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Sean Hannity and Republican Pollster Kellyanne Conway Offer Political Advice For Democrats

Reported by Ellen - August 10, 2006 -

In the wake of Tuesday’s primary, Sean Hannity and Republican Kellyanne Conway offered lots of advice for Democrats last night (8/9/06) on Hannity & Colmes. Not surprisingly, it was full of admonitions about Ned Lamont and the dangers they claimed he posed to the Democratic Party. What was surprising was how vehemently and how well Bob Beckel, a Lieberman supporter, countered their “insights” and “strategies.” Alan Colmes was in good form, too

Hannity started the discussion by calling Ned Lamont’s win a loss for Democrats. “They think they won something here. I think this is the single biggest setback we could have ever imagined for the Democrats.”

Conway chimed in, “It’s precisely why the Republicans have stayed out of it altogether, Sean.” Oh really? That must be why Tony Snow opined that a vote for Lamont was a vote for another 9/11. And what involvement would Republicans have had, anyway? It was a Democratic primary.

Conway continued, “If I were the Democrats I’d be really nervous because most political parties are trying to broaden their reach. And the Democratic Party by having Ned Lamont as their nominee is actually narrowing their focus. If they just want to be the anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-establishment party, they get about 35% of the vote across the country.”

Hannity put up a photo of Lamont standing in front of Rev. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Kim Gandy of NOW. “Look who’s behind him!” Hannity declared gleefully. “Moveon.org has taken over your party."

Beckel, in the first of many great comebacks, said, “Come on! How many times are you going to try this?” Colmes cracked up. Beckel continued, “Here’s the reality. They had the largest turnout in the history of a Democratic primary in that state. Democrats are going to turn out in huge numbers. And Kellyanne ought to know this, that when the party out of power turns out in big numbers, the party IN power is gonna get beaten. And that’s exactly what’s gonna happen.”

Colmes said to Conway, “The fact is, (Republicans) do this game all the time. Whenever a Democrat gets traction, you paint them as a liberal extremist. You did it with Howard Dean.”

Conway, out of the goodness of her heart no doubt, said “Unfortunately for your party, you were not able to do with Ned Lamont what you ultimately did with Howard Dean – was you sent a message through Dean that people were against the war, that they can raise money through the internet…”

Colmes interrupted. “Most Americans are (against the war).”

Conway continued, “But thankfully in the end, the screaming whirling dervish in the Iowa caucuses didn’t end up being your nominee. But that didn’t happen here.”

Colmes replied, “You want to define the entire Democratic Party by a candidate who’s anti-war. Most Americans are anti-war. Bush has a 32% rating on the war.”

Conway offered another “helpful hint.” “If you want this election to be about Bush, you’re gonna lose. If you make it not about Bush, you win.”

Beckel nearly split a gut laughing. “Are you kiddin’ me? …Kellyanne, if this election’s about George Bush, we’ll go home tonight and it’s all over! Do you realize that people in this country don’t like this guy?”

In what had to be her most laughable moment, Conway asked, "Where’s the party of Bill Clinton, by the way?“ Conway's second most laughable comment was, "I thought this was great because your party got EXACTLY what it needed last night. You got another multi-gazillionaire white guy to lead your party.”

As she spoke Colmes said sarcastically, “Oh, yeah, there are none of those in the Republican Party.”

Conway continued, “Now you have, like 50 of them. You’re the party of diversity, you love poor people…” Everybody started talking at once.

The discussion broke. After the commercials, the subject ostensibly turned to Cynthia McKinney’s defeat. McKinney is such a favorite whipping-girl on the show, Colmes later quipped that Hannity & Colmes would run out of subjects to discuss now that she’s out of office. But he nevertheless took several swipes at her and her New Black Panther Party security detail for some anti-Semitic remarks. “They make Mel Gibson look like a member of the B’nai Brith,” Colmes said, despite the fact that the entourage (some of whom I recognized as repeat H&C guests) looked like they were being provoked by cameramen whose actions were not shown.

Conway, never one to miss an opportunity to smear, said, “Those people were all sober, weren’t they?” She later said “There were anti-Semites who voted for Ned Lamont and against Joe Lieberman.”

Colmes turned the discussion back to Lieberman. “Isn’t this true democracy at work, the primary process, grass roots… This is grass roots Democrats in Connecticut voting for change. Isn’t that what democracy is all about, whether or not you like Lamont, like Lieberman? Isn’t that a healthy sign?”

Conway insisted, “It’s a healthy sign for the Republican party.” She added that the blogosphere had a lot to do with it.

Beckel said, “I don’t think we give the blogosphere this much credit. The fact is that the war in Iraq is what brought Lamont into this.”

Hannity, the big war supporter, never wants to talk about it. “I don’t want to hear your lectures on the war. I want to move beyond it.”

Beckel said, “I’m trying to give you an honest analysis. You think without the war that Lieberman would have been beaten?”

Hannity, who passed up the opportunity to serve in the military himself, never misses an opportunity to show off his military strategery. “I think what this is about… Your party has lost its soul, (Lieberman) was the last JFK Democrat… There’s no room for any defense-minded Democrat now in your party.”

Beckel replied, “What you’re saying now is that the Democratic Party has put itself in a position where it will not win in November. I tell you that they WILL win in November and the Republicans better worry about the things that happened yesterday which was about change."

Hannity offered some more advice. “Maybe you will win, Bob, but I gotta tell you something. You and people in your party, if you care about the long-term prospects for the Democratic Party, you guys are missing the big picture here. Here’s the picture.” Hannity began ticking off on his fingers. “Islamic fascists are coming to kill us, destroy us, they want to ruin our culture and you guys want to cut, run, surrender, wave the white flag and give up in this war and that’s represented by the Lamont campaign, John Kerry, John Murtha and the rest of your party. You guys are weak.” Hannity started chopping his hand through the air. “Profoundly, pathetically weak on national defense and homeland security.”

But Beckel was in rare form. “You can call me all the names you want… I’ll tell you something. You want to stay there and DIE in a civil war, that’s your business. George Bush is in trouble today because he got us into a war that this public doesn’t want.”

Hannity said, “I want to win the war against the people that have this unmatched fanaticism. You guys don’t get it.”

“Then let’s win it where we should be winning it! …You don’t win it in Baghdad, Sean.”

If only Beckel could be that good every time.