Monday, May 12, 2008

Life in heavy rotation

WaPo’s Howie Kurtz puffs up a piece on Chuck Todd, Political Director for NBC and its sister station, MSNBC.

I liked Todd much better in his geeky days when he was with The Hotline. Every once in awhile, he’d turn up on C-SPAN with some spreadsheets and some intelligent political analysis.

According to Kurtz, “Todd admits to worrying about overexposure, saying: ‘I don't like going on if I don't feel like I have new information or an interesting way to present the information.’"

Yeah, well good luck with that Chuck. This is cable news, and two things always happen when you work for cable news: you go on -- and on and on and on -- and you go simple -- really, really simple.

Chuck is good at what he does, but NBC/MSNBC misuses him, forcing him to play Sybil the Soothsayer for all their political pundits.

Just for fun -- and to show that in politics, you know, you never know -- here is an exchange between Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd from the March 8, 2005, edition of Hardball. Yes, that date is right. George W. Bush had been sworn in for his second term a mere 6 weeks earlier.

Both Todd and Matthews agreed that Al Gore wouldn’t run in 2008, but they couldn’t imagine who would run against Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Todd noted that “when you started thinking about anti-Hillary candidates and anti-Clinton candidates, really, there was only one guy you could think of that could be of her same equal. And that was Al Gore.”
MATTHEWS: So, well, your bet right now, it is Hillary vs. who?
TODD: You know, I‘m going to go Hillary vs. George Allen, if I had to pick.
MATTHEWS: George Allen. He‘s a good...
TODD: Yes, sort of a—sort of a...
MATTHEWS: I go to football games to him. He‘s a much—he‘s very charming.
TODD: I just don‘t think McCain runs. And I don‘t think Rudy runs.
MATTHEWS: I don‘t know if he has the juice to go up there and run like—it takes a certain amount of nuttiness to run for president, doesn‘t it?
TODD: I hear you. He has got the tobacco-chewing thing going. That helps. That‘s a little...
MATTHEWS: He‘s a Southern guy, anyway, son of a great man.
Well, that's the danger of making political predictions three years in advance: You wind up relying on a candidate’s tobacco-chewing thing as a marker of political viability.

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