Battle of the Bad Surrogates

The last 24 hours have brought an example of god-awful surrogate work for both Democratic campaigns. Of note are Lanny Davis for the Clinton campaign and Texas state senator Kirk Watson for the Obama campaign. I’ll let you decide which is worse.First, here’s Watson.

That’s about as unprepared as I’ve ever seen an official surrogate be for a TV interview. If I’m the Obama campaign, I draw up a one page sheet of legislative accomplishments (with senate ethics legislation at the top) and make sure everyone you’d ever even remotely consider putting on TV knows it forwards and backwards. The easiest way to stop the legislative record line of attack from the Clinton campaign (peddled here by Matthews) is to quickly answer the question.

Next, here’s Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis, who compares Hillary’s position in the campaign to Joe Lieberman’s after his primary defeat to Ned Lamont.

Christopher Orr of The Plank writes:

(Unofficial) Clinton flack Lanny Davis just explained on Fox News that Barack Obama is like Ned Lamont (who, whatever you think of him, won that Democratic Senate primary), and Hillary Clinton is like Joe Lieberman (who, whatever you think of him, refused to abide by the primary result, ran and won as an independent with massive GOP support, and has subsequently endorsed John McCain). Lest anyone miss his meaning, Davis noted that he had been a devout Lieberman booster.

Now, I don’t know that there’s any scenario outside of Davis’s Lieberman-addled mind where Hillary Clinton loses the nomination and runs as an independent. The argument Davis is trying to make, I think, is that Clinton has general election appeal to Republicans and independents that Obama doesn’t have. Of course, based on what we’ve seen in open primaries, the opposite is true.

These surrogates are bad for different reasons. I doubt I would have posted either, but the combined weight of surrogate badness here just demanded attention. So – which do you think is worse?

2 thoughts on “Battle of the Bad Surrogates

  1. Watson’s performance is painful. That man is a professional politician? Astonishing.

    Even if Watson insists on being a lazy moron who couldn’t do 30 seconds of research about the guy he was about to go on the teevee to talk up, if you ever get caught up in a trap like that, take second, and then reject the premise of the question.

    Attack the questioner’s right to set the terms of debate.

    Good God, TV 101. What an idiot.

    Chris Matthews: You have to give me Obama’s legislative accomplishments, now.

    Dude: Chris, you fat clown, you don’t have the right to tell anybody why they should support Barack Obama. Here I sit, an Obama supporter for my own reasons, not yours. The world doesn’t revolve around you, you dolt. You don’t get to decide what this election is about. Newsflash, you’re a reporter – you DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHAT THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT. You’re talking to me, and I like Obama because of his (whatever) and because that’s important to me. I don’t care what’s important to you. And if you think America should care what’s important to you, God help us – because that is the opposite of journalism. Why you have a tee vee show is beyond me…

    Matthews: Bucca bucca bucca bucca chirp chirp…

    Dude: (interrupts) You don’t get to decide what this election is about. The people decide. And they have decided this election is about Change and NOT what you and the Clinton campaign want it to be about.

    “You don’t get to decide what this election is about” the the best way to stuff a dunk.


  2. Yeah that would have been a refreshing difference. Maybe now that Matthews has ramped up his anti-Obama argument, we’ll see some Obama surrogates try to take it to him.

    The sad reality, though, is that other than Cliff Schecter I’ve never seen a Democrat take it to the host or their GOP counterpart on grounds like that. They have simply internalized incompetence and Watson was a sad example of it. It was like watching a trainwreck.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s