Clinton: It Would Be ‘Very Interesting’ To Have Coffee With Palin

alg_sarah-palin_hillary-clintonOh to be a fly on the wall for this meeting of the minds. Back in August of 2008 when John McCain announced his vice presidential pick — a pick that was aimed at winning over the block of women who’d been energized by Hillary Clinton’s long campaign — there was some uproar over the irony that after years (and years) of hard work and press abuse Clinton should have the White House snatched away from her from an unknown governor from Alaska.

Clinton remained mum on Palin for much of the remainder of the campaign (as did Obama), not that that kept people from filling in the blanks (see SNL’s now famous cold open: “supposed to be mine!”). But now that the media is about to once again take a ride on the Palin express courtesy of this week’s release of Going Rogue, the topic of the two meeting has been raised once again, this time by Meet the Press‘ David Gregory, who asked the secretary of state whether or not she’d have a coffee with Palin. The answer? A very gracious ‘yes.’

“Well, I absolutely would look forward to having coffee. I’ve never met her. And I think it would be, you know, very interesting to sit down and talk with her…Maybe I can make a case on some of the issues we disagree on.”

As to whether Clinton will have time to read Going Rogue, she tells Gregory: “I’m sure that, you know, I’ll see excerpts printed and, you know, snippets of interviews as I, you know, channel surf in, in Singapore and in Shanghai and in Beijing.” Me thinks I hear a very small snap (and who can blame her). Video below:

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And just for good measure:

Euna Lee Scores A Big Book Deal

laura-ling-euna-lee-return-homeThe adventures of Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two CurrentTV journalists jailed in North Korea earlier this year only to be rescued in somewhat dramatic fashion by former President Bill Clinton already seems like another lifetime thanks to the current state of the news cycle. However, according to Publisher’s Marketplace readers will get an inside look into the experiences of the two women courtesy of Lee who has just signed a six-figure book deal with Broadway Books (an imprint of Random House). From the announcement:

Korean-American journalist Euna Lee’s THE WORLD IS BIGGER NOW: A Memoir of Faith, Family and Freedom, about her experiences, with fellow Current TV journalist Laura Ling, being captured, incarcerated, and condemned to hard labor this year in communist North Korea, recounting the circumstances of her capture on March 17 at the border region of China and North Korea where she and Ling were investigating a story about the trafficking of female North Korean refugees, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway, with Vanessa Mobley editing, by Jennifer Gates and Todd Shuster of the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.

Perhaps Lee will be able to shine some light on the still-cloudy circumstances that lead the pair to be so close to the North Korean border in the first place.

Wall Call: Fox News Only Network To Carry Obama’s Berlin Speech

fnc_11-9Pres. Barack Obama delivered his remarks on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall today in a video message during the ceremonies in Germany (there was a little controversy about him not appearing in person). In his place – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke first.

And which cable news network was the only one to carry both live? Fox News.

In fact, Fox News has carried the majority of the speeches and events at the ceremony today, which has seen tens of thousands turn out for the festivities. CNN has cut in a couple times, and MSNBC far less, although both networks have devoted segments to the anniversary. But just like the health care story and Fort Hood coverage this weekend, Fox News was the network to devote the most time to the news event.

Fox News has taken some shots about its role as a news network, from the White House and CNN, and through these breaking news events we have seen their coverage extend beyond that of their competitors. Of course, their detractors will point to prime time, where CNN is more newsy than Fox News and MSNBC, and to a very clear anti-Obama Administration stance from programs like Glenn Beck’s and Sean Hannity’s.

From a purely symbolic perspective, Fox News being the only network to carry an Obama speech – of any kind – is an attention-grabbing moment. But the Berlin Wall anniversary is less about Obama (and Clinton), and far more about Ronald Reagan. Of course, we knew the conventional wisdom about the way Fox News thinks of former Pres. Reagan.

