And explains Campaign 2000: Gack! Obama just finished defeating Mitt Romney. It's only been a month.
In the wake of that endless and empty campaign, has anything been more dispiriting than the way some national pundits have begun to handicap the next campaign?
By that, we mean Campaign 2016, the next presidential campaign. Yesterday, Joan Walsh became the latest pundit to share her thoughts about that future event.
She shared her thoughts in great detail and at considerable length.
In our view, that’s a pitiful waste of time. Perhaps more revealingly, Walsh seemed to share her official view about the events of Campaign 2000.
What actually happened in Campaign 2000? How did Candidate Bush end up in the White House? In the passage which follows, Walsh semi-explains.
In our view, Cokie couldn’t have done it better—in a way which was more faithful to the needs of the guild.
Gack! As this passage starts, Walsh is discussing Hillary Clinton’s prospects for Campaign 2016. At that point, she semi-explains the outcome of Campaign 2000:
WALSH (12/3/12): Like it or not, Clinton is inextricably tied to Obama’s presidency. If he stumbles in the coming years, her candidacy will be wounded if not doomed. If he does well, cementing the gains of Obamacare, toughening not weakening Wall Street reform, resisting a Medicare-cutting “grand bargain” and presiding over a recovering economy that takes a page from the New Deal and once again builds opportunity ladders to the middle class, she could be unbeatable.Good God, but that’s sad! Walsh is able to imagine “a fickle press corps” mucking around with the story-lines of Campaign 2016. But she sticks to the tired old story-lines concerning Campaign 2000.
Or not. Bill Clinton’s successful presidency didn’t sweep Vice President Al Gore into the White House with its momentum (of course, that’s partly because Gore ran away from Clinton and his Lewinsky-impeachment mess). Still, even if Clinton embraced her predecessor and ran on his record, a fickle press corps that loves intrigue, gossip and a close race (even when there isn’t one; see October 2012) would put covering the achievements of Obama’s presidency on the back burner in favor of real and imagined scandals and the sexy potential of a new Republican and Democratic nominee, even if he’s anything but new. Even if he’s running to be our third President Bush in 24 years, or the second Cuomo to govern New York and then hunger for the presidency.
Cokie could fake it no better!
We know, we know: In that highlighted passage, Walsh isn’t necessarily giving her full account of Campaign 2000. But she hands us a familiar old tale, a tale which has served as a beard for the grotesque misconduct of Walsh’s colleagues in Campaign 2000. As a candidate, Gore ran away from Clinton! That’s partly why he didn’t get swept into the White House!
We’ve never seen Walsh tell the truth about Campaign 2000. Surely, she knows what it is.
In 2006, Ezra Klein, then very young, slipped up and told the truth in a cover story for the American Prospect (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/21/06. As he started his piece, Klein described a speech Gore gave in October 2005.
After that, perhaps without thinking, he slipped up and told the truth:
KLEIN (4/06): The address was the keynote for the We Media conference, held at the Associated Press headquarters in New York last October and attended by an audience that included both old media luminaries and new media innovators. In attendance were Tom Curley, president of the AP, Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, all leading lights of a media establishment that, five years earlier, had deputized itself judge, jury, and executioner for Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, spinning each day’s events to portray the stolid, capable vice president as a wild exaggerator, ideological chameleon, and total, unforgivable bore.Really? The media establishment “deputized itself judge, jury, and executioner for Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign?” They “spun each day’s events to portray Gore as a wild exaggerator?” They spun those events to portray him as “an ideological chameleon,” as a “total, unforgivable bore?”
The media establishment did that? They did that each day for two years?
Well actually, yes they did! That's what they did for twenty straight months, though Walsh will never tell you. Her patron, Chris Matthews, sat at the heart of that disinformation and slander campaign. Presumably, he did so at the behest of Jack Welch, the man who made him wealthy.
(For the record, Matthews and Welch both come from the group Walsh refers to as "her people." What century does Joan Walsh live in?)
Jack Welch made Matthews wealthy. Now, Matthews has made Joan Walsh a star. As a result, she will never tell you what he did those summers—what he did from March 1999 right through November 2000.
Walsh will never tell you the truth. Klein accidentally did so once—though he’s never done so again.
(Go ahead—reread what Klein wrote. Does that sound like the sort of thing you'd only mention once?)
We think it’s important that you understand when people are working against you. People like Walsh will never tell the public the truth about our recent political history. This handicaps the liberal world in its approach to the mainstream press—but absolute silence is required to let people like Walsh keep their jobs.
Their status, their paydays, their selves.
Ezra Klein told the truth about this topic once; Joan Walsh never will. Because we now have a liberal press corps, she is allowed to imagine the mainstream press corps mucking around with the next campaign.
But what really happened to Candidate Gore? What happened during Campaign 2000?
The horrible Walsh has never told you—and she never will!