comes home: the war of ideas, by Philip WeissFebruary 12, 2008
    In Jerusalem, American Jewish Leader Frets Over Obama, ‘Change’ Agenda, Ron Paul, and Walt & Mearsheimer
    The greatest newspaper in the world, Haaretz, reports that Malcolm Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, said in Jerusalem that he is concerned by all the calls for “change” in the U.S. presidential campaign. Change from what? he asks; it could open the door to all kinds of “mischief.” I.e., questioning Israel policy. He senses that people who are drawn to Obama and Ron Paul are anti-Israel.
    Israel’s support is stronger than ever politically, Hoenlein reports, but he is concerned that the support is “thin” and a lot of Americans now see Israel as “dark and militaristic.”
    Hoenlein said that Israel’s supporters should be worried by… “the greater tolerance of anti-Israel statements that wouldn’t have been allowed in the past.” He singled out the Walt-Mearschimer [sic] book on the Israel lobby, that “has become a bestseller and a college textbook” and said that there “is a steady poisoning of the elites, mainly on campuses that could trickle down.” He also mentioned Republican candidate Ron Paul, saying “he is openly anti-Israel…”
    Note that Hoenlein and Marty Peretz disagree sharply, at least for public consumption, re Walt and Mearsheimer’s success. Marty says–also in Haaretz–that the publisher lost a lot of money and it’s a warning to others not to go there and no one is taking the book very seriously. Hoenlein says it’s a bestseller and everyone is going there now and it’s poisoning us elites.
    Gentlemen, get your talking points straight!
    Also note that Hoenlein says that certain anti-Israel statements “wouldn’t have been allowed in the past.” Good point. Like you weren’t allowed to even say that you thought Israel was “dark and militaristic.” That’s called censorship.

    Reply

  12. Linda says:

    Dan said it all very well. But Larry King did contribute something Monday night when he interviewed Michelle Obama. At this point in the campaign though I already was for Obama and like his wife, I was very impressed by her as a very intelligent, fair-minded, open, and classy woman who would make a great First Lady.

    Reply

  13. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, I think what you’re really complaining about is not the process, but democracy itself. This race has been going on for close to a year now, and I’m fairly sure that the campaign set some sort of record for debates. Policy details were dragged up and down the aisles for months for those who took the time to watch the debates. And for experts the campaigns produce position papers on every conceivable topic. Candidates spend at least a year getting a foothold by appealing to high-information, politically active voters and elites with lots of discussion of policy details. When the candidates were anxious for as much exposure to the politically active as possible through much of 2007, just about anyone could interview them or submit specific questions to the campaigns and get very specific answers from someone. I’m guessing that if you had asked Barack Obama to author a blog post in early 2007 that addressed a specific list of foreign policy questions, he would have jumped at the chance to answer your questions and reach your audience. You seem very good at putting together events and policy confabs, so I’m sure you could have worked with his campaign to produce something substantive.
    But in every election there are a large number of people who don’t pay much attention at all, tune in right near the end, and decide matters on a more superficial basis. They are moved by broad themes and emotional connections, not details about matters they have neither the knowledge nor curiosity to evaluate. This is not some sort of glitch in our process, but something inherent in our democracy. It’s been a complaint about democracy from at least the time of Plato. It just seems to go with the territory. The mass media is made for those passive people, but it is expected that well-educated, intellectually curious and self-directed active learners like yourself will seek out more sophisticated information from different sources.
    As campaigns move into the homestretch, the work on these lower-information voters becomes more important, and the “sizzle” factor comes more and more into play. Obama is skilled at both substance and sizzle; Clinton has the substance down, but not so much sizzle. What I’m hearing now from a lot of the Clinton supporters is “sizzle-envy”. Obama has more charisma than their candidate and they resent it. So they try to take out their revenge by claiming that he is all flash and no substance. But anyone who does a modicum of research on his history and stated positions knows this is not true. In fact, it seems to me Obama has been much more forthcoming than Clinton on the foreign policy detail. Whenever the discussion turns to some politically touchy topic, Clinton tends to employ one of the classic dodges: that she is going to appoint a select bipartisan committee to decide the question so will not take a position now; or that she doesn’t want to “tip her hand”, because presidents play their cards close to the vest, etc. These ploys allow her to remain conveniently non-committal.
    But we certainly could use more discussion of foreign policy in this campaign. You’re the foreign policy guru, aren’t you? Instead of spending your time collecting insider horse race gossip from your contacts and regurgitating the emailed spin people send you, why don’t you do more homework on the foreign policy positions of the respective campaigns, and present us with a point by point analysis? What do you expect, that in the middle of a campaign directed at 300 million people Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will book a weekend of television time to broadcast The Steve Clemons Seminar, where they will discourse at length on the issues of particular importance to you? Don’t be part of the problem – excessive attention to flashy horse race factors – and then complain about the process.
    If you have seen that liitle boy Tucker Carlson and his giggling, gibbering sidekick in their TV tree house, you know that he is an intellectually lazy frat house fool. If someone doesn’t know an awful lot about what these candidates think by now, they shouldn’t blame the messenger, who is after all only a finite human being with a finite amount of time to communicate; they should blame themselves for not doing their homework. Barack Obama has written two serious books – one a detailed autobiography far more literate than most of the usual trash we get from a campaign – in which he has laid out a fairly comprehensive world view, and these writings have been supplemented by articles in journals like Foreign Policy, piles of position papers and hours of interviews and debate responses. It’s all out there; but don’t expect Chris Matthews of Larry King to dig it up for you. That’s not what those guys do.

