Gosh, when we say we missed the morning shows, we really missed the morning shows! Substitute morning reporter Mac deals with the fallout of Election Day 2004. Highlights: Craig Crawford thinks Nebraska is like Palestine, McCain predicts Dems in Bush cabinet, Begala loves negative campaigns, and Katie's kids need more chores and we all need some sleep.
Good morning! Second-stringer Mac Rogers here, under strict orders from your usual morning reporter Dan Kois not to make any allusions to “all the ships at sea” in the first paragraph. This morning’s debate: what will Bush Term 2 (hereafter BT2!) be like? Argument seems to boil down to He’ll Cater To Morals Moms Vs He’ll Go Center To Protect His Legacy. Secondary debates: 1) Does Bush Have A Mandate? And 2) What Did Kerry Do Wrong?
7:05 CNN. American Morning.
Head vs. Head: Lisa Caputo, former Press Secretary for Hilary Clinton says Bush must be moderate and conciliatory on account of the 48% who voted for the other guy. Ed Rollins, GOP Strategist, says Bush can basically do whatever he wants. Caputo: But what about his legacy? Both heads are boring as snot but Rollins at least has some substantive advice: watch the first BT2! Budget for indicators.
7:11 CBS. The Early Show
Harry Smith interviews Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly, who tips Alberto Gonzalez for Rehnquist replacement and suggests a Senator to replace Powell: "It's always good to appoint a Senator because other Senators will respect him." Really? That works? Do they currently respect each other? Smith: does Bush have a mandate? Crawford: Well, he didn't really give any policy specifics, so it's hard to know exactly what a mandate would be for. Then Crawford attempts to compare Red America to India and Blue America to Pakistan, and Smith says, "Maybe you do need some sleep."
7:13 ABC. Good Morning America
John McCain's on, looking ex-freakin-HAUSTED. What will Bush do now? McCain hits war on terror, Fallujah, but makes special mention of immigration reform. Is that really on Bush's plate, or is McCain sliding it in there himself? Biggest eye-raiser: "You're gonna see Democrats in the Cabinet." Is this guy on message or really tired or what? Rules out cabinet-post: "I'm already not Miss Congeniality in the Senate."
7:19 NBC. The Today Show
Matt Lauer interviews Tim Russert. Why can't I get a fun interview? It's my first day, bitches! I mean, here's their conversation, basically:Lauer: Kerry was so moving in his concession speech! Why didn't he speak from the heart like that before?What am I supposed to do with that? (Also, can you imagine the '08 Donkey Primary, full of earnest wonks desperately trying to tear up by thinking about their kitten that got put to sleep that one time?)
Russert: It's true. Democrats will have to start sharing their emotions.
7:23 FNC. Fox & Friends
Hot softball-pitcher E.D. Hill interviews a lawmaker from either side of the aisle on the "What Now?" question. Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) sets the smart tone of almost-but-not-quite cocky: We're gonna get LOTS of things through, especially now that that obstructionist Tom Daschle is gone. Next up is staggering drone Harold Ford Jr (D-Tennessee), who actually makes repeatedly shooting himself in the foot boring. He reacts to the news that most Americans voted on "morals" to be his cue to insert the word "moral" into every sentence. His party has a strong moral core, but now they need to incorporate that moral core into their legislation so it can be moral. Hill: When are you gonna stop putting up these leftist candidates? Ford actually begins his answer with: "If we hope to become a national party again…." Wow. Dems, want to win elections? Keep this guy off the air.
7:23 CNN. American Morning.
Soledad O'Brien interviews Paul Begala, who looks bizarrely happy. He quickly explains why: This was a negative election, and that's great for me – I'm on Crossfire! He makes the case for negative politics: This election had unprecedented turnout, right, but in '96, when two colleagues who respected each other ran a gentlemanly campaign, numbers were lowest in decades. Begala, on a roll, asks a sharp question: If Bush won on abortion and gay marriage, what exactly is he going to do about that now, policy-wise? Soledad asks: "How are the Dems assessing the day after the day after?" I dare Soledad to keep asking this same question every morning for a month, adding another "the day after" each time.
