We liberal blogger types often profess amazement at the cluelessness of the “inside the Beltway” Democratic political class when it comes to understanding — or more to the point, not understanding – what most Democrats want from their leadership. But maybe we’ve been unfair to the nation’s capital. A good case can be made that this cluelessness extends to political insiders all across the country.
Take the strange case of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Fox News. It seems that Gov. Rendell, a leading supporter of Hillary Clinton, has become a big Fox fan. Here’s what he had to say on the subject recently:
“I think during this entire primary coverage, starting in Iowa and up to the present — FOX has done the fairest job, and remained the most objective of all the cable networks. You hate both of our candidates. No, I’m only kidding. But you actually have done a very balanced job of reporting the news, and some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.”
Wow. Big wow.
I mean, it was one thing for Clinton’s campaign to argue that they get better treatment from Fox than from MSNBC. That, after all, was a slam on MSNBC, not an endorsement of Fox. But for a leader of the Clinton campaign to actually go onto Fox News and congratulate it for doing “a very balanced job . . . ?” Jesus Governor: Why not just nominate Rush Limbaugh for broadcaster of the year?
The real problem, of course, is that comments like these give Fox News credibility it doesn’t deserve — credibility it will use later to attack the Democratic nominee (whoever wins the nomination). But even when viewed in strictly political terms, what was Rendell thinking? Does he really think Hillary is going to score Democratic primary votes by buttering up Fox News? In case he hasn’t heard, rank and file Democrats hate Fox with a passion, and for good reason.
But I guess that must be the master plan: Hillary is going to climb to the top of the Democratic Party by appealing to the Ann Coulter set.
Killer strategy, Governor Rendell — really, just brilliant.