Charles Krauthammer Tells Bill O’Reilly Sarah Palin Must Expand Policy Knowledge

Bill O’Reilly recently talked with frequent Fox News guest Charles Krauthammer to handicap potential GOP candidates’ chances in the 2012 presidential election. Krauthammer called Mitt Romney the front-runner” and said Mike Huckabee has established himself as a “major player”…but his most dissected comments will probably be his remarks on one Sarah Palin.

Krauthammer compared Palin’s problem to Hillary Clinton’s in the late 1990s – strong support from her core base, virulent opposition from most others. O’Reilly asked if the level of opposition to Palin is the media’s fault, and while Krauthammer said they’ve “contributed enormously” and that “the animus to her is unprecedented,” he also allowed that “she is not practiced in policy” and that the infamous Katie Couric interview was “not a ‘gotcha’ interview.” According to Krauthammer, Palin’s growth in mastering policy issues will shape her fate:

“I think if you want to expand your base, you have to get into policy even though it sounds dull.”

Krauthammer added that someone he thinks should run is Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, whom he praised as a “very smart guy” and “very nuts and bolts,” which may appear attractive to voters despite not necessarily having the charisma of others. Indeed, his description of Daniels made him sound like everything Palin, according to Krauthammer, isn’t. Video of the segment below, via Fox News.

Mitt Romney: ‘If You See Me On Fox News, I’ve Decided To Run For President’

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is also a presumptive candidate for President in the 2012 election, which was a topic of conversation on The Tonight Show last night. Host Jay Leno opened the light, if not somewhat boring interview with questions about a potential White House bid, to which Romney replied, “If you ever see me sign up for a gig on Fox News, it’ll be a clear indication that I’ve decided to run for president,” adding “that’s not in the cards anytime soon, thanks.”

It was a gentle yet pointed dig at the cable news channel who includes on their roster a long list of news analysts and commentators who are considered to be GOP presidential hopefuls in 2012, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum. 2008 Presidential hopeful, and potential candidate for 2012 Mike Huckabee even hosts his own weekend program on Fox News, which has raised some questions about the symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the GOP presidential candidates.

The balance of the interview was about as safe and predictable a conversation as one would expect between the two personalities known better for their ability to connect with a mass audience than having an edge. Romney did comment on his potential GOP opponent Sarah Palin, saying of the former Alaskan Governor “(she’s) a remarkable, energetic, powerful figure in my party – attractive, too.”

Fox News Gregg Jarrett Is Skeptical Of A Sarah Palin Presidential Bid?

Fox News’s Gregg Jarrett and Republican Strategist Noelle Nikpour debated the strength of the GOP’s presumed 2012 contenders on Studio B Friday, with Jarrett questioning whether Sarah Palin’s got the experience to be a top presidential prospect:

JARRETT: Some are saying the existing field for 2012 is weak–would you agree?

NIKPOUR: I do not agree. I think 2012, the Republicans have a lot of people that have experience.

JARRETT: Who?

NIKPOUR: Well, I mean, think about it. You’ve got Mitt Romney, you’ve got Newt Gingrich thinking about getting in the hat, you’ve got my very own ex-Governor, Gov. Huckabee, who has one heckuva lot of experience.

Jarrett concludes, “I noticed and it was very conspicuous, when I asked you who had experience, you did not name Sarah Palin, Noelle.”

Later, in a discussion of how potential Republican candidates shape up against President Obama in early polling, Jarrett again knocks Nikpour for suggesting that the “whoever is against Obama has a really good chance of winning.”

JARRETT: No, not whoever. Cause there’s a couple of people who do not match up well, against President Obama, including Sarah Palin. I can’t let you get away with that.

Watch the full exchange, from Fox News:

2012 Poll: Romney Over Obama In General Election, But Palin Over Romney In Primary

A new Quinnipiac University poll has some interesting results as to how the next two years of political maneuvering might play out. It’s a long way until 2012, of course, but those polled chose Mitt Romney over President Obama by a slim margin, while Obama still held a similarly slim lead over Fox News pundit Mike Huckabee. As for that other Fox News pundit prowling the arena? Sarah Palin lags behind the President by eight points—however, the poll also shows that she would defeat Romney in the Republican primary.

So does this spell out a possible Christine O’Donnell/Joe Miller scenario, in which an “outsider” conservative favored by the Tea Party faction pushes out a moderate establishment candidate that stands a much better chance in a general election?

It looks like it. Democratic consultant Jim Spencer largely attributes Romeny’s general election lead to name recognition. But name recognition is probably the least of Palin’s problems—it’s the issue of how it’s recognized. According to the poll:

Ms. Palin is viewed the most negatively by the American people of the possible Republican candidates in 2012. She is viewed unfavorable by 51 percent of voters and favorably by 36 percent. Among independents, the key swing voting bloc, she has a negative 54 – 33 percent favorability rating.

The 2012 Republican Convention could be quite a show. Watch Spencer discuss the poll with a Fox News affiliate in the clip below.