7: 38 MSNBC. Imus In The Morning
I enjoy how Imus interviews unflattering photos of people. CNN reporter Jeff Greenfield says the Bush camp spent the last four years "mobilizing the ground troops," meaning the morals voters. Hits the refrain of the morning: "Dems don't get it." Agrees with Kevin Drum over at Washington Monthly that the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision on gay marriage was, in hindsight, the most important event of the campaign.
7:43 NBC. Today.
Woman vs. Woman! Mythical beauty Naomi Wolf says Kerry didn't properly use the moms around him, particularly the moms, to be a mom-friendly candidate. (Oh crap, we're gonna meet everybody's mom in '08, aren't we?) Charmaine Yoest, rather plainly described as a "Conservative Political Analyst," says there's now a new paradigm for women voters. They're not feminists anymore, they're values-moms. Yoest, despite a dreadful passive-aggressive giggle, scores all the points here: when Kerry was asked about his wife in debate 3, he talked about his mom. Wives don't like that. Everyone watching TV with me went "Hmm…" Wolf tried to get back to substantive issues after that, but it was Yoest's Wife v. Mom riff that stuck in our heads.
7:50 ABC Good Morning America.
I think they're doing a country music Mad Lib. Yep, that's what they're doing.
7:52 MSNBC Imus In The Morning
Photo Of Greenfield still on! Imus has just finished substance questions, so he asks Greenfield how he's doing. Greenfield says he's about to do a bit of traveling, and Imus says "Whoah! Too much information!" Then he says "Jesus loves you," and Greenfield replies, "In my neighborhood, that usually means the guy delivering the Mexican food." I'm not kidding. This conversation actually transpired.
7:56 FNC Fox & Friends
Donald Trump is on, and how I wish this was a political interview instead of a book plug (Think Like A Billionaire by Donald Trump), because then I could tell lots of jokes about the fact that the Unabomber is clearly standing directly behind Trumps right shoulder in the studio window, hood and all.
8:07 MSNBC. Imus In The Morning
Craig Crawford, fresh from being a person on CBS, is now an unflattering photo on Imus. Legacy vs. serve right-wing base comes up, and Crawford says "There aren't many conservative historians, so Bush needs to go to the center if he wants to preserve his legacy." Really? I'm not being snarky, I'm actually asking: there aren't any conservative historians? Crawford also says, "Bush was smart enough to act dumb. This is an anti-intellectual country." Imus again asks his guest how he's doing. Crawford says: "Stressed. I've gotta write a book."
8: 15 NBC. Today
Katie Couric and Dr. Phil! The doctor briefly pretends to address What Kerry Did Wrong, "People read the headlines, sure, but mainly they're worried about their families." He then plugs his book on families, which makes the argument that every member of a family needs to feel integral. Couric says, "I should give my kids more chores." Phil says most juvenile delinquency is between three and seven. It took me a second to realize he meant PM, not "years of age."
8:25 FNC Fox & Friends
Head vs. Head: Sascha Burns, Dem Strategist, vs. Mike Gallagher, conservative talk-show host (since age 17, we're informed). Gallagher's smug, forceful, and winning if you like that sort of thing, but Burns is a disaster. Interviewed by satellite, she actually looks above the camera when she's talking. Do the Dems really suck this bad, or does Fox put effort into finding these people?Will Bush be conciliatory?
Gallagher: Dems need to be conciliatory!
Burns: I guess we need our own evil genius.
Gallagher: It's like Le Mis: do you hear the people singing, Sascha?
Burns: I hate the French!
8:37 CNN American Morning.
I actually welcome sobering material. CNN national security consultant Ken Robinson talks about Al Qaeda's next moves, mainly boiling down to: They're gonna want to hit US economically, and that will determine attack site.
8:39 MSNBC Imus In The Morning
Close out with Imus, interviewing unflattering photo of Presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Imus asks Photo of Beschloss what he does with his hair, and then apologizes for the question. Beschloss hits all the morning's topics: says celebrities hurt Kerry way more than they helped, says Bush's heart really isn't in banning gay marriage, says Bush probably isn't stressing too much about legacy ‘cause he thinks he'll be proven right in 20 years like Reagan.
OVERALL: Republicans dominate. From this morning you'd think Paul Begala was the only competent liberal in the world. Message of the day: Legacy? You'll know what my legacy is when I TELL you what it is, bozos!