May 31, 2006
Hillary Clinton: Dead Candidate Walking?By Noel Sheppard
For Hillary Clinton and her terminally unfaithful husband, last week must have seemed like a Wes Craven version of an old musical comedy reworked and entitled 'A Ghastly Thing Happened on the Way Back to the White House.'
With Hillary leading in most polls as the prohibitive favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, many party loyalists and typically favorable media members appear to be jumping off her bandwagon. At the same time, these very folks are falling over themselves to assist in the makeover and revitalization of former vice president Al Gore.
Coincidence? Unlikely. In fact, this is starting to resemble what these same folks did to Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential run.
For those that have forgotten, Dean was riding high in the polls in the winter of 2004. However, few top—ranking Democrats believed that he could beat President Bush in November. As a result, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories on January 12, 2004 questioning his 'electability' beyond the primaries. As Eric Boehlert wrote in Salon on January 13:
The minefield having been properly laid, candidate Dean less than a week later stepped on an IED in Iowa. Having just lost the caucuses there, with video cameras rolling, candidate Dean performed his now infamous 'I Have A Scream' speech. The media played this video over and over for a week as if it were a hit record with a bullet literally ending Dean's presidential quest.
With the successful assassination of the Dean candidacy behind them, the media quickly jumped on the John Kerry bandwagon. Newsweek did a cover story about Kerry on February 2, 2004 entitled 'Bring it On'; Time was even more resolute with its February 9 cover story, 'What Kind of President Would JOHN KERRY Make?'
Yes, Time really did capitalize Kerry's name in the headline. Some gall, huh?
Now, more than two years later, the left and their drive—by media minions appear to be again throwing one well—polling presidential candidate who they believe is unelectable over for another. Yet, this time, they're not waiting until ten months before Election Day. Instead, it seems Democrat insiders want Hillary out of the way more expeditiously to allow her challenger ample time to mount an effective campaign.
Let's look at some of the facts. The pre—Memorial Day week began poorly for the Clintons, as one of their major media cheerleaders, Chris Matthews, started the May 21 Sunday installment of the show bearing his name:
Matthews then posed this to his panel:
NBC's David Gregory, a huge Clinton supporter and apologist, chimed in:
At the end of the show, Time's Joe Klein, another Clinton cheerleader, said:
Imagine that: three major Clinton devotees downplaying a Hillary presidential run while praising Al Gore in the same half hour. Seems almost unthinkable, but it happened nonetheless.
Yet, that wasn't the only bombshell to be lobbed at the Clintons last week. The New York Times did a lengthy piece two days later about their peculiar marital relationship:
Adding insult to injury, the following morning, NBC's Katie Couric invited Al Gore on to the Today Show to discuss his new movie about global warming. As reported by NewsBusters, Couric gushed all over her guest:
This certainly wasn't the only television sighting of Al Gore recently. Far from it. As chronicled by a May 24 Business & Media Institute article:
Since then, Gore was the subject of a piece by CNN's Bill Schneider during the May 24 installment of The Situation Room:
The following evening on the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams brought on former anchor Tom Brokaw to talk about — you guessed it — Al Gore and his new movie. As reported by NewsBusters, Brokaw stated:
You bet it is, Tom. But the Gore cheerleading wasn't even close to ending.
The next day, as reported by NewsBusters, conceivably one of the strongest Clinton proponents in the media, Eleanor Clift, said on May 26's McLaughlin Group:
Yet, Hillary's worst day of the week, and not so coincidentally Gore's best, might have been Sunday, May 28. The bizarre cocktail of two parts assassination with one part coronation began early in the morning in Frank Rich's New York Times op—ed:
Powerful stuff from The Times to be sure. But, the best was yet to come as Chris Matthews and his friends mysteriously excoriated Hillary for the second Sunday in a row. Matthews began the May 28 program by referencing and reading from Tuesday's New York Times article:
After the set—up, Matthews asked Time's Mike Duffy:
Duffy answered, 'No question.' Then, CBS's Gloria Borger, another major Clinton supporter, chimed in:
The death knell came from Newsweek's Jonathan Alter who claimed that he knows someone 'very close to the [Clinton] family' who 'needs ammo to go to her, in his case, urge her not to run for president':
Duffy then spoke a truth that seems to be boiling to the surface with all this negative coverage of the Clintons last week:
Could the other person be Al Gore? Does this mean that Hillary is a dead candidate walking? Well, just consider that the last time the media spent a solid week publicly eviscerating a Democrat, he ended up as the chairman of the party instead of its presidential nominee.
Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and contributing writer to the Business & Media Institute. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. Noel welcomes feedback.