Tuesday, February 21, 2006

# Posted 11:08 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

YOUR SUNDAY MORNING ROUND-UP (ON TUESDAY NIGHT): I'd say I've got a pretty good excuse for being late with this one: a long weekend in Puerto Rico. Now let's get down to business. Michael Chertoff was on NBC followed by a Mary Matalin and David Gregory. Bill Frist and Barbara Boxer were on CBS. And Chertoff showed up again on ABC, followed by Joe Lieberman and Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA). And here are the grades:
Chertoff on NBC: A-. But the grade is provisional. I never followed the Katrina debate very closely, so I don't have too much confidence in my assessment here. But Chertoff candidly acknowledged a lot of failures, answered questions directly and stood his ground when he had a point to make.

Mary Matalin: B. Unremitting spin, but scored some good points.

David Gregory: A-. It would have been very easy for Gregory, the NBC White House correspondent, just to blame Scott McClellan and present himself as a martyr for the cause of a free press. Instead, he apologized for losing his temper. A reminder that in spite of all our criticism, journalists are often more willing than politicians to admit their mistakes.

Bill Frist: B-. Still a hack, although better than he was a few weeks ago on NBC. Sounds like he has something to hide.

Barbara Boxer: B. Kneejerk party line, but with a certain passion. That seems to characterize a lot of the Democratic senators on the Sunday morning: Leahy, Schumer, Teddy Kennedy, etc. In contrast, the GOP seems divided between between the open-minded few (McCain, Graham, Hagel, Specter) and the partyliners who sound like they don't even believe what they're saying.

Chertoff on ABC: A-. Again, a provisional grade. Even though there a few positions harder than having to explain what went wrong during Katrina, Chertoff came off seeming like an intelligent and hard-working person who did his best in a very, very bad situation.

Joe Lieberman: B-. I'm being extra-tough on Lieberman because there is no one I am more ready to like, except perhaps McCain. Yet Lieberman's denunciations of Chertoff and DHS lacked substance. If you accuse an individual or an organization of gross incompetence, you need to back it up with more specifics.

Tom Davis: B. It takes a certain amount of guts to go against your party and your president by delivering such a critical report on the response to Katrina. But like Lieberman, Davis didn't provide details.
And now for the hosts:
Russert: B+. The usual.

Schieffer: B+. Gettin' feisty! I hope he stays this way.

Stephanopoulos: B. An average week.
See ya next weekend.

(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

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