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Self-important Dick Morris says O'Reilly followers key to 2008 election

Reported by Chrish - March 5, 2007 -

Dick Morris was the sole guest – again – on the O'Reilly Factor Friday night 3/3/07, to discuss the presidential candidates from both parties and to promote his website, where you'll find a place to donate to the swiftboating-of-Hillary-movie that Morris is making. When they discussed Democrats, (Clinton, Obama) race was an issue – who will “the blacks” vote for? When they switched the discussion to the Republican frontrunners (McCain and Giuliani) black voters were no longer of concern.

This airing of Morris's opinions of the candidates – again – included his evaluation that Obama benefitted from the Geffen-Clinton volley, because she had been winning the black vote in polls 3:1, and he didn't know how to appeal to black voters without going to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who would “alienate whites.” Clinton solved his problem by “attacking” him, and then “the blacks all rallied around Barack Obama.”

Asked by O'Reilly how he knew that, Morris simply cited the change in poll numbers from January. When O'Reilly asked him if perhaps it was because blacks didn't like, or rather he should say know Obama before this, and then with “the Hillary exposure” they looked in and figured this guy out? Sure, agrees Morris, “it was a question of one of their own being under attack, under fire," and all of a sudden Clinton went from being a strong civil rights, pro-black advocate to being the one attacking the black candidate. That's an advantage for Obama, opines O'Reilly. Now, they say, Hillary has turned to Bill Clinton to bolster her image as she headed to Selma AL.

O'Reilly wanted to ask one question about Al Gore, because O'Reilly thinks that he is hanging back waiting for these two front runners to explode, and he can step in and be savior, right? Morris thinks Gore has found “life after death” and is doing something his father didn't do, which is “pretty good for him” (a little psychoanalysis thrown in no extra charge). Gore was a viable candidate pre-Obama, but “Obama is now sucking up all the anti-Clinton oxygen in the room” that Gore could have breathed, so Morris does not see Gore becoming a candidate.

Turning to Republicans, O'Reilly read “Giuliani 39, McCain 19. What's going on there?” (The straw poll taken at the now infamous CPAC last week put Mitt Romney in the lead, with 21% and Giuliani a close second.) Both men then took shots at McCain. Morris said he's falling apart, and cited his friend Ed Rollins, who said that in 2000 McCain was the maverick to Bush's conformist; now McCain is the conformist, party-regular, pro-war candidate who is in effect “going into the next war perfectly prepared to win the last one. As a result he comes across as dull, timid, weak, and shy and ineffective.” But, asks O'Reilly, isn't that a physical thing; he had a lot more energy six years ago. That's right, said Morris, and he looked like a little kid announcing on Letterman. Why did he do that?

Here they went into a spin of O'Reilly's influence that'll, well, make your head spin. O'Reilly said Letterman gets about 4 million viewers; Morris said to O'Reilly “you get about 4 million, too, right?” and O'Reilly agreed. (O'Reilly's primetime audience runs 2-2.5 million, with 1-1.5 million more three hours later and <1 million in the wee hours re-runs. Keep in mind that FAIR's analysis of the FOX ratings mirage disclosed that FOX viewers keep it on FOX all day, and apparently all night too.)

So, Morris said, you're talking to 3 or 4 million right now; 10 million people vote in the combined primaries, you're talking to 40% right now. O'Reilly reminded him that not only is he talking to 4 million via television, but he's got 400 radio stations, which Morris, stipulating that at least some listeners are Democrats, interpreted as O'Reilly talking to 30% of the complete electorate, and over the course of the week, Morris continued, O'Reilly probably reaches 60% of the electorate. He concludes that the O'Reilly Factor is the battleground. O'Reilly agreed, saying it's been that way over the last two election cycles (nothing to brag about in 2006) and people watch because “we create a lot of controversey” and people not only watch but there's the websites and this that and the other thing.

Morris asserted that the frontrunners at Labor Day will have to use that status to fundraise like mad so that they have the requisite $100 million in the bank at News Years Day, with primaries being held in half the states February 5. The next five months are the battle, he says; if you're not in first place in five or six months, you're dead before a single vote is even cast, because of the frontloading of the process. O'Reilly was overtalking, saying the battle right now is for the money, right? It's over in five months, they agree.

Dick Morris (who, remember, hates Hillary Clinton unabashedly) is going to be the No-spin zone's go-to guy for all your election needs. O'Reilly promises they're going to cover it in a very interesting way, which they'll define as they go along. He's already tipped his hand, when he said that if Obama won't come to the Factor, the Factor will go to him. Smart Democrats will beat the rush and get restraining orders against Jesse Watters now.