    Reply

  14. TokyoTom says:

    Steve: Yes, this election process is very flawed. The MSM seem uninterested in issues, and so do the candidates.
    Who is paying any attention to the FISA cave-in by Senate Dems (and Republicans, who also have Constitutional duties and instituional prerogatives to protect)?
    For that matter, what issues are you paying attention to?
    Glen Greenwald’s last post on FISA shows how thoroughly that the establishment owns both parties.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Tucker and his neocon father, currently sitting on the imfamous FreedomWatch board, are two of a kind. Tucker thinks his remarks are clever, he doesn’t realize how transparent his motives always are.
    I objected to Obama’s lack of details from the begining but I have to say he has improved in that department. A friend just mailed me Obama’s “Blueprint” document. I haven’t read it yet,but she says it’s pretty detailed.
    Just from listening to both Obama and Hillary I don’t see them much different on issues, just on how to implement their plans.
    If I was offered a guarentee of performance
    that went like this…….Hillary will “use the system” to give you what you want and Obama will “change the system” to give you what you want….I would go for the change.

    Reply

  16. jim miller says:

    mr. Steve,
    Perhaps when shilling for the HRC campaign it might be wise to use a credible heavy, rather than the bow tied buffon….
    Not sure which part of the national primary has encouraged any canidate to lay down substantive policy….if I am mistaken than I look forward to being enlightened as to when HRC or Mack have done so….
    Perhaps the HRC campaign strategy/financial management are the examples you are citing when refering to her ready on day one mantra when you pose these carefully crafted Obama rhetoric…
    Many times I have enjoyed your foreign policy insights, especially when providing in depth insight into great minds like Zbig and others of his ilk….Obama clearly has done a masterful job of choosing his advisors….
    Do you think your obvious HRC shilling cheapens yourself, especially when your archives provide so many examples of Obama’s leadership capabilities?

    Reply

  17. JamesL says:

    Tucker Carlson, for all his work, effort, effectiveness, and service to the American people, deserves a long, well deserved vacation in lower Andelusia. Very long. Or maybe it’s the American people who deserve a long, loooong vacation from Tucker, who really should be smoothing ice rinks somewhere. Not to cast aspersions on ice rinks.

