Monday, January 30, 2006

# Posted 10:58 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

"CONTRARY TO CORE AMERICAN VALUES, NOT JUST LIBERAL VALUES": Welcome back to third installment of OxBlog's talk show round-up. This week we had Bill Frist on NBC, Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel on ABC and the President himself on CBS. Here goes:
George W. Bush: B. It never hurts to have a friendly chat with Bob Schieffer. But still no answer on the wire-tapping except "Trust me." I think I do, but it's not much of an argument.

Barack Obama: C+. I like Obama and I won't hold it against him that he supported the anti-Alito filibuster, since he knew it would fail. It was an easy chance to score points with the Democratic base.

But Obama went too far when he said that Alito is "contrary to core American values, not just liberal values" . Given how defensive Democrats get when anyone suggests that they are unpatriotic or un-American, it's pretty ironic that the Democratic golden boy is now accusing an accomplished conservative judge of being un-American.

Say he's conservative. Or give us that old cliche about him being outside the mainstream. But this is hypocritical.

Chuck Hagel: B. Tells the President it's time for more transparency about wire-tapping. I agree. But Hagel got too many softballs, since Stephanopoulos just used him as a foil for Bush instead of actually challenging his views.

Bill Frist: B-. Hack.
And now for the hosts:
Bob Schieffer: B-. It was the same performance as always. But you have to bring your 'A' game when you've got an exclusive interview with the President.

Tim Russert: B+. A good job, but it isn't hard to make Frist look like a hack.

George Stephanopoulos: A-. His Hagel interview was weak (see above), but there was a priceless moment when he asked Obama about a post by Steve Clemons on The Washington Note, describing how Harry Reid told another Democratic senator interested in lobbying reform that this was the time to punish Republicans, not to propose bi-partisan solutions.

Stephanopoulos promptly asked Obama if he was the unnamed senator Reid was talking about. Obama began to stammer and you could practically hear the internal debate going on inside of his head: "Truth or dodge? Truth or dodge? Truth or dodge?"

Obama dodged. Clemons promptly reported it as an admission of guilt. In a way, it's sort of endearing. Obama is too new to the game to evade questions while pretending to be honest.
Until next week!
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

Great post David!

I also remember that moment between Obama and Clemons.

First is a complete hack, agreed...

The one thing I disagree with is giving Obama a C+. I am a Republican...but was genuinely impressed by everything that Obama talked about. Yes, he is off the deep end in his Alito fillibuster. Yes, he dodged that one question.

But he was very honest and straightforward for the rest of the interview. He spoek authorotatively on a variety of issues. And this is the first time I have listened to him speak, and he sounded honest.

Contrasting his responses to Bill Frist's is very telling. Frist is so sleazy. He wants the presidency so bad. He sounded like a whiny girl when defending his "blind trust" and HCA stock.
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