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Mary Matalin Compares Obama To A Chinese Dinner

Reported by Ellen - June 5, 2008 -

Maybe it’s just me, but I have sensed an air of dejectedness from Sean Hannity since Barack Obama clinched the nomination and made such a stark contrast with John McCain the night before. Good-bye Operation Chaos! On last night's (6/4/08) Hannity & Colmes, guest Mary Matalin did her best to cheer on McCain and to cheer up Hannity with some ethnic insults about Obama. But Hannity didn’t seem to buy it. Then, when it was Alan Colmes’ turn to interview Matalin, he shredded all her talking points. With video.

I’m sure Hannity would never admit this, but I suspect that he admires Obama in ways he only wishes he did McCain. Hannity’s first question to Matalin was, “A lot of people were comparing the speeches last night of Senator McCain and Senator Obama, Mary, and the consensus was, is that Senator Obama has more energy, delivers a more powerful speech, he appears younger, more energetic and that may ultimately be a problem for Senator McCain. Do you agree with that analysis?”

Not surprisingly, she didn’t. Matalin said, “John McCain is not ever going to be an operatic orator but he is not the Chinese dinner that Barack Obama is. You never know what he said an hour later. Just like you never know what you ate when you have a Chinese dinner. What did he say? He gave some liberal drivel pap, the likes of which we’ve heard before and it hasn’t worked, it’s not gonna work and it’s why he’s really an ideal candidate to contrast with the kind of conservatism we need to discuss.”

That sounds like a contradiction to me. If Obama said the same “liberal drivel pap we’ve heard before,” then it’s hard to believe she couldn’t figure out what he was saying. In any event, even Hannity didn’t seem to believe it. He quickly changed the subject to his own peeve with McCain: that McCain won’t make the same kinds of attacks on Obama that Hannity has been making. “(McCain’s) praising Hillary, he’s praising Barack Obama, saying nice things. He wants to be above the politics of quote, personal destruction. Meanwhile, he’s gotten, you know, one attack after another by Barack Obama. And I’m like, if he’s going to treat you that way, why not talk about William Ayers? Why not talk about Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger and his comments in San Francisco? If Obama’s going to take the gloves off, why doesn’t Senator McCain?”

Matalin said McCain did have "the gloves off.” Then, in another contradiction to her earlier statement, she said, “Maybe Barack gave a better speech but John gave by far a better framework for the fall.”

Colmes broke in for his turn and pointed out that McCain had called Obama “naive.” Colmes added, “(McCain) also said that Obama keeps repeating the line over and over again that ‘I would be Bush 3.’ He basically called him a liar. So what’s this idea about John McCain running an above-board, ‘I’m not going to insult my opponent’ campaign? He did it last night in his speech.” A sulky Hannity tried to interrupt but Colmes refused to let him.

Matalin replied, “The electorate wants to hear, ‘What is the choice? What kind of change do I want?’” And to be fair, I think she had a point, which was that McCain's attacks on Obama (and vice versa) were substantive, as opposed to the kind of character attacks that are Hannity’s stock in trade. But Colmes was right, too. In no way, did Obama get a pass from McCain.

Next, Colmes went on offense. He told Matalin, “Here’s where I agree with you. (McCain) is the candidate of change. McCain changed his view on tax cuts, he changed his view on torture, he changed his view on warrantless wiretapping, on spying on Americans. He changed his view on a number of things. The agents of intolerance on the right, who he’s now embraced. He has changed time after time after time from the candidate he was in 2000.”

Matalin answered lamely, “You know what? He has seen the light.”

That caused Colmes to laugh heartily.

Matalin continued, “And he is our best candidate. Don’t take my word for it. You can look at the polls today which are illustrative, not dispositive. He is beating Obama. Hillary would have been a stronger candidate.”

“He is?” Colmes said incredulously. “He’s not beating Obama in the polls I’ve seen. It’s about 49, 44, Obama over McCain.” Colmes is correct. Here are the latest polls as reported by RealClearPolitics. Obama leads in both the popular and electoral count.