Sean Hannity and Dick Morris Try To Argue That Hillary Clinton's 22-Point Lead Means She's In Trouble
Reported by Ellen - August 11, 2005
Only on FOX News would a Democrat's double-digit lead in the polls be painted as a political problem. But that's exactly what Dick Morris, with the very eager and willing Sean Hannity, tried to do last night (8/10/05) on Hannity & Colmes. Alan Colmes could barely keep a straight face.
Colmes opened the segment with guest Dick Morris by announcing the statistics of a new Marist Poll showing Hillary Clinton ahead of her just-announced rival, Jeanine Pirro, 50% to 28% respectively.
Morris, oozing enthusiasm, asked Colmes, "Did you see that poll?" as if it was the best news ever. Colmes looked like he was trying not to crack up as Morris explained why that showed weakness for Hillary. The way he explained it, Pirro's announcement a few days ago that she'll be running for Clinton's senate seat caused a 13-point decline "not to go to Pirro but to switch to undecided." Morris went on to say that "Hillary's problem" (notice that Clinton is "Hillary" but Pirro is "Pirro.") is that New Yorkers don't want her to "walk out on them" by running for president. "The stronger Hillary is, the weaker she is. The more she seems like a likely presidential winner, the more difficult the senate race becomes in New York. It's perfect."
It was hard to believe that Morris could be serious about such a wacky theory but he was.
Colmes, however, obviously couldn't take it seriously and looked as though he was trying to keep from laughing. Noting that Morris has made his enmity toward Hillary clear and that he'd "do anything" to make her lose, Colmes asked, "Can you separate your emotional desire and involvement here from actually a cold-hearted analysis of the situation?"
Morris, laughing, said, "Yeah, I sure can. I've been doing it my whole life." (Comment: Are there a lot of former clients he hates that he goes on TV to analyze "cold-heartedly?" I doubt it.)
Morris, still grinning, said, "If Pirro comes on and says 'Look, I'm pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-affirmative action, anti-crime, tough on terror. The only difference is that I want to be senator and I'll give it my full time...'"
Colmes interrupted to say that Pirro had to have "a bigger argument" than the fact that Hillary won't serve six years.
Morris insisted she didn't, that "All she has to do is to say 'I'm enough like Hillary and my full-time is better than her part-time.'"
Hannity took his turn then and told Morris he was "right on" about the 13 points. Hannity added that "56% of people don't even know who Jeanine is yet - which helps her - which is why she's only at 28% right now." (Comment: But it's a safe bet that FNC will do their part in getting her name in front of the public by having Pirro on the air quite a bit between now and November.)
Furthermore, Hannity claimed, nearly 40% of the state's voters think Hillary should pledge to serve the full term and only 35% want her to run for president. Exuberantly, Hannity said, "This is not good for Hillary!"
Morris enthusiastically agreed and got in another dig. "The wonderful thing about it is that if the accusation is that Hillary is dishonest about billing records or futures market or that Hillary is a carpetbagger or whatever, those accusations don't work." Instead, Morris, claimed, the winning strategy is for Pirro to go after Clinton by saying she doesn't want to be senator, that she'll spend her whole term raising money, that "we're going to have to fly to Des Moines to see (Clinton)."
Morris giggled with aniticipation of victory as he continued, "If, in addition to that, (Pirro) says 'I'm pro-choice, I'm for affirmative action, I'm for gun control, the only difference is I'll be there and you won't.' How does Hillary oppose that?"
Comment: There were a few things Morris didn't mention that could be problems for Pirro: 1. As The New York Times reports today, "(In 2001) Ms. Pirro won (as Westchester District Attorney) by a slim margin against a relatively unknown Democratic opponent who attempted to link her to the business dealings of her husband, Albert J. Pirro, a lawyer and lobbyist, who served time in federal prison after being convicted of tax evasion the previous year. The narrowness of the victory was viewed as a setback for a woman who was thought to be a rising star in the New York Republican Party, prompting speculation that her political prospects outside Westchester had been hurt."
Even The NY Post, FNC's sister outlet, wrote that Clinton's presidential ambitions "are not necessarily disqualifying prospects" and that "(if) Pirro appears to be the best the Republicans have to offer against Hillary Clinton, (that) says much about the state of New York's GOP."
Even Hannity seemed dubious about Morris' strategy for Pirro's victory. Hannity said Morris is "the only person out here" who thinks Pirro can win.
"Oh, I do. I do. Look at this number. The rule of thumb always is that anyone who doesn't vote for you as undecided is voting against an incumbent. And she's down to 50!"
Hannity, becoming more enthusiastic, said that Pirro is a "Rudy Guiliani, except she's a woman!"
Morris said that the key for Pirro is to raise "early money" and do a "strong media buy" and "Bill and Hillary (my emphasis) are looking at polls that show them (only) 7 or 8 points ahead of Jeanine..."
Comment: That's a big assumption, including the part about dropping 15 points in the poll, but Morris wasn't done with his daydream.
"And (if) they really are looking at Hillary being under 50, I bet you that Hillary withdraws from this race."
Then Morris topped it all off with his piece de resistance. He claimed that Terry McAuliffe told him during the Republican convention that Hillary would not run for re-election to the senate if she had a tough race. According to Morris, McAuliffe told him "Why should she squander 30 million dollars getting re-elected to a job she doesn't want?"
Colmes, still looking like he was about to crack up, ended the segment by asking if Morris wanted a job as Pirro's advisor.
Morris claimed he didn't.
Too bad, because if he were to actually put his advice into action, I think it would be an even surer win for Clinton.