That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
“Cutesy land” is what former President Bill Clinton calls the environment, post-debate, and the criticism of his wife’s murky response to a question over New York driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. He compared the attacks on her to the Swift Boating of John Kerry.
“I had the feeling that at the end of that last debate we were about to get into cutesy land again,” Clinton told some 3,000 members of the American Postal Worker’s Union at a convention in Las Vegas.
His gripe: “It’s fine for Hillary and all the other Democrats to discuss Gov. Spitzer’s plan. But not in 30 seconds – yes, no, raise your hand.”
(President Clinton, by the way, was in Los Angeles Saturday for an appearance at UCLA and a fund-raiser with UCLA alums.)
Per MSNBC, Obama said that he “was pretty stunned” by Clinton’s comparison of attacks on his wife to those of the Swift Boaters.
The Clinton camp’s cries of protest over the post-debate lines of attack hasn’t done much to quell them, what with Obama’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance and the new “Politics of Parsing” ad (below) released by John Edwards.
Boone Boon: Republican Ernie Fletcher, facing a tough reelection battle today for the Kentucky governorship, received support in the form of Pat Boone. But the sugary singer wasn’t preaching, but attacking. His voice can be heard on robocalls going out to voters that criticize Fletcher’s opponent Steve Beshear’s support of gay rights.
Per Towleroad, Boone says on one call, “His opponent is so ultra-liberal he’s just been enthusiastically endorsed by C-FAIR, a prominent gay rights advocacy group. They’re convinced Beshear is their guy. Now you have to ask, ‘Do you really want Kentucky to become another San Francisco?’ Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher.”
On another, Boone says, “Hello friends. This is Pat Boone – a fellow Kentuckian by descent from granddaddy Dan’l. I’ve always been proud of Kentucky’s stance on patriotic, military and moral issues – a great heritage. Now, as an American and a Christian I’m very concerned about the upcoming governor’s election. Ernie Fletcher is a typical Kentuckian. He’s worked long and hard for the state, its people, and its traditions. And of course he’s come under attack by political opponents. And now, he faces a man who wants his job, who has consistently supported every homosexual cause – same-sex marriage, gay adoption, special rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual even transgender individuals. The prominent gay advocacy group CFAIR just enthusiastically endorsed Beshear, knowing he’s their guy. Kentuckians have already voted to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Now, do you want a governor who would like Kentucky to be another San Francisco? Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher. This message paid for by the Republican Party of Kentucky.”
Boone, by the way, has given to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Liberal Alternative: More evidence that MSNBC is capitalizing on anti-Bush sentiment: the network is reportedly in talks with Rosie O’Donnell about hosting a nightly chat show. The New York Times notes that Keith Olbermann, with his “special comment” segment, has boosted his ratings by 33% in the past year, to just over 773,000 viewers a night. That is still far behind Bill O’Reilly, his nemesis, but he is “tantalizingly close” to surpassing O’Reilly in viewers 25-54, the Times reports. So what is CNN’s Headline News doing signing such a lucrative deal with Glenn Beck?
Star Crossed: If Obama has such star power, why doesn’t it translate into votes? Following his picture perfect “Saturday Night Live” cameo, ABC News’ David Wright says that Obama has raised the presidential candidate cameo — first perfected by, of all people, Richard Nixon on “Laugh-In” — to an “art form.” Wright writes of his appearance on “The Ellen Show,” “He’s got the dance moves. Now he just has to convince everyone he can excel at the other, far more important parts of the job.”
Birthday: “Meet the Press,” TV’s longest running series, turns 60 today.
Not Over: Stephen Colbert dropped his presidential bid, but supporters are launching a calling campaign to get South Carolina Democrats to change their mind and let him on the ballot.
Colbert, meanwhile, introduced Nancy Pelosi at a Glamour magazine event at Lincoln Center last night. Of the strike, he said, “I’m sorry, my writers are on strike, my stuff is usually better. Since my writers are on strike, I’d like to thank Glamour magazine for giving me someplace to perform tonight. I’m not allowed to write anything for TV, so I’m looking into the legality of mocking the candidates door to door.”
Who Killed the Society Circuit?: In the December Vanity Fair, Maureen Orth mourns the D.C. social circuit. She writes, “Today, people who remember those days never cease to lament how the capital has changed. The cost of running for office, the proliferation of lobbyists, the intense preoccupation with security since 9/11, the increase in careers for women, the deaths or withdrawals of ruling society figures, and an unpopular president and an unpopular war have all converged to kill much of the fun and excitement once unique to Washington social life. I spoke to a number of participants in, and close observers of, the Washington social scene then and now in order to hear what they have to say about how “the city of conversation,” as Henry James called it, has become more partisan, less tolerant, and unabashedly focused on doing well rather than doing good.”