Here’s what the other two networks looked like during Obama’s speech:


Here’s the domino fall symbolizing the fall of the Berlin Wall – it was carried live on Fox News and CNN:

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Panel Nerds: The Audacity Of Plouffe

nerdzWho: David Plouffe

What: Book event for “The Audacity to Win

Where: Barnes and Noble Union Square

When: November 3, 2009

Thumbs: Up

It takes less than a minute of watching David Plouffe to recognize how effortlessly he and Barack Obama could strategize together. Plouffe instantly took command of the stage and of the crowd, clutching the microphone and calmly pacing to make eye contact with every onlooker. His stage persona was so strong, it led us to consider whether he’d taught Obama similar tactics, or vice versa.

There was more to Plouffe than his Joel Osteen-like stage presence, as he also supplied substance and insight into Obama’s campaign. This event, taking place on election night one year later, helped people recall the spirit of Obama’s movement. Plouffe encouraged audience members to find inspiration and to get active again in local politics and volunteering. He said that more change — and quicker results — can happen inside communities than through legislation.

Attempting to inspire the crowd at a book signing is far from the norm, but Plouffe repeated last night that it was the unconventional approach that ultimately won Obama the election. Plouffe knew, for example, that if the same voters who came out in favor of Kerry in 2004 would return in 2008, Obama didn’t stand a chance to win. Instead, he rallied for often overlooked groups: young people, blacks, and independent voters. Plouffe’s organizers and volunteers recruited voters at diners, schools, and even bars. Word of mouth and social media sites, they decided, were their best options to change the political game.

At the same time, Sen. John McCain and the Republican National Committee took to the airwaves with more traditional advertisements and agendas. Rather than push one message in one location for the day, Obama used e-mail, texting and his Web site to correspond regularly with his volunteers and potential backers.

plouffeOne of the things that Plouffe credits for Obama’s rise in popularity is the impact that young, passionate people had on their elders. That mixture of generations was back together at this event, a year later, to show they’re still rallying behind their candidate.

What They Said
“We studied history but we weren’t bound by it.”
- David Plouffe and his team set a new tone for presidential campaigning

“All of us thought we were signing up for a one-year enterprise, not two.”
- David Plouffe reminded us how substantial a lead Sen. Hillary Clinton had on Obama in the fall of 2007

“It was less the dollar amount as much the people who were giving.”
- David Plouffe said that the average donation Obama received was $85

“All we cared about was the end result, not the day-to-day battles.”
- David Plouffe on the attitude of the campaign, an attitude that seems to have carried over to the presidency

“I think, in more ways than not, we were playing chess and Senator McCain was playing checkers. Washington is a town full of checkers players.”
- David Plouffe believes that Obama made words like “nuance” and “complexity” less scary coming from a politician

What We Thought

  • We’ve read on several occasions that when McCain selected Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate it was Obama who told his staff to hold off from attacking her. So it comes as no surprise to us to learn that Plouffe was “offended” by McCain’s selection. It was strong language, but faced with Plouffe’s position it could very well be justified.
  • Plouffe described the recklessness that he sensed in McCain’s campaign. He said that Obama’s steadiness became even more alluring to voters as a result. If they would lose, they’d lose on one strategy, not five, Plouffe said.

Some audience behavior seems to repeat itself panel after panel. We’ll be updating a running list of “PANEL RULES!” that will help ensure that you are not the dweeb of the Panel Nerds.

Panel Nerds don’t like… Audiobooks
This was a first for us. An older woman had a good question to ask. Only it wasn’t hers. She read it out of a local newspaper that had done a referendum of Obama’s first year since his election win. Rather than summarize what the article contained, she gave the full report followed by “What do you think?” We have newspapers for reading, brains for thinking, and mouths for talking. Summarize the point made in the piece, Give us the lowdown of what is interesting about it. Otherwise, you run the risk of us taking a nap while you read us a story.

Presidents Bill Clinton & George W. Bush To Face Off In Staged Theater Political Debate

Bush Clinton DebateBetter than the Rockettes! On February 25th, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will appear at Radio City Music Hall in what the New York Post is calling “a presidential debate for the ages.”

UPDATE: It’s off. But by all means read my sardonic reaction below.

