Since July 2013 I’ve been asking the question “What are Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments as sec of state?” for almost two years and not getting an answer.

Now Mark Halperin asked that question of group of Hillary voters and this is what happened:

As you might guess this has led to a lot of fun, the headline at the free Beacon complete with spelling error:

Iowa Dems Speechless When Asked to Name an Accomplishment from Hillary Clinton’s State Tenture

And Business Insiders’ description of the scene was classic

Halperin tried directly calling on the participants to offer an answer. But the 10 Democrats present continued to struggle with the question. “Um,” said a third person, who then paused for several seconds. “No.” “I honestly can’t say,” a fourth said.

And of course there is commentary Ed Morrissey:

This time, though, Hillary is the establishment, and she’s almost spookily unaccomplished at the same time. Even her defender notes that Hillary has been around an awfully long time, and he still can’t name any specific accomplishment. These Democrats will still vote for Hillary, if they vote at all, but don’t expect to see the kind of dynamic that produced outside-the-box turnouts and support for Obama in either 2008 or 2012. Hillary can’t provide that kind of excitement, not even with the “first woman” meme voiced at full volume.


Hillary 2016: She “knows how to get stuff done” but they can’t name anything she’s gotten done.

And Rick Wilson correctly say the GOP ad writes itself:

What’s really funny were the replies to Mark Halperin’s tweet on the subject:

such as:


But you’ll note that neither they or others who attack the question in blogs like Richard Barry …

Is she perfect? No. Is she going to be attacked relentlessly by her political enemies. Yes. Will she always handle those attacks well? No. Are there some real problems with her past? Yes. But to read this headline you would think that this group of 10 Iowans are mortified that Hillary is the only credible candidate running for the Democratic nomination, which couldn’t be less true. Overall, they seem pleased.

…bother to answer the question on the floor: “What are Hillary’s accomplishments as sec of State?” In fact when asked the question directly

They get belligerent:

The problem isn’t the question the problem is to acknowledge the inability to provide an answer challenges a religious belief: That Hillary Clinton has what voters crave Apparently the movie Idiocracy wasn’t a satire, it was a prophesy. Update: Does this count as an accomplishment?


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I’m old enough to remember when the MSM was upset that people didn’t care about real issues, apparently given this interview of Ted Cruz by Mark Halperin this is no longer the case.

What any of this has to do with being president is beyond me.

Ruben Navarrette is pained:

What nerve, treating a U.S. senator like a trained seal! Who does this guy think he is, trying to evaluate how well a Hispanic speaks Spanish? And what does that have to do with being authentic anyway?

The snark is flying on twitchy and A lot of people, including me questioned Mr. Halpern’s tone deafness.  After all how long would it have taken for a reporter who asked biracial Senator Barack Obama to name his favorite Soul Train act to be declared persona non grata?

Upon thinking about it I think he might not have been as tone-deaf as I thought and this sentence from Glenn Reynolds explains why:

you’ll note that it’s overwhelmingly Democrats who traffic in racial stereotypes; they just usually get a pass.

That’s the only question that matters concerning Halperin’s interview of Senator Cruz:  “Will anyone outside of Conservative media report or react negatively to this example of racism? “: Navarrette again (emphasis mine):

I kept thinking to myself: “What if, instead of watching a Washington insider who is also an MSNBC contributor, I was watching Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly demand that one of the Castros say a few words in Spanish so O’Reilly could determine if he is legitimately Hispanic?”

The left would go apoplectic. They’d call O’Reilly a racist, and they’d be right. In this case, the Hispanic advocacy groups didn’t say anything.

The answer to my question is apparently “no” just as Halperin knew it would be.  He understood the overwhelmingly left leaving Hispanic advocacy groups would not say a word, and the rest of the media outside of Fox & bloggers wouldn’t care.

Halperin’s not tone-deaf, when it comes to the  left’s media industrial complex he’s completely tuned in.

That the real story here.


Update:  Fausta offers Mr. Halperin a free Spanish lesson.

