Hello and good morning and welcome to your Sunday Morning liveblog - which is really your truncated, abbreviated Sunday Morning liveblog. The reason? I am coming to you live from my hotel room in Denver, Colorado, where I am bereft of TiVo, unsure of the Sunday morning schedule, and doing it all at Mountain Time. Mountain Time! These are hearty people, these Coloradoans, with their strange time zone and their thin air and their delicious Rocky Mountain oysters - which are deep fried bull testicles (and they are delicious, AND non-elitist!)
Anyway, this is going to be short, today, but we're going to do our best. And here we go!
THIS WEEK, WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
So! Joe Biden! Deemed the "traditional attack dog" by GS. Fair distinction? I've gotten emails from people who wish the media could focus on different facets of both Biden and the vice-presidency.
David Axelrod is on, and McCain is an elitist many-homes-owning testy anger bot. GS is all: "Waaah. Not ready to talk about homes yet! Follow the script David Axelrod." Axelrod says that Biden is an awesome pick because he has wisdom, folksy wisdom. Delaware wisdom. The sort of wisdom that yanks money from me everytime I have to drive up to New York.
But what about Hillary Clinton and her supporters and her advisors? Why isn't she the vice-president? Axelrod insists that Obama doesn't have a problem with HRC and her Whip Gang. And anyway, McCain's going to pick Mitt Romney and you can fill an entire hour long show with his stupidity. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SUNDAY FUNNIES? THEY MUST IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THE DEAD PEOPLE. FOR CLOSURE.
Axlerod says the HRC is going to solve everything with her magical, rift-sealing convention speech.
But while hasn't Obama "put his stamp" on FDR's New Deal, with "glamor?" Sean Wilentz demands it! Axelrod basically says, "Uhm, we are just trying to run this race, here, in the year 2008."
Will the convention attack Bush? Provide biography? Attack Bush with biography? Attack Bush with lions? Attack the lions with biography after they've attacked Bush, and start ransacking America, because WHERE DID THESE LIONS COME FROM? THEY ARE BITEY AND HURTY. This is a "special week," but there's going to be a "broad battlefield" going forward. NOT A SMALL BATTLEFIELD. A 50-state battlefield. Love is a battlefield.
GS wants Axelrod to specifically put a number on the post-convention bounce, and Axelrod demurs. He similarly brushes off worries about rain, that was prayed for by all those pseudo-Christians who actually worship an addled monkey named Booga-Booga-Foo from the dark side of the moon.
Oh, crimony, here's Rudy Giuliani. He's seen "that Biden clip" where he criticizes Obama's lack of experience "a hundred times." Really? Why? Isn't there anything else to do in New York City? Couldn't you have seen Passing Strange, or something? "No, no," says Giuliani, "I don't feel like going out to the theatre tonight. Gonna watch clips of Biden and figure out a way to alienate my family."
Giuliani says that Biden is not CHANGE! Boo! Because he's all about the hope for change. He says that Obama's hypocritical for disparaging McCain for having a ton of homes. "We've talked about football!" Giuliani says of McCain, who roots for the effing Cardinals, I guess. And doesn't Obama own a super-cool RezkoManse, in Xanadu? Giuliani says that Obama has no room to talk, because he is rich, too, But he's worth four million! That's a million shy of McCain's standard for rich.
Has Rudy been vetted for the vice presidency? He says no. And that stands to reason! Vetting Giuliani is like opening the Ark of the Covenant! Open the box, and suddenly your face is melting off amid tortured screams! "OMG! The corruption! The waste! The howling void!"
Panel time with George Will, Donna Brazile (who was on my flight yesterday! Along with MoDo), Cokie Roberts, and - bleah! - Mark Halperin.
Will says Biden should send Vladimir Putin a valentine or something, and says that the pick underscores a defect and the trick is to get people to fix on the fix. Cokie says that Biden will magically help Obama with Catholics. Halperin says that he agrees with Will, except when he doesn't.
GS says "Once you've said no to Hillary, Biden was the clear pick all along!" Will says that people will warm up to Biden in cases where they have trouble to warm up to Obama - which I think is the key advantage the pick offers: Biden will play well in the Rust Belt and out West.
Mark Halperin says that there will be interviews with delegates on the floor of the convention who will say they won't vote for Obama. Halperin will have a six-item listicle on TIME explaining this, that you will jump through two ads to get to and, in the end, feel cheated.
What will McCain do? George Will is like, "WOW. THREE SENATORS IN THE RACE!" So he'll pick someone other than a Senator, so it's Romney. Halperin says, "Oooh! Oooh! Can I be the 45,756th person to say Romney will help win Michigan?"
Cokie Roberts points out that Romney will add his many Sanctuary Mansions to McCain's extensive collection of estates and condos. But! George Will says FDR owned a big old estate, and he was a non-elitist, buffalo-testicle eating, dog-owning New Dealer! Yes, true! And presidential elections weren't quite such a shitshow of shallowness!
Halperin says this ad will bring Obama the Ayers/Wright attacks. GS, says, "Don't you think that would have come up anyway?" No...thinking is outsite Halperin's purview. Brazile says that Obama needs to attack McCain. But, Halperin, says, the attack on homes is a personal attack! Cokie says it's an ad about the economy. GS is pretty incredulous, too. Pretty soon everyone is smacking Halperin around like a tether ball as he stammers. George Will, doesn't participate, because really, people, have some dignity.
