On Hardball, Newsweek's Howard Fineman suggested that a recent poll finding that 77 percent of Democrats and "Democrat Leaners" are satisfied with their party's choice of presidential nominees, while 52 percent of Republicans and "Republican Leaners" said the same, meant that "both parties are going to nominate somebody that they're sort of not wildly enthusiastic about, and then there is going to be seven months ... for everybody to have buyer's remorse big time." Chris Matthews asserted that the supposed dissatisfaction could lead to a "third party" bid.
In their coverage of the Foley scandal's political effects, numerous media figures have suggested that conservative Christians are most likely to react negatively to the Foley scandal. In doing so, they presume that so-called "values voters" are more concerned than others with protecting children.
On the August 27 Chris Matthews Show, panelists Elisabeth Bumiller, Howard Fineman, and Michael Duffy failed to note Sen. John McCain's history of conflicting statements on President Bush's Iraq policy and on Donald Rumsfeld's performance as secretary of defense.
On Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's weblog The Hotline, asserted that Republicans had invoked the issue of national security "in a positive [way]" in the 2002 and 2004 elections. In fact, Republicans launched numerous attacks on Democrats such as former Sen. Max Cleland in 2002 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
Several news outlets portrayed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's harsh criticism of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as a purely political maneuver to "find the exact middle" in the Democratic Party or to position herself for a potential 2008 presidential run.
On The Chris Matthews Show, CBS News contributor and U.S. News & World Report contributing editor Gloria Borger stated that former Sen. John Edwards might be able to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination because "he's a more authentic person than Hillary Clinton." Borger's comment met with agreement from the panel.
On The Chris Matthews Show, Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman said he doesn't see "a serious answer from the Democrats of how to better make us safe in the world from terrorism," while Bloomberg reporter Janine Zacharia added that "[t]he Democrats have no alternative." In fact, the Democrats have released a comprehensive security plan.
On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman praised former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while speculating on their potential as Republican candidates in the 2008 presidential race. Matthews said of Giuliani: "He looks like [a] president to me." When Matthews called a potential McCain-Giuliani ticket something for "Democrats ... to go home and worry about," Fineman agreed that it would be like "Starsky and Hutch."
Media figures have argued that the scandal surrounding former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is good news for Sen. John McCain because, unlike other members of Congress, he is untainted by the scandal and could benefit politically from being cast as a reformer. But these media figures failed to note that, like many Democrats who they have suggested are tainted, McCain received campaign money from Abramoff's clients, as reported by the Associated Press and the Center for Responsive Politics. *