Update 2: Cause: media outside of us conservatives have taken notice


My intent was to give the Senator a chance to speak further about his heritage and personal connections to the community through some casual questions. I rushed through the questions, and that was a mistake — it led to poor tone and timing. I also understand why some felt the questions were inappropriate.


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LOWE: You will join the Swarm to be consumed, to become part of our purpose!

Doctor Who The Invisible Enemy 1977

Brill: Well, if they’re big and you’re small, then you’re mobile and they’re slow. You’re hidden and they’re exposed.

Enemy of the State 1998

Day two of the FITN GOP leadership summit in Nashua New Hampshire started strong for me. I got to the Crowne Plaza early and the entire press room was mine for the taking:

If you’ve never been in that situation that means you can pick the sweet spot were you can see the access doors where the candidate are coming in and out, next to the area where they speak to media so you don’t have to move while still having easy access to a plug for charging your stuff.

Location Location Location.

But even as the press credentials burned through my fedora screaming NO! I found a place across from the hotel Salon, not only as far as you could get from the press room but technically outside the event area where people who lacked a ticket were restricted to, and that’s where I planted myself for the day.

Now at first glance that might seem like a bad idea, after all smaller bloggers have fought very hard for the right to be considered equals with the MSM and if one is credentialed one should take advantage of it. But there are two factors that made the decision easy. The first is at a GOP event being part of the press scrum is like wearing a big sign in front of a candidate saying “I’m here to destroy you if I can” but the second is the same factor just mentioned above.

Location Location Location

While the Press Entrance was next to the door connecting to the green room & private area most people not named Trump don’t want to be instantly swarmed by press. The Salon spot not only gave good plug access it allowed me a view of the main entrance and the experience next to the bar restaurant meaning when someone like Say Carly Fiorina is coming in.

You can get that interview exclusively or if you’re very lucky when Senator Ted Cruz comes in and start signing autographs for voters

You can get a couple of exclusive questions in without another press person in sight.

Instead of having to hunt with the swarm like this:

and have (almost) the same footage as everyone else

Now you might ask, where was the swarm while I got those uncluttered bits with Senator Cruz?   Well the swarm had descended on Governor John Kasich of Ohio I filmed part of it…

…But left because think about it for a second. Not only were all the question on the same gotcha theme but every media person was shooting the same thing it produced no reason for a reader to come to this site to see it.

Now some candidates used this wisely for example when Rand Paul (Who I think doesn’t get enough credit for pure cunning) he allowed the swarm to envelop him in public areas as he moved though

To the point where they were taking pictures of him in the elevator doors

NUCLEUS [OC]: Fool. Do you think a metal barrier can contain the Swarm?

Doctor Who The Invisible Enemy 1977

After all nothing says “journalism” like a shot of a candidate in an open elevator and God forbid your editor finds out you’re the only news organization that didn’t get a swarm question on Kasich or that elevator picture of Rand Paul.

Senator Paul understand this thus he allowed interviews on the second floor away from the pack thus getting the attention of the swarm while still being able to be somewhat in control.  He knows how to counter these guys at their own game

Not all Journalists stick to this game.  For example while I made regular strolls to the Press room to see what was going and was able to pick up walking interviews such as this one with Governor Mike Huckabee before returning to my spot

(That’s Lee Fang of Think Progress jumping in with a question)

Mark Halpern who grabbed that sweet spot that had been open in the room regularly drifted to where I was and was able to get some one on one time with people like Senator Lindsey Graham.

He was an excellent example of adapting within the swarm.

But on the whole the rest of the swarm remained within the swarm staring at the monitors & typing away.

Even when the speakers were done and the press hit the bar the rules of the swarm remained as evidenced when during Gov Scott Walker barside entrance to a small dinner.

So tell me dear news consumer, how do you like your journalism, inside or outside the swarm?


And that’s the real question.  If you like your journalism  from inside the swarm there are plenty of places you can get it from.

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The 11th Doctor: (screwdriver buzzes moving frantically ) It’s all wrong. President Obama taking questions from the press? The press challenging him on issues? The TARDIS taking us to Washington when we are supposed to be in Bermuda…

Rory: You’ve got to admit that last one isn’t unusual.

