Yesterday, while doing my cardio at the gym, I looked up to see the Obama re-election campaign’s top political strategist David Axelrod on his John King’s program where the Democrat offered his “assessment of the GOP presidential contenders“. I followed the conversation briefly, but Axelrod’s insights seemed so banal, more bromides than analysis, that I returned to my book which was (far) more more engaging.
I wondered if anyone on CNN had ever invited Karl Rove onto their program in 2003 to offer his assessment of the Democratic presidential contenders in that cycle’s contest. (When I read the transcript today, Axelrod’s words confirmed my initial analysis, more bromidic than insightful.)
Commenting on the debate in this morning’s WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription), Paul A. Gigot wonders why the candidates agreed “WSJ.com’s Political Diary “to those terrible, demeaning ground rules”. They had only 30 seconds to respond to the questions, with the “formate” thus making them, in Gigot’s words, “all look smaller and less informed than most of them are.” Given CNN’s bias, perhaps that was the goal.
I don’t expect we’ll ever seen a Democratic candidates’ debate on FoxNews which offers far less slanted coverage than does CNN.
In their eagerness to prove that they are in touch with the cool kids and social media they cranked out a debate format which was heavy on technical razzle dazzle but restricted the candidates to clipped, canned sound bites which mostly wouldn’t be long enough for a quick attack ad during campaign season. This format should be abandoned immediately and never rear its ugly head again.
*In the interview, Axelrod did deliver this whopper, “This president was scrutinized, more perhaps than any candidate ever had been.” (More on this anon, especially as it relates to the recent media frenzy upon the release of Governor Palin’s e-mails.)