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Four Presidents and a Funeral*

Reported by Chrish - February 8, 2006

The Political Smackdown segment on The Big Story today 2/8/06 was no such thing. Both guests, former Republican Governor Frank Keating of OK and so-called Democrat strategist and FNC Political Analyst Bob Beckel were pretty much in agreement about the weakness of Democrats.

The segment was ostensibly about the inappropriateness of politicking at Coretta Scott King's funeral, the prospect of a loooong (1,000 days and counting) 2008 presidential campaign, and the Democrats' success at exploiting all the many troubles facing Republicans these days.

Gibson first asked Keating if the Democrats were correctly exploitiong Republican weaknesses right now? Keating misled viewers by saying that funerals were good places to talk about redemption and forgiveness and brotherhood and sisterhood, but "not to talk about weapons of mass destruction. I think President Carter made a mistake but Democrats do have an opportunity and an obligation to talk about tax policy..." His misdirection would lead viewers to believe that President Carter made remarks about WMDs at the funeral when in fact it was Reverend Lowery. President Carter's remarks, alluded to and criticized ny Gibson, are here.

Gibson turned to Beckel, who said that Bush was "eloquent" at the funeral, and that Lowery was way out of line, and
he disagreed about Carter, who he reminded us had to sit through criticisms at Ronald Reagan's funeral. He does not think that Democrats have adequately exploited the Republican messes, and when pressed by Gibson on why they haven't been able to press this advantage, he replied " Cause everytime we get out there and we have an advantage somebody like Howard Dean says something and then we snatch victory from the jaws, uh, defeat from the jaws of victory. As I said to you before, I feel sometimes defending these people. like being the only fire hydrant at the Westminster Dog Show. It is very tough when a few people say things that don't represent the whole party, but they're leaders.

Gibson turned back to Keating to ask how long Republicans' luck could hold out like this, and he inferred that it's not luck, it's a matter of "good candidates, good campaign themes, ...the world is in fact becoming safer, ...the average American feels the Republican party is talking to him about national security and tax policy and the rest..." Of course we all know better: terrorism is on the rise, we are told that various oil-rich countries pose grave threats, bird flu is hyped, kidnappings all over the place, nerve agent scare in Washington, Osama, Zarqhawi, Hillary, fear, fear, fear!

Comment: For a supposed Democrat on the program to "balance" the loyal Republican, Beckel sure hit all the Republican talking points. Another one bites....the dust.

*Much as I would like to take credit for that headline, I can't...it was a teaser before a commercial break on The Big Story.

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