Tuesday, October 24, 2006

# Posted 9:35 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SUNDAY MORNING ROUND-UP: Barack Obama made news with his presidential ambitions on NBC. Chuck Schumer and Liddy Dole offered party-line spin on CBS. And ABC almost matched Barack Obama's star power with its exclusive interviews of President Bush and Senator Kerry.
Obama: B. His combination of warmth, balance and candor are what have made him a political star. But Russert (see above) caught Obama tilting with the wind, changing his positions to fit the political moment.

Schumer: B+. He reads out the party line, but I am continually impressed with his incorporation of sharp details and barbs that make him better than most.

Dole: C. First, she sounded like a robot. Then she got thrown on the defensive and began to fish for talking points that had nothing to do with the discussion.

Bush: B-. A natural he ain't. But his manner has developed to the point where his deer-in-the-headlights candor has been replaced by a candor that reflects a struggle with hard issues. Bush also seemed sullen and almost vulnerable, in the emotional sense of the word. At certain moments he was brusque, insisting for example he won't read any books about himself as president. But mostly, he seemed to have submitted to the reality of being one of the last advocates of an unpopular that no amount of speechifying can make popular.

Kerry: B-. He seems to be going through the same angry phase that Al Gore was two years after he lost to Bush. Kerry called Bush a liar again and again, something Kerry was afraid to do while running for president. Kerry also made a point of expliciting attacking John McCain twice by name, as if he wants to make a name for himself by standing up to the GOP golden boy. Otherwise, Kerry offered his usual bit about how negotiating with Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia can help resolve the situation in Iraq. As Stephanopoulos asked his guest, why would Syria or Iran do anything to help us when they benefit so much from the chaos?
See ya next week.
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