Dick Morris rewrites history

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Morris appears on the opinion pages of the Boston Herald to announce that John McCain can still win this election. And that McCain's climb isn't really that daunting because lots of candidates have pulled off White House comebacks, just like McCain can.

The hitch is that Morris has to reinvent the recent past to make the claim stand up. We know Morris is no stranger to fiction, but this bout of creative writing (i.e. fabricating) seems especially noteworthy.

Yes, McCain's a long shot ,Morris admits, announcing that the Republican is trailing by nearly 7 points in the national polls. But that's okay, he reassures the faithful:

it is not too late for the Republican to pull out a victory. Three times in the past 30 years a presidential race shifted dramatically in the final week.

Wow, really? Three times in the last 30 years somebody has come back from as far back as McCain "in the final week" and won the White House? Well, technically, no. In fact, nobody in the last 30 years has come back from nearly seven points down "in the last week" to win the election. And, I'm guessing nobody ever will.

But let's watch Morris reinvent the past.

*"In 1980, Reagan came from eight points behind to a solid victory by winning his sole debate with Carter in the last week of October."

*"In 1992, Clinton, who had fallen behind in the polls because of the pounding he was taking over his liberalism and propensity to raise taxes, surged ahead of Bush when Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh announced that he was indicting Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, an indication of Bush's possible complicity in the Iran-Contra scandal."

*"And in 2000, Bush's 3 to 4 point lead in the polls was erased over the final weekend when reports surfaced that he had been cited for DWI 20 years before and had not revealed the fact to the public. Bush still won the election, of course, but Gore won the popular vote by half a point."

Just for the record, neither Reagan in 1980, nor Clinton in `92, nor Bush in 2000 were ever behind by nearly seven points with one week to go. Not one of them. Yet that's the proof Morris concocts on the eve of Election Day.

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