Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters, found two interesting tweets by News Corp Chair and CEO Rupert Murdoch earlier last week. One said, “Election. To win Romney must open big tent to sympathetic families. Stop fearing far right, which has nowhere else to go. Otherwise no hope.”
Another tweet came that same day: “Retrospect. Conventions mixed but big net win for Democrats. Michelle O and Clinton the big star. Bill brilliant, Hillary away until 016.”
Boehlert wrote, “It sure looks like he’s throwing Fox News under the bus.” If Murdoch were a regular Fox News pundit and said those words on air, can you imagine what would happen, especially on a show like The Five or Hannity?
Murdoch tweets, you decide.
But if and when Romney takes his advice and tries to move to the center, likely during the debates, that’s when the “Etch a Sketch” comment will come back to haunt him. And the hard line right wingers who already have trust issues with Romney, will likely bolt if he does move away from them. Murdoch’s correct that they have nowhere else to go logically, but in their minds they’ll be doing the right thing by either voting for Gary Johnson, writing in Ron Paul, or just opting out of the presidential area of the election. Romney does not have their votes as a guarantee, and the moment they think he’s not in lockstep with them, a bunch will flee.
The most likely scenario, barring some kind of unbelievable meltdown by Obama, will be for Romney to gradually lose ground over the next six weeks, particularly after the first debate. Romney will still get somewhere around 45-48 percent of the vote, and he’ll still pick up a bunch of Electoral College votes. But nothing he’s done indicates that he can get over the hump to become President.
Murdoch and the people at Fox News know this, and have known it for some time. The real interesting part of this will come after Hannity and Morris predictably lose their composure completely as Election Day draws near.
Morris has staked what’s left of any credibility on a Romney landslide, so it will be interesting to see what happens after the election. I have a feeling he’ll get angrier and angrier on air throughout October, culminating on Election Day. And then he’ll be back on the air the following week, pretending to have some credibility as an expert on these matters. And pretending that none of his statements over the past year exist.
Hannity, on the other hand, has been drumrolling this election since January 2011, when he was starting his program with the line “And we’re on the road to 2012!” I’m not sure what Hannity was thinking then, whether he thought there would be a great GOP candidate or whether he just wanted to rev up his audience. But one has to seriously wonder how he’s going to handle watching Obama win a second term…