The Doctor, Obama & the Press Corps, 2012

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which

George Orwell Animal Farm 1945

The Master:  there is no human race. There is only the Master race.

Doctor Who:  The End of Time Part 1  2009

Four years ago in December of 2009 The End of Time, the last episode of the David Tennant run as Doctor Who came out.  It was released in two parts.

The climax of episode was the fruition of the Master’s plan to take over the world.  It took place at the same time as a press conference where Barack Obama was going to announce a secret plan to solve all the world’s economic problems.  All during the episode before that point people in the story spoke with anticipation of this event.  From the break truck lady:

SarahAnd don’t forget tomorrow night. The Christmas broadcast. President Obama.
Tommo: Oh?
Sarah: He’s promised to end the recession. Bad times will soon be over, Ginger.

To Donna Noble’s Husband to be Shawn

 Here are the presents. I’m sorry, I couldn’t afford much, but not for long, if President Obama ends the recession tonight.

To the self-confident villain Joshua Naismith who was trying to secure eternal life for his daughter:

  But it’s time for the broadcast. The President’s grand initiative. You might want to see this, sir. Proof that the human race can mend it’s own problems.

Oddly enough Russell T. Davies writing actually reflected the real life opinions of many in the world after the Obama victory.  After all less than a year later a few months earlier Obama would win a Nobel Peace Prize for not being George Bush.

But the bit of writing that catches my eye the most also interesting was how they wrote the reaction of the fictional reporter Trinity Wells who opened the presidential press conference with this:

And now, anticipation is rising as we go live to Washington. Here, on Christmas Day, the President has promised an instant and radical solution to the worldwide depression. Barack Obama will lead us all into a new age of prosperity!

Remember this is supposed to be a fictional reporter but it brings to mind this declarative statement from Mary Katherine Ham about Mark Halperin:


who supposedly is not.

What is the  source of her frustration?  This interview with Laura Ingraham subbing for Bill O’Reilly where she asks Mr. Halperin this:

Forgive me, but I don’t think Time Magazine was doing cover stories on a lot of concerns that were raised back then that were routinely dismissed by many in the media, ideological, as just mean-spirited, turns out most of the Republican concerns about Obamacare were right.

and he answers with this:

Laura, there is no doubt that the press failed to scrutinize this program at the time of passage and during the context of the president’s re-election. Any reporter who would argue otherwise would be putting their head in the sand. As we write in “Double Down,” the problem for the Republicans in the re-election context was you nominated, Republicans nominated Mitt Romney, a guy who was not very well positioned, to say the least, to make the case against Obamacare because he passed the healthcare plan in Massachusetts.

Seriously it’s an actual real reporter and saying this?  Ace Marveled at his words:

MKH immediately points out the inconvenient fact that there was no presidential election in 2009 to early 2010, when Obamacare was rammed through the Congress, and Mitt Romney was not the nominee of anything yet, except as the first name in Jen Rubin’s Crush Book.

as I did earlier concerning Tom Brokow:

But neither my question nor Ace’s wistful wish:

If only we had some kind of institution whose primary mission it was to scrutinize the claims of politicians , contact experts, and report the major facts about major new legislation to the public.

can change facts.

Stacy McCain may have seemingly had it pegged:

“Liberal bias is not a matter of unfairness, but rather a matter of dishonesty — deliberately ignoring some facts, and misrepresenting other facts, in order to misinform the public by portraying to them a politically falsified view of events and personalities.”

Particularly when you hear stories like this:

Fox News’ Ed Henry tweeted the announcement: “MSNBC hosts relocated to West Wing today: @WeGotEd @Lawrence @ezraklein arrived for apparent meet w/President (Fox’s @TheJuanWilliams too).”

He was referring to a private chat with Mr. Obama that included Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, from MSNBC, Ezra Klein of The Washington Post and Juan Williams, of Fox News.