    Reply

  18. Jacek says:

    Here are some of my favorite initiatives:
    (1) Working for nuclear non-proliferation and securing loose stockpiles of conventional weapons, like shoulder-fired missiles. http://obama.senate.gov/press/070628-obama_lugar_sec/
    (2) Passing “the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet”. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011901456.html
    (3)Passing a bill that created a searchable database of recipients of federal contracts and grants. http://www.usaspending.gov/
    (4) Proposing legislation on avian flu back when most people hadn’t even heard of it.
    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:s969is.txt.pdf
    (5) Working to make sure that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were screened for traumatic brain injury and to prevent homelessness among veterans. http://www.intel-dump.com/posts/1198681812.shtml
    (6) Fought a proposal by the VA to reexamine all PTSD cases in which full benefits had been awarded. http://obama.senate.gov/issues/veterans/
    (7) Tried to ban no-bid contracts in Katrina reconstruction. http://thehill.com/the-executive/obama-and-coburn-revive-effort-to-stop-no-bid-fema-contracts-2006-09-14.html
    (8)Introducing legislation to criminalize deceptive political tactics and voter intimidation. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/opinion/31wed1.html?ex=1327899600&en=c679ec9ead061531&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss
    (9)Introducing a tech plan – http://lessig.org/blog/Fact%20Sheet%20Innovation%20and%20Technology%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
    There are also important attempts to like:
    1. My favorite effort is the one told by the Guantanamo lawyers who related to us that Obama was there walking the halls and trying to round up votes to restore Habeas Corpus. Note that when the lawyers said others did nto help, I believe that was a backhanded slap at Clinton. However, I don’t how much she did or did not help in the effort.
    2. Senate Bill 433, introduced in january 2007, named the “Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007”
    In a nutshell, Obama has proposed a lot of well-thought and well-drafted legislation. Furthermore, he tries to attach a moderate Repub senator to cosponsor to get he bill passed.

    Reply

  19. CTown says:

    People are hungry for change in the status quo, and see Obama as an opportunity for a fresh start. I seem to recall people feeling the same way about Bill Clinton, who the was the “roll of the dice” in 1992.

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  20. JohnH says:

    Steve, maybe you should look at Obama’s history to get a measure of his character and his perspective on things:
    1) His Iraq War Opposition, a courageous stand taken at the height of Bush’s War on Dissent. He seemed to get the Iraq problem right years before the beltway crowd, many of whom are still clueless.
    2) His community organizing experience, which suggests that he gets the problems ordinary people face and is willing to do something about them.
    http://organizer.wordpress.com/2007/02/27/barack-obama-community-organizer/
    3) His experience with his mother’s cancer and her “being more concerned with paying her medical bills than getting well.” That resonates with most Americans’ and their fears about this disastrous, profit driven medical system. Again, the man seems to get it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aR3Gpsn4v4
    4) His cross-cultural upbringing suggests that he would have a much broader worldview than the parochial Texan occupant of the White House. He might actually be able to engage foreign countries and conduct negotiations that take their legitimate aspirations into account as well as our own. Again, the man seems to get it.
    Do Hillary or McCain have comparable experiences to show that they have any gut feeling at all for what’s really bugging Americans? Or are they just driven by Big Money?

    Reply

  21. Beth says:

    Seems to me that Senator Obama has plenty of substance–but I have to say that the level of substance desired by Steve Clemons is certainly much greater than most of the electorate wants. Most regular people believe Obama will do okay because he’s demonstrated good judgement.
    And I like the speech he’s giving now in Madison about “changing the game” in DC. I really think Obama’s history in analyzing power relationships is being applied to our current situation and he’ll do as well or better than Clinton.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Sorry Steve. Didn’t mean to rain on Annie and her kincritter’s parade. But gads, I despise this current batch of slime in DC!

