On Hardball, The New Yorker's Peter Boyer asserted that "Jim Webb was not exactly a Daily Kos Democrat in Virginia." In fact, Webb is a Daily Kos member who has a diary at the website. He has also repeatedly credited bloggers -- including Daily Kos -- and Internet support for his 2006 Senate election. Further, Webb was endorsed by Daily Kos and others as one of their "Netroots Candidates" during the 2006 election cycle.
On the August 13 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, prefacing a panel discussion featuring TownHall.com columnist Amanda Carpenter, Atlantic senior writer Josh Green, and New Yorker staff writer Peter Boyer, host Chris Matthews asked, "Next up, this is a hot one: Is [Sen.] Hillary [Clinton (D-NY)] a drag on her party?" and referred to an August 12 Associated Press article, which, he said, "shows a party worried about the damage from such a polarizing politician." Green replied: "I don't know if [Clinton's] going to bring down the Democratic Congress, but if you talk to Democratic strategists in purple states ... these are the states where, you know, Democrats got their majority in 2006. It was folks like [Sen.] Jim Webb [D-VA]." Boyer later asserted: "Josh is right. Jim Webb was not exactly a Daily Kos Democrat in Virginia. It's a pretty thin margin in both houses, and Mrs. Clinton is ... her own wedge issue." In fact, Webb is a Daily Kos member who has a diary at the website. He has also repeatedly credited bloggers -- including Daily Kos -- and Internet support for his 2006 Senate election. Further, Webb was endorsed by Daily Kos, along with Swing State Project and MyDD, as one of their "Netroots Candidates" during the 2006 election cycle.
As Daily Kos contributor mcjoan noted in response to Boyer's comment, Webb published a June 16, 2006, diary entry titled, "My Netroots Victory," in which he cited the "support of an army of bloggers and 2,500 volunteers" for contributing to his election. In a later post on Daily Kos, Webb wrote: "I would not have run if I had not seen the spontaneous support that began on the internet and spilled over into a lot of civic groups." After winning his Virginia Senate seat, he wrote: "I would like to thank Daily Kos and the entire netroots community for all of the support for my campaign for U.S. Senate. Your efforts, energy, and contributions were a great help, and a major reason I am able to stand on the floor of the U.S. Senate and fight for the issues that we collectively care about."
Furthermore, as Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Duncan Black noted on his Eschaton blog, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas supported Webb early in his candidacy. From an April 11, 2006, post by Moulitsas:
I don't have the time for a full fighting Dem write up, only to note that tonight's edition (9:20 p.m. ET) will feature Jim Webb running for senate in Virginia.
I am extremely excited about his candidacy and I'll be taking a bigger role promoting it in the coming months.
People think that because Webb was a former Navy secretary under Reagan, and because he speaks, at least rhetorically, favorably about that era, that he is somehow a right-wing Democrat. Anyone who thinks that will be pleasently [sic] surprised over the next several months. Webb is the real deal and a real progressive.
Earlier on Hardball, Matthews had touted Boyer's "amazing" New Yorker article on Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and asked: "Will voters focus on Rudy's record of cleaning up liberal urban New York and will his toughness against enemies overshadow his stance on social issues?" Boyer had replied that Giuliani is, "of course, famously the mayor of America for the September 11th heroics," adding: "But I was surprised by the degree to which so many people outside of New York knew about the pretty radical reform that he effected in New York City." Matthews then asserted that people "want the cities cleaned up so they can visit them," to which Carpenter replied: "Absolutely. There's an impression, if he can clean up New York, liberal New York City, he can come to Washington and clean that up." Contrary to Boyer's description of Giuliani as "famously the mayor of America for the September 11th heroics," Media Matters has documented numerous criticisms of Giuliani's record on national security, and in particular, his response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
From the August 13 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball -- time now to hash through the hottest political stories, sift through the best political news. And here to do it is our panel tonight, our round table; TownHall.com's Amanda Carpenter, Josh Green, who writes about Karl Rove in this month's The Atlantic Monthly, and Peter Boyer, who's written an amazing piece about Rudy Giuliani in this week's New Yorker magazine.
MATTHEWS: Next up, the other Giuliani -- in the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine, our own round table member, yourself, Peter Boyer, takes a look at Rudy Giuliani's courtship of the heartland and Republicans across the country. As the piece asks: Is what New York never liked about Rudy Giuliani exactly what the heartland loves? Will voters focus on Rudy's record of cleaning up liberal urban New York and will his toughness against enemies overshadow his stance on social issues?