Is Mitt Romney The Hillary Clinton Of The Right?

As Tea Party Fever spreads in conservative circles, many established Republicans are trying to catch it — look no further than once-moderate-ish leaders like Newt Gingrich pandering to his party’s newly fervent populist wing. Mitt Romney, however, is hardly ever confused for a populist, and that’s why the seers at NPR suspect his 2012 campaign might go the way of Hillary Clinton’s, circa 2008.

How does NPR think the fiscally oriented former governor of Massachusetts — the state of school field trips to mosques, gay marriage, but also, to a lesser extent, Scott Brown — will fare against the new wave of anti-establishment culture warriors? Not well:

The Tea Party movement means many things to different people, but it means one thing to Mr. Romney. It means the Republican riptide he reasonably expected to ride in 2012 is rushing past him instead, lifting other vessels quite different from his own.

No surprise there, nor in the fact that the almost robotically slick Romney lost to the more fleshy, salt-of-the-earth Mike Huckabee in a poll at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit. What raises eyebrows is the prospect of Romney being the Clinton of the Republican Party:

Underestimating the power of activists, even small numbers of them in places like Idaho and Nebraska and Kansas, ultimately cost Hillary Clinton the nomination she once assumed was hers. … So in this preidential cycle, we are all paying more attention to the populists. Maybe too much attention. But then, if you are Mitt Romney, can you ignore the lesson Hillary learned so bitterly?

Not anymore, he can’t. The last thing Romney probably wants is to be compared — by NPR, no less — to Hillary Clinton. But 2012 is a long way from now — if you can recall, almost nobody during the 2008 primary season had heard of Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, or tea parties that weren’t thrown by dead Bostonians or living children — and, if he heeds NPR’s advice, Romney just might have a chance yet.

Chris Matthews Worries GOP Will Have More Trouble With Palin Than With Democrats

With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, the fixation on the Republican Party’s chances for a comeback are evolving into speculation over the future of the GOP should the Tea Party make a serious indent on their collective persona. In light of this, Chris Matthews argued Friday night that the GOP’s biggest problem will not be President Obama or the Democrats, or even the Tea Party candidates themselves, but what to do about Sarah Palin, the candidate.

“There’s no doubt in the world that she… carries tremendous clout when she endorses candidates,” Matthews conceded. But for the Party, that may not be the greatest thing, he argued, because “the person now leading the party in terms of popular influence can’t pass muster with the party’s established leaders.” Meaning: she doesn’t have the credentials to fill the shoes she’s currently wearing.

Matthews continued, wondering whether other potential 2012 candidates would feel comfortable endorsing her: “Ask Mitt Romney: does he really think deep down Sarah Palin has the right stuff to lead this country?” And as for the entire party itself, he presented them what he believes is the key to their success with her as leader:

“Do they buy all this talk of hers that all America needs in this second decade of the 21st Century are common sense conservative solutions? That a regular person with regular off-the-shelf answers can deal with the tricky, complex questions of economics, science, and international relations now before the country?”

And if they don’t believe this, he concluded, “how can you win the love of the Tea Partiers if you don’t believe in the presidential ability of their hero?”

Matthews comments from last Friday’s Hardball via MSNBC below:

Jon Stewart Equates Imam Rauf’s Alleged “Threats” To GOP Rhetoric Of Past Elections

On the day that a glowing magazine profile on Jon Stewart came out, The Daily Show host did not disappoint the presumed handful of New York readers who tuned in last night having just learned about the late night news-comedy host. Last night’s opening topic? “Islamophobiapalooza!” — a theme that Stewart used to connect the media firestorm over Rev. Terry Jones and Imam Rauf’s comments to the very “threats” alleged to have been made by Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani in past presidential elections.

The following segment opens with numerous examples of the news media reporting on the Florida minister (and his now notorious “Burn a Koran Day” publicity stunt) and the media hand wringing over its own coverage. The highlight is MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur admonishing the media to ignore Jones, then instantly getting interrupted to cut to live coverage of Pastor Jones’ press event. Stewart compares the media to the dog on the movie Up! (“Squirrel!”) It’s funny because it’s true.

Stewart then brings his attention to Fox News’ own part in the alleged Islamophobic media spectacle by airing clips that focused on Imam Rauf and the Islamic community center planned for Lower Manhattan. Fox News appears quite comfortable calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque,” The Daily Show chooses the only slightly more hyperbolic “Community Center of Death.”

When Imam Rauf recently told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that he feared moving the community center from its current location would send a dangerous message to radical extremists, many on Fox News openly questioned whether or not this constituted a threat to American security. To prove their point, Stewart then aired numerous clips of Cheney, Romney, and Giuliani effectively making similar remarks in past elections that claimed that voting for Democrats would embolden the very radical extremists referenced by Fox News.

As per usual, it’s a very funny, smart and super effective segment that highlights the many absurdities in recent media coverage of all things Islamic.