Yeah. Make that “a presidential debate for the months” — because they just did it last May in Toronto. Those looking for a knock-down drag-out fight should look back to Toronto for a sense of how this one will go — probably politely, chummily, and with a few key references to “freedom.” I’m sure it will be interesting — by February, who knows where things will be in Afghanistan, or health care, or really anything — but those hoping for zingers will probably be disappointed. These two are buds by now.

The event is part of MSG Entertainment’s third annual “Minds That Move The World” speakers series. Note the word “Entertainment” here, people — that’s the primary purpose here (and to make money, of course: Tickets max out at $1,250 — cheap compared to Toronto’s $2,500 ticket, though of course that was in Canadian dollars). The “Minds That Move The World” program was the one that brought Karl Rove and James Carville together for a spicy debate last May, complete with Code Pinkers and zingers from both sides. I was there, and it actually did get nasty. It felt like a real clash — but then I saw that they were repeating the performance in Boston the next night. Political theater, indeed.

The New York Post just broke this last night, so there’s no word on whether the spectacle will travel to Boston or anywhere else. But you can bet it would be lucrative for both men to do so: To paraphrase Linda Evangelista, they don’t get onstage for less than $150,000 a pop

According to the Post, the event is being billed as “The Hottest Ticket in Political History,” but I’m going to go with what David Letterman said about it last time: “There’s nothing more exciting than a presidential debate that doesn’t count.” Unless the Secretary of State is in the front row, heckling. I’d pay $1,250 to see that.

Former presidents to face off in debate [NYP]
Bush, Clinton get standing ovation after Toronto ‘conversation’ [CBC]
Rove v. Carville Square-Off Just Political Theater [Charitini]

A Year Of Barack Obama: Top Ten Highs And Lows Of His First Twelve Months In Office

USA-ELECTION/A year ago tomorrow the nation went to polls and elected Barack Hussein Obama the 44th President of the United States. It was a joyful occasion, celebrated the world over, and variously compared to New Years Eve, the Yankees winning the World Series, the opposite of 9/11, and the proper beginning of the 21st Century.

The national political mood of Election Day 2009 would likely not be recognizable to the Obama-happy nation of 12 months ago. What a difference, etc. And yet, it’s hard to believe it’s only been 12 months! And a mere nine-and-a-half months of actual presidency. And truly it is only a slight exaggeration to say that in the interim it’s been all Obama, all the time. With that in mind let’s take a look back at the Barack Obama highlights (and some lowlights) of the last year.

>>>NEXT: Election Night November 4, 2008

Meeting the Bushes

The Inauguration

Barack Obama Saves Print Media

They Kill Flies, Don’t They?

The Beer Summit of 2009

Of Tea Parties And Town Halls

You Lie!


The War Against Fox News

Maureen Dowd Is Sad Barack Obama Doesn’t Want To Play Golf With Her

dowdActually, I suspect the only thing Maureen Dowd is sad about is that she didn’t think to launch the ‘President Obama is a sexist golf player’ meme herself, the way she did with Obama protesters are racists.

Nevertheless, MoDo is weighing in on Obama’s habit of surrounding himself with men on the golf course (and elsewhere). And you know what, I suspect this may be one topic that Dowd, who has been circulating in powerful political spheres for much of her professional life, could actually shed some light on. And low and behold she does (with nary a swipe at the Clintons, even) meaning this is one of those rare columns that makes you wish MoDo could be on her game more frequently.

But I don’t kid myself that the presidential playing fields are merely about play. After Tom’s golf outing, Politico ran the headline: “Friedman jumps to the front of the influence list.”

Like other bosses, presidents surround themselves with people who make them comfortable. Poppy Bush liked racy humor, but was too gentlemanly to use it with women. So male advisers bonded with him by telling dirty jokes.

Obama likes to play sports, watch sports and talk sports. (Even his favorite TV shows, “Mad Men” and “Entourage,” are set in male-dominated worlds.) So the Obama aides who can do that, like Robert Gibbs, have a deeper personal connection with the president than someone like Rahm Emanuel, the former ballet dancer who prefers yoga to golf.

Just as some men can’t ingratiate themselves through sports, some women can. Condi Rice drew close to W. — nudging away Dick Cheney — by working out with him and talking football.