But to understand how far modern journalism has fallen the master’s plan in the End of Time illustrates it best, He operates the device he is captured to repair but he re-programs it sending a pulse throughout the world so the entire human race…becomes a copy of him.

After former Barack Obama, now a copy of the Master announces that he’s President of the United states the newly altered press room reacts thus:

From Doctor Who The End of Time Part 1
From Doctor Who The End of Time Part 1

and looking at that picture five years later and listening to the words of Mr. Halpern and seeing stories like this:

A left-liberal magazine’s publication of an article titled “The Republican War on Competence” would have seemed unremarkable at just about any point in this columnist’s adult lifetime. But this article, by Jeff Shesol for The New Yorker, was published yesterday–with a Democrat in the White House presiding for the 51st day over the most stunning display of governmental incompetence since Prohibition, maybe since Nero. In that context, it’s like a dispatch from a different planet.

I can only conclude that the only difference between the Master Race in fiction and the Reporter race of reality are the faces.

Here is the sequence if you want to see it

Update: Corrected the timeline on the Nobel Prize

I haven’t dived deeply into polls much lately because frankly there has been no point, Mitt Romney has this race and baring the “Live Boy Dead girl” scenario it’s not changing. (actually considering Romany’s rep it wouldn’t take a dead girl, a live girl would shatter his clean image completely)

But with one week to go the last gasp effort to rally the MSNBC troops took place today on Morning Joe as they touted the Quinnipiac/CBS?NYT polls Saying Obama is up 5 in Ohio with a week to go.

What really got me was their claim that the Quinnipiac poll was the “most accurate” and again playing the “poll denier” card. I’ve personally found their numbers the least believable and while they were talking about the fights in other states as an alternative to Ohio for Romney I looked up the internals of this Ohio/VA/Florida poll and found this:

After talking about how reliable Quinnipiac is, for 15 minutes and while I was tweeting out the D+8 samples in all of these states D+7 in Florida, they suddenly pivoted as Mark Halperin brought up the D+8 sample and people asked how can this be the case if Mitt is up by huge margins among independents in this poll?

At this time they made the case that the split in the sample defines the electorate while I argue that the accurate of the poll is based on how the splits match the electorate.

Now Polls have limitation based on the response rate and the various methods of getting people to answer but the actual registration and demographics of a state are a reality, they may change over time but they are what they are no matter what but of a sample is used.

In the 7 AM Hour more of the same and in the 8 AM hour they repeated this nonsense. This isn’t a poll, this is a last gasp before Media Credibility day arrives and it becomes impossible to deny what already exists.

That the Morning Joe team is spending a show trying to sell the accuracy of a D+8 poll in Ohio & VA & +7 in Fla to their far left base speaks volumes, here is what it says to me:

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!

When you are reduced to Chuck Todd arguing body language in private conversations that’s pretty bad, by contrast you have Romney people canvasing during the damn storm.

Folks, there is going to be a turnout effort in Ohio like you’ve never seen. George Cullen has been canvassing door-to-door for the past five weeks. He usually hits about 50 doors a day, but only got 25 under the storm conditions yesterday. He’s a West Point graduate who served six years in the Army, and he says, “The conservatives are very energized.”

Yeah this is a D+8 state SURE! It will be fun to watch these guys next Wednesday.

Update: Just called Robert Stacy McCain on the ground in Ohio and asked about the “Body Language” stuff from Chuck Todd: “It’s crazy” He spoke to Kevin Madden on Sunday one of the top guys in the Romney Campaign after rally. He seemed calm and laid back. He hasn’t seen any of this scary “Body Language” from the Romney folks.

They are still working hard, they have not slacked off nor would anyone expect them to but if our friends on the left want to tell themselves this, as the folks in the south say “Bless their Hearts”.

Update 2: Ed Morrissey elaborates:

In each of these three states, the CBS/NYT/Q-poll shows Republicans at a lower percentage level of turnout than in the 2008 election. If one makes that assumption, it’s not too difficult to be guess that Obama might be ahead. However, that’s exactly the opposite of what all other polls rating enthusiasm are telling us what the electorate will look like on Tuesday. In fact, it’s not even what this poll shows, with Republican enthusiasm +16 over Democrats in Florida, +14 in Ohio, and +7 in Virginia.

