Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

O'Reilly echoes Novak talking point about Michelle and Hillary

Reported by Chrish - May 14, 2008 -

Bill O'Reilly premised a segment last night 5/13/08 on "some Washington insiders like Bob Novak say" that Michelle Obama doesn't like Hillary Clinton and will use her influence to see that the latter doesn't get a VP nod, in the likely event her husband wins the nomination. He brought on Jim Van de Hei of Politico.com to discuss.
With video.

Van de Hei said that he'd be shocked if Michelle wanted Clinton on the ticket and went a step further and stated that he doesn't think Barack Obama wants her either. O'Reilly repeated that 55% of people who might vote Democratic would like to see her on the ticket, and presidents have chosen running mates they were not fond of before.

O'Reilly said, though, that this is deeply personal according to Novak, "a pretty savvy guy." Van de Hei had another take: who cares what Democrats think? Obama wants to attract Independents and Republicans.

Comment: First, O'Reilly had clearly adjusted his citation from 55% of Democrats to 55% of people who might vote Democratic, so presumably that figure already includes non-Democrats. Second, if turnout in primary season is any indicator (and by all accounts it is) all Obama has to do is turn out the base and he'll swamp McCain. Someone needs to rebut that talking point and ask, who cares what Republicans want? They screwed everyone else for eight years.

Van de Hei said the Clintons (note, not Hillary but both) come with baggage and after such a drawn out race there are hard feelings; the Clintons have been ruthless, underhanded, smashing Obama around...etc etc. O'Reilly glommed onto Van de Hei's remark that Michelle Obama is "super influential," and an argument ensued about political spouses. Van de Hei has the position that all political spouses are influential; O'Reilly took the tack that Laura Bush had very little influence on Bush's campaign: "...You think Laura Bush was telling Karl Rove how to design a campaign, what to do?...She may 'chat' with him, but she's not telling him what to do." (As if Michelle Obama is.)

O'Reilly summarized and said, so you're agreeing with Novak that Michelle Obama has a say, and she does, and no way Hillary Clinton is VP. Van de Hei again backed off from that, saying he'd be shocked if anyone close to Obama wants Hillary on the ticket, which is quite different to critical thinkers but not to O'Reilly's audience.

But Ben Smith on - what's this? - Politico.com reports that

"[Barack Obama] dismissed it (Novak's column) with a flit of his hand. He nearly didn't say anything, but then offered: "My wife does not talk to Bob Novak on a regular basis."

Communications director Robert Gibbs suggested afterward that the article should be set aside "in case of a toilet paper emergency."

Well, well, already debunked but it fits so well with the FOX framing of the Democratic Party as hostilely divided.