I have a belief -- apparently you've written it -- that Rudy Giuliani has appeal in the South beyond where his values of abortion rights and perhaps gay rights prevail.
BOYER: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. So, I didn't -- I live in New York. I grew up in South Mississippi. I was at an Ole Miss-LSU game a couple of years ago and John McCain, whose granddaddy had gone to school at Ole Miss, was there and he stopped by before the game. And people were polite and glad to see him and shook his hand, and he left. And people started asking me about Rudy Giuliani. Is Giuliani going to run?
And the thing they said was: He can beat Hillary. And that's the thing I have heard in South Carolina, and I've heard all through the heartland, is this is the guy who can beat Hillary Clinton. The other piece of it is, he's, you know, of course, famously the mayor of America for the September 11th heroics. But I was surprised by the degree to which so many people outside of New York knew about the pretty radical reform that he effected in New York City. And that counts a lot to a lot of people outside of the city.
MATTHEWS: Amanda, I have my own views, which I will share at this moment, which is that anybody can end crime as a menacing factor, a big factor of life in the big city, is going to be a hero to people -- even people who don't live in the cities. They want the cities cleaned up so they can visit them.
CARPENTER: Absolutely. There's an impression, if he can clean up New York, liberal New York City, he can come to Washington and clean that up. And, you know, I think there's an appeal that Giuliani, even though he does have these issues with marriage and abortion, he will tell you what he's going to do, even when you don't want to hear it. And compared to Mitt Romney, who does have a credibility issue at this point in time, we know what we're going to get with him. And he's up front about it.
MATTHEWS: All the liberals I work with all say, "Oh, the Republicans will never buy Rudy because he's pro-choice." And I -- maybe because I grew up in a Republican family -- I know the Republicans. Well, Democrats like meetings; Republicans like leaders. They are a different culture. They want somebody to give them the orders, to run the thing. They don't want to have another collegiality session or tea group. They want a boss, a leader. And Rudy, whatever you think of him, gives orders.
MATTHEWS: We're back with TownHall.com's Amanda Carpenter, The Atlantic Monthly's Josh Green, and The New Yorker magazine's Peter Boyer. Next up, this is a hot one: Is Hillary a drag on her party? The Associated Press today looks into the effect that Hillary Clinton's candidacy could have on Democratic congressional candidates in 2008. In more than 40 interviews with top Democrats, the piece shows a party worried about the damage from such a polarizing politician. That's what they say.
With her unfavorable numbers high in places with key races, how much of a liability is she, Josh? Is Hillary going to bring down the Democratic Congress?
GREEN: I don't know if she's going to bring down the Democratic Congress, but if you talk to Democratic strategists in purple states -- I've been out in Colorado. I've been in Virginia. These are --
MATTHEWS: What are purple states? Half-and-half?
GREEN: Yeah, half-and-half.
MATTHEWS: Red and blue.
GREEN: Just like in crayons.
GREEN: But these are the states where, you know, Democrats got their majority in 2006. It was folks like Jim Webb. It was people in Colorado, like Salazar, you know, who were knocking off true, you know, Republicans --
MATTHEWS: But that's where Hillary hopes to win. She hopes to win in places like Colorado and Nevada and New Mexico.
GREEN: Well, if you talk to strategists, there is a lot of nervousness about that fact. I mean, they think that one of the reasons Democrats won in '06 was because there wasn't a, quote, unquote, "polarizing liberal" --
MATTHEWS: Oh, but they weren't -- they weren't picking --
GREEN: -- a Clinton or a John Kerry at the top of the ticket -- and if there is, a lot of those people think the dynamic could change a little bit.
MATTHEWS: Peter, it's one thing to register a criticism of the current regime or government, as they did in 2006, it's another to pick a new commander in chief. Isn't it?
BOYER: Yeah, it is. I mean, it's interesting. I think, in a way, Hillary has -- Mrs. Clinton has gone farther down the road of convincing people that she might be an effective commander in chief than she has in convincing Democrats that she can win -- and that is a real problem. I mean, Josh is right. Jim Webb was not exactly a Daily Kos Democrat in Virginia. It's a pretty thin margin in both houses, and Mrs. Clinton is, you know, she's her own wedge issue.
MATTHEWS: It's interesting, because John Kennedy, who we all grew up -- at least I grew up watching -- was able to win the Democratic nomination by winning primaries and proving to the political experts that he could win. He had to go out and prove it.