I guess that explains why we didn’t see Ed on the show today. I suspect that message wouldn’t have been all that welcome.

Update 3: Instalanche and Michael Graham who you might recall was the owner of the site “Anybody But Mitt” says what is coming:

I believe we’re on the verge of a solid Romney win for two reasons. One is the objective evidence. The other is the ugly desperation of the Obama campaign in its final days.

and he raises a very important point I never thought of:

The president, on the other hand, has peaked at 47 percent. The Battleground Poll model shows Obama losing 52 percent to 47 percent. Rasmussen daily tracking has Obama losing 49 percent to 47 percent. Pew has him tied: 47 percent to 47 percent. But more important, all the polls show Obama sliding or stuck. None show any upward movement.

Obama supporters are quick to tell you “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.” Two things: a) that’s what candidates who are behind always say; b) this is election day.

Next Wednesday is going to be fun.

Update 4: Stacy who I so rudely woke up in the first update asks an obvious question:

You might think some reporter at the New York Times, which co-sponsored this poll, would think it worth his while to interview the people at Quinnipiac and ask where they’re getting these weird over-samples of Democrats. What is causing this? How is it that Republicans report greater voting enthusiasm by such large margins, and yet are underrepresented in the poll’s sample? It makes no sense.

I’d love to hear the answer.

BTW PPP poll now being touted, Iowa Sample is D+5 Wisconsin D+4

Remember when the map was solidly against Mitt Romney, when I even heard some people suggest he could win the popular vote but lose because the map was too daunting: Well Guess what Time is publishing:

Halperin writes:

Here’s why some Democrats are worried tonight. If Romney wins the three Southern battlegrounds (FL, NC, and VA) and OH, he is at 266 electoral votes. Leaving the other five battlegrounds unallocated, that means Obama would be at 237 and Romney would only need to win one of the remaining five states to get to 270+. See the map above.

One senior Democratic official expressed real concern tonight unlike I have heard before about Ohio potentially slipping away from Obama (the state has been trending Republican in statewide races,

It’s even worse, if this map is correct not only does Mitt only have to take one of these states (and he WILL take NH) but he could take Wisconsin, Colorado and the Granite State, Lose Ohio and Still hit 270.

That this map is coming out BEFORE the 2nd debate is bad for the left, that it was discussed on MSNBC makes it even worse.

I submit and suggest the faces are long because they know their ability to change the path where this election is blowing in the wind. As for what it means to the right…well you know.

…in a throw away sentence at the end of a segment on using the “Romney is rich and out of touch” attack. He suggests it could be a winning plan for Obama for his base, and to force a mistake ending with:

“…rather than making the election about the Obama record.”

This is why I’m very confident about November.

Barack Obama 2008, the blank slate that people wrote whatever they wanted to is not the Democratic Candidate. The Barack Obama running in 2012 is the one who has presided over the worst economy in my lifetime.

The folks on Morning Joe are spinning furiously talking about how this group or that group is going to have a problem. (Question if Romney has a 20 point gap with women and is up by 2, Obama has to have a bigger gender gap among men unless you have polling for “other”) but they miss the point.

No matter how you spin it, no matter how rich Mitt Romney is, the bottom line is people have lived under Obama for three years and after three years of being in charge, the administration would rather talk about absolutely anything but the job they’ve done.

When your strategy is: “Look: Romney’s a Mormon”, “Look: Romney’s is rich!”, “Look: Romney’s stiff”, “Look Rush says something that Mitt hasn’t condemned.” instead of “Look: I’ve done a great job!” that’s a problem.

You can’t win on this message, and Obama won’t.

Update: Moved the bold and added “but they miss the point.” to paragraph 5

Update 2: Here is the video:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update 3: Instalanche thanks Glenn

Update 4: A former confidence man knows a con when he sees it:

Update 5: Talk about timing:

Longtime political strategist David Axelrod, who helped advise President Obama’s presidential run in 2008 and is serving as communications director for Obama’s re-election campaign, has paid $1.7 million for a four-bedroom, 3,320-square-foot condo unit in a high-rise condo along Michigan Avenue.

