On the National Political Front

Friday, September 18, 2015

On the National Political Front

Martha Raddatz

Not your commonplace network tele­vision long-haired blonde news chick, Martha Raddatz, 62-years-old and looking older, still comes across as a brain-dead eager-beaver just out of Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

Never was this more apparent than last Sunday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" where she is a regular fill-in host, with her first guest, Republican Presidental Candidate Dr. Ben Carson.

Looking to elicit something headline-worthy, Raddatz asked:

"Well, Dr. Carson, there were a lot of stories this week about something you said about Donald Trump's faith. Let me play what you said:"

(The edited video clip played this quote:)

"By humility and the fear of the Lord, our richest honor in life. That's a very big part of who I am... humility and fear of the Lord. I don't get that impression with him. I may be wrong, but I don't get that impression."

Back to Raddatz:

"Donald Trump said that was an attack. Your reaction?"

If she was expecting what is called in the sports world "bulletin board material," she came up w-a-a-a-y short of her objective because Carson never turned a hair:

"It wasn't meant as an attack, and it was certainly spun that way by the media because they enjoy creating a fight. They love to have a gladiator scene. It wasn't my intention, and I certainly am not going to allow it to become my intention, subsequently, regardless of how anybody reacts to it."

Raddatz, seemingly oblivious to Carson's response, plunged ahead:

"But listen to what Trump said about you yesterday in Iowa:"

...and played a clip of The Donald saying:

"I don't think Ben has the energy. Ben is a nice man, but when you're negotiating against China, we need people that are really smart, that have tremendous deal-making skills, and that have great, great energy."

The interviewer again tried to goad the candidate:

"That doesn't bother you at all?"

Carson refused to take the bait:

"No it doesn't bother me because I recognize that I have a great deal of energy...."

Game, set and march to the good Doctor, and we can but hope that Carson keeps his equanimity and stays the trail 'til the end.

Notes on Wednesday's debate

In watching the top tier (11 candidate) debate this week, I was struck by several things:

  • The CNN "moderators," by the nature of their provocative questions, were mostly interested in eliciting controversal responses... bulletin board material... that would generate a heated exchange with one or more of the other candidates.

    (Revealing interesting policy positions? Nah! We want ratings!)

  • After his opening non sequitur shot at Rand Paul, Donald Trump was (for him, at least) noticeably subdued.
  • Many of the other candidates... notably Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina... were well-prepared for Trump's japes, and gave better than they got, to the extent that the bad hair narcissist several times ac­knowl­edged that he'd been "got."
  • Governor Scott Walker looks like he'll be the next to follow Governor Rick Perry in falling by the way­side, closely followed by Senator Rand Paul.
  • Governor Chris Christie hauled himself off the scrap heap, but it's likely too little too late.
  • Fiorina amply demonstrated that she can play with the big boys... her substantive responses on national defense1 had nine others wishing they'd said that, and Trump hoping to sign her on as a Policy Advisor!

This Presidential cycle... also known as "silly season..." looks to be more interesting than most, and like him or not, The Donald is responsible for much of that.

  1. In his post-debate comments, my friend Rob Firriolo wrote:
    "I spotted Fiorina as a bright light early on. I am amazed at the difference in her since her Senate run. I would love – LOVE – to see her debate Hillary. There would be blood all over the stage, and little of it would be Carly's."


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