MEET THE PRESS
I think Meet The Press is on, right now? I can't find Fox News Sunday on my hotel room teevee. And it appears that the Chris Matthews Show isn't on out here or something. Either way, Denver is sort of a demi-paradise, where everyone eats bull testicles.
Hey! Harry and Louise ad! You think Harry and Louise have ever shacked up at a wrap party for one of their commercials? I like to think that these two have bumped uglies at least once. Yes. That's the sort of elevated discourse I am bringing to Denver!
Anyway, here is Meet The Press. And Caroline Kennedy is here! She's happy to be part of the campaign, as you might expect. How did the "vetting" process work? She was happy to be part of the vetting process. She's just happy! Joe Biden is the best! Obama was awesome! Eric Holder was cool! It was just a great process. And a confidential process, Tom Brokaw! So no prying questions! Anyway, the process, it was just...you know...great. A great process.
Biden "would be at the top of any list," Kennedy says. Especially the Obama list, which only had the "top" where Clinton and Bayh and Kaine and everyone else is.
What about Clinton? Kennedy says she's great. Just a great part of the process where she stays in the Senate and doesn't negatively impact the election at all.
Was John Kennedy's choice of LBJ a model for her? No. See, LBJ is dead, and America is not quite ready for a mouldering corpse as vice-president.
What does Kennedy think about McCain's "Biden" ad? She says that Biden's willingness to speak his mind and work with the GOP will be a great part of the future process.
Now it's time for Nancy Pelosi. Is it bad that Obama didn't pick "an agent of change?" Pelosi says, predictably, that it shows good judgement and Biden is great, and Obama is the full package on his own and that Biden reinforces this. I mean, why ask this sort of question? I guess Brokaw would have had himself a real scoop if the Convention Chairwoman has said, "Yeah, Tom, I think the Obama REALLY screwed the pooch with this pick! God, why do we even bother? I am going to be drinking vicodin milkshakes from now till November!" And then she walks off the set swearing.
Ugh, Brokaw and his "bottom line" he's sort of missing the fact that this "Gang of 10" legislation is not, "OH NOES! Let's suddenly capitulate and drill up the entire coastline." It puts offshore drilling as part of a cafeteria of options, and puts McCain in a bit of a political bind.
Honestly, against the backdrop of the convention, I'm a little stunned at how deep in the weeds they are getting on energy right now. Now Brokaw is sowing division between Pelosi and Al Gore. The purpose? I have no idea! Just a dash of, "BUT YOU DISAGREE WITH NOBEL PRIZE MAN!"
"Sounds like we're going to have offshore drilling!" Brokaw concludes, as a million heads thud against the wall.
More on "Should Obama have picked Clinton?" Pelosi says, "It's his choice," but no, his support is strong and the Democrats are united.
"Almost no Democrats are willing to say the Surge worked," says Brokaw. Because the Surge didn't allow the space for political decisions to be made...oh, you know the answer! The issue should be: why does John McCain, insist - like a petulant little whiny child - that he needs to be given CREDIT for the "Surge," when he won't take responsibility for a bad strategy that has empowered Iran, emboldened Hamas and Hezbollah, appeased al Qaeda, and failed to make this nation or the world safe?
Brokaw plays Obama's "that's above my pay grade" quote on abortion from Saddleback - which was a TERRIBLE answer, by the way. Pelosi's answer is much better! And more thoughtful and direct and couched in her Catholicism. And if I had TiVo, I'd pause this and quote her. Hope you saw it for yourself.
Panel time! Gwen Ifill, John Meacham and Chuck Todd are in the house.
Gwen Ifill says Biden, "doesn't hurt," except old men shouldn't run!
OH, TOM BROKAW. He says basically, that the "seven tables" was out of line because NOUN VERB WAR HERO! DOon't you know McCain was tortured, like he was a Gitmo detainee or something? That's what we should do with the detainees we release, then: GIVE THEM SEVEN HOMES.
Really, how far is this going to go? McCain, knee deep in the blood of a drifter, with Randy Scheunemann yelling: "HE'S ALLOWED TO DRINK THE HOBO BLOOD! WAR HERO!! WAR HERO!!!"
Meacham says Obama and Meacham are "prize fighters" who are going to open a "fight club" WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT TALK ABOUT.
Chuck Todd says that Obama needs Hillary Clinton to "sell Barack Obama," and then recoup the proceeds of that sale to give to Mark Penn, who lives in a hole in Georgetown, where he looks for the One Ring To Rule Them All, With Microtrends.
John Meacham says, "I think all of us know a great deal about Barack Obama." Hey, John, that's not immediately apparent to a lot of people! I got a columnist here in DC, Richard Cohen, who a great many people have been duped into respecting who wrote the "I don't know anything about Obama" column in January and then RE-WROTE it in July! And all day long on pundit shows you here people talk about how "the people" don't know Obama. Uhm...why not SHARE what you know, guys?
OK. Sadly, I have to go, because of some panel that I was just now informed I have to go to. Don't worry! You are not missing anything, except the bull testicles, which are delicious.