This guy is no fool, the idea is to tempt the GOP to hit him on it so he can play “compare the wealth” with Governor Romney.

Update 6: Surber gets it:

3. Barack Obama is running scared. 4 years ago, he was a blank slate. Today his blackboard is filled with a lot of action and little results. The $787 billion stimulus did nothing. The $700 billion TARP went into bankers pockets. The GM bailout affected only 1 in 5 Americans who actually buy a GM or Chrysler. The Arab Spring backfired. He gave up on Iraq and we are being tossed out of Afghanistan.

4. Obamacare. Never has a presidential domestic policy been so despised. The Vietnam War was more popular in 1968 — and LBJ decided against another term.

The 2012 election will not be about whether Ann Romney worked a day in her life or Rush Limbaugh calling a woman a slut or whether George Zimmerman is guilty of murder in the second degree.

The 2012 election is all about Barack Obama. For such a vain narcissist, Barack Obama sure is trying to get out of the spotlight on this one. That shows how little chance he really has.

You heard it there first.

…and they were right:

with apologies to Glenn Reynolds who invented the meme

Update: Added the link to the entire “if I voted for John McCain” collection

Update 2: Take a look at the video and make note of this. He didn’t say it off the air and didn’t mean to say it off the air. He meant to say it on the air and be seen saying it! That speaks volumes

Update 3: They told me if I used the “If I voted for John McCain” meme concerning this Morning Joe business I would be able to snarf an instalanche and they were right!

Update 4: They told me if I voted for John McCain reporters who dared insult the president would be suspended and they were right

“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst,” said the network in a statement.

Ed Morrissey comments before the news of the suspension news came out

the fuss seems a little overblown. “Dick” isn’t a word that needs to be censored; for one thing, it’s a proper name used by a number of politicians, including Dick Durbin, who’s second in Democratic leadership in the Senate. It’s also a playground word for “jerk” or “penis,” but hardly an obscenity. Either way, the producer shouldn’t be blamed for missing the delay button.

Halperin should be apologizing for a lack of imagination. He’s right in that the President acted like a pouting, sullen adolescent during the press conference

Hey insulting the president on MSNBC is VERBOTEN even if almost nobody watches it.

Update 5: Just saw the Halperin suspension reported on CNN (11:54 a.m. EST), they said it was a “word beginning with D”. Can somebody tell me how many people at CNN or MSNBC were suspended for calling Tea Party members “Teabaggers”?

Update 6: Stacy McCain notices that the left has decided it’s proof of conservative media bias:

Benen expects Democrats to employ class-warfare rhetoric, and expects liberal journalists to praise Democrats who do so. And while Halperin is a liberal in good standing, his accurate assessment of Obama’s press-conference performance — which was off-putting, in that the president seemed peevish and petulant — permits the Left to renew their bizarre claim that the media has a right-wing bias.

Of course why didn’t we think of that before!

Update 7: How crazy is this punishment? So crazy that even Greg Sargent gets it

Of course what Halperin said is inappropriate. Of course it’s inevitable that MSNBC had to mete out some kind of punishment. But it could have been a three-day suspension or on-air rebuke or something. To be clear, I don’t really care about Halperin’s fate. The point is that an indefinite suspension obscures the fact that crass and dumb and “uncivil” statements aren’t the real problem here.

Most of his piece if nonsense but he is right that the punishment of Halperin is excessive.

…in Time all I could think of was Robert E. Lee’s quote about Union Generals:

“I fear they may continue to make these changes till they find some one whom I don’t understand,”

Until the left gets someone who figures it out they will continue to live by their golden rule: There is no issue, so pressing, so vital, so damning to their philosophy that it can’t be countered by the cry: Palin Sucks!

Update: Yup I misspelled his name, that’s what I get for scheduling posts at 3 a.m.