Monday, December 22, 2008

Most Inane Punditry of the 2008 presidential campaign

Media Matters had a vote about the most inane punditry of the 2008 presidential campaign, and the winner was...

ABC political commentator Cokie Roberts.

And it was not even close. By an overwhelming margin readers of Media Matters voted for her criticism of then-Senator Barack Obama for choosing Hawaii, where his ailing Grandmother (who would sadly die just before the election) and the state of his birth, to take his August family vacation. Readers chose Roberts' comments as the most popular entry in Media Matters for America's poll for Most Inane Punditry of the 2008 presidential campaign, in greater numbers than her two closest competitors combined.

If you don't remember Roberts' inane comments -- included her characterizing Hawaii, where Obama vacations regularly, as "foreign, exotic". Roberts stated:

"I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place."

"He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time."

Now you might have thought that Robert's weird comments were some off-the-cuff remark, not well thought out, or just a mistake. But this was not the case, because Roberts repeated her criticism of Obama's vacation destination during the August 11 broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, asserting that Obama's choice of Hawaii for his vacation "makes him seem a little bit more exotic."

She also characterized Hawaii as "a somewhat odd place to be doing it," despite acknowledging, "I know that he is from Hawaii, he grew up there, his grandmother lives there."

Vote totals in percentages*:

Cokie Roberts on Obama's Hawaii vacation: "I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state," but it looks "foreign, exotic" 38.65 %

Scarborough on Obama's "dainty" bowling performance: "Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man" 16.76%

Barnes: Obama not "strong on national security" because he opposed war "when the entire world believed" Saddam had WMD 16.71%

Brooks thinks Obama wouldn't seem to "fit[] in naturally" at an Applebee's salad bar -- maybe because Applebee's doesn't have them 5.95%

Defending Givhan's cleavage coverage, Harwood asserted "calculati[ng]" Clinton knew "what she was communicating by her dress" 5.79%

Fox News' Hill criticizes Clinton for leaving too large a tip, accuses her of "spending like a Learjet liberal" 5.59%

On Hardball, Matthews and Shuster critiqued Obama's "weird" beverage selection at Indiana diner 4.80%

Matthews on Obama shooting pool: "[I]t's not what most people play. People with money play pool these days" 2.48%

Matthews: "Who would win a street fight... Rudy Giuliani or President Ahmadinejad" 2.30%

Politico's Simon now on to a different part of Romney's anatomy: "shoulders you could land a 737 on" 0.97%

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