Thursday, February 06, 2014


Mediaite reports:
In his new "Kristol Clear" prediction segment on Morning Joe ...
Ponder that: Morning Joe gave Bill Kristol a regular segment for predictions. Now go on:
In his new "Kristol Clear" prediction segment on Morning Joe, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol augured Thursday morning that Sarah Palin might run for president in 2016. "I mean, why wouldn't she run?" he asked....
Why wouldn't she run? There's a simple answer to that question: because running would require effort.

But no, Kristol's prediction wasn't ridiculous enough for Morning Joe -- along came Chuck Todd to respond, "I have always believed she's going to run, too," though "for much more cynical reasons":
"I think it's a financial reason," Todd said. "To get back into the spotlight. Get the speaking fees back up...."
Really, Chuck? You think she'll run for the money? In that case, why didn't she run in 2012? Would that not have gotten her back into the spotlight and raised her speaking fees in exactly the same way as a 2016 run? So what held her back? What on earth will be different for Sarah Palin in 2016?

I'll tell you what will be different: nothing. As 2016 approaches, Sarah Palin will still be a lazy person and an intellectual lightweight who wants a quick financial score, not a path to further wealth and notoriety that requires actually reading briefing books and attempting to master, and speak articulately about, policy ideas. Sarah Palin doesn't want to get up to speed on the nuances of Middle East power politics. She doesn't want to understand the various right-wing alternatives to Obamacare. She doesn't want to spend months and months tromping through Iowa cornfields and shaking hands with retirees in New Hampshire diners.

Palin might like the idea of actully being president, in a Caligula sort of way, but she's made it abundantly clear that she doesn't want to do the work she'd have to do to get to the White House. Just as water seeks its own level, Palin has sought and found hers: she makes speeches, delivers one-liners on Fox News, appears on reality TV, publishes books and Facebook posts -- nearly all of it scripted for her. The minute she goes off script, as she does every time she appears on Fox and has several minutes to fill after getting off the latest tendentious quip her team has crafted for her, she lapses into incoherence. Those moments of incoherence would pretty much be her whole waking life if she runs. Why would she subject herself to that?

In the Morning Joe segment, Chuck Todd does say, correctly, that Mike Huckabee has a habit of encouraging rumors about his presidential plans because he wants to raise his profile, for mercenary reasons. Huckabee, however, did actually run for president once, fairly credibly. He believes a lot of nonsense, but he's willing to put in the effort. Palin isn't.

After Todd says that Palin might run for the money, Kristol whines:
"Really? Can't we give these people the benefit of the doubt here? Some establishment type runs, everyone says. 'Oh, take very seriously, Jon Huntsman's running, wants to serve the country.' You guys have him on 452 times on Morning Joe and Chuck says, 'Oh, Jon Huntsman could do it. He's a governor and ambassador to China.' Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee? 'Oh, those guys just want to make money!'"
On paper, Huntsman actually is a credible candidate -- good resume, thoughtful about issues. He's just one of those sad sacks who can't resist running -- every four years we get one of them, a Bill Richardson or Lamar Alexander, someone who is to politics what Llewyn Davis was to show business, a guy with some talent but no charisma or broad appeal. The insiders were crazy to take him so seriously in 2012 -- he didn't even try to pass or fudge the many GOP primary litmus tests -- but if the GOP were less crazy, he might have been in the running, at least for a while.

He tried. Palin will never try. She's working the grift that suits her. The fact that Kristol and Todd believe otherwise tells you all you need to know about them.


Victor said...

"Kristol Clear!"

Cup O' Schmoe's segment is actually called, "Kristol Clear?"

Oh, ROFLMAO!!!!!

What it SHOULD be called, is "Kristol Clear-ly WRONG!!!"

This assclown is clearly the Col. Klink of Reich-Wing punditry.

And believe me, there's some pretty stiff competition - but no one can match Bill Kristol's record for being wrong the most number of times, for the longest period of years!

He's unmatched, in punTWITTERY!!!!!

Knight of Nothing said...

"The fact that Kristol and Todd believe otherwise tells you all you need to know about them."

Exactly this. This kind of crap speaks volumes about the pundit and says nothing whatsoever about the subject being discussed.

aimai said...

Does the original article really say "Augured" instead of Argued? Because it would be perfect, if it does. Did he inspect the entrails of some sheep or watch the sky for omens?

Cirze said...


He's gonna have to fight it out with Tom Friedman and David Brooks for that title.

They're all running neck and neck for it.

Unsalted Sinner said...

"Kristol Clear" could turn out to be must-see TV - provided you remember that Kristol is always wrong. It will be like bizarro news, telling you what is definitely not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to have a segment where Bill Kristol makes predictions, I guess "Kristol Clear" is marginally better than "Kristol Balls."

darrelplant said...

She actually did do the Sarah Palin version of a presidential primary campaign during the 2012 primary run-up. Orr have you forgotten the bus tour and "The Undefeated":

At the time, she was more $1 million/year "working" for Fox News, with none of the hard work that comes with the lower-paying White House job. She's been back at Fox since June, so I doubt she'll be running in 2016.

trizzlor said...

First of all, I love this post for the Llewyn Davis analogy! I'm going to try to come up with Coen brothers stand-ins for each of the candidates when primary season comes around.

But I feel like you're ignoring the campaigns of people like Herman Cain or (to a lesser extent) Newt Gingrich. Both were blatantly running to pump up book sales and radio deals. Cain, in particular, showed no interest whatsoever in campaigning. Not even enough to bother remembering the names of some middle eastern countries. And both where substantially rewarded by the base for it. I just don't see that big an enthusiasm gap between Palin and Cain.

Steve M. said...

Thanks -- I'm glad you liked the Llewyn Davis analogy.

And I know what you mean about Cain, but I think Palin wouldn't even want to put in the effort he put in, i.e., just showing up. I think just the travel and the fundraising seem like too much for her.

Steve M. said...

She actually did do the Sarah Palin version of a presidential primary campaign during the 2012 primary run-up. Orr have you forgotten the bus tour and "The Undefeated"

Well, that was a pretty brief tour.

Roger said...

I thought ABC hired Kristol Meth.

How can I fuck up my way to fame and fortune?