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, I guess I could vote for this paper mache media sensation, Barack Dun Nuthin’ Obama before I could vote for Hillary. Why in God’s name would anyone vote for Hillary after what she pulled today???
    And seeing as how Fienstien is in my neck of the woods, may I take this opportunity to say…
    Go screw yourself, Feinstein. Twice. With a fire hydrant.
    http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2008/02/retroactive-immunity-was-passed-31-67.html
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008
    Retroactive telecom immunity was passed, 31-67. Roll call here so you can see who the traitors were
    Update
    Here’s the full roll call vote.
    The fight now moves to conference and the house. Tell the House to reject telecom immunity!
    Tell House Members to Stand Firm Behind the RESTORE Act! and reject the Senate’s Lawless Immunity on FISA

    Here’s the rough count below. Official roll call to follow. Here’s a partial spoiler: presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is among the betrayers.

    FISA Vote Tallies: Part II
    February 12th, 2008 ·
    The Dodd/Feingold Amendment 3907 to strip retroactive immunity from the underlying SSCI bill just failed, 31-67. 51 votes were needed to pass.
    Voting with the Republicans were the following eighteen Democrats (again, rough count):
    Bayh, Inouye, Johnson, Landrieu, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Stabenow, Feinstein, Kohl, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, Carper, Mikulski, Conrad, Webb, and Lincoln. Joe Lieberman also voted against stripping retroactive immunity.
    Not present and voting was Senator Hillary Clinton, the only presidential candidate serving in the Senate to miss the vote.
    Before the vote, Senator Dodd raised a very interesting point that I haven’t previously seen discussed. Three out of of four congressional committees that looked at FISA reform legislation were opposed to retroactive immunity. The Senate Judiciary, House Judiciary, and House Intelligence committees all rejected retroactive immunity for the big telecoms. Only the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence supported retroactive immunity. Yet because the SSCI version of the FISA reform legislation was the underlying bill, we’re stuck with RI coming out of the Senate.

    Reply

  24. Jeff says:

    I second CTown on this. I have watched every debate and am pretty on top of the newspapers and blogs. To my knowledge, the level of discussion with Clinton hasn’t been very different than that with Obama. The LA debate was perhaps the most substantive head to head, and Obama certainly held his own.
    There have been less publicized discussions with Obama (the one-hour interview in Nevada, where he put out the Reagan thesis, for example) that have been very substantive.
    Tucker’s quote may ring true to some, but it unfairly puts emphasis on Obama, when Clinton hasn’t been questioned any harder than Obama. In this way, isn’t Tucker (and you, too, Steve) falling for the Clinton slogan on experience?
    Which brings me to my biggest question to Clinton – just what is her wealth of experience? She ain’t no Biden or McCain in term of resumes. What is her experience?

    Reply

  25. SomeCallMeTim says:

    **the following comment was honest about media complicity in selling Obama’s sizzle but not engaging him on ideas, policy proposals, and the strengths and weaknesses of his proposals**
    Is the claim that HRC or McCain have been so engaged? To the best of my knowledge, the most tire kicking has been done on healthcare, and to the Obama plan. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I don’t see a whole lot of difference among the discussions of the various candidates’ stands on “the issues.” My suspicion is that people claiming otherwise are kidding us or kidding themselves.

    Reply

  26. CTown says:

    Tucker Carlson should not even be on the air. I challenge anyone to provide me with an example of where he has shown insightful, thoughtful commentary on any issue. His only qualifying attribute, so far as I can tell, is to be the son of Richard Carlson.

    Reply

  27. tomj says:

    Why is it so hard to ask a real question? Actually when does Tucker ever ask a real question? He asks loaded questions, so that the answer doesn’t even matter. The problem is thinking that something is a real question, just because according to the rules of the English language, it is a question.
    Tucker doesn’t ask questions. His goal is to raise doubt on Democrats in general and the media, in general. It is called a two’fer.

    Reply

  28. Sue says:

    Steve,
    You’re working too hard tonight. Time for Oakley & Annie pictures!!! The Weimaraner just won Best of Group at Westminster. Woo hoo!

    Reply

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