Just a few thoughts regarding tonight's show.
First of all, of all the people who sub for Keith when he's off Allison Stewart is in my opinion the best. That said, I need to say something about tonight's discussion concerning former President Clinton's "roll the dice" comment from the Charlie Rose show.
I don't understand the questioning of what Clinton's statement 'meant'. It's plain to me that it meant that Hillary is a fairly well known commodity with a good deal of experience, as are the other candidates, except for Barack Obama. It's simply a matter of experience. Now I understand that political journalists like to read 'between the lines' and divine "the real meaning" of statements like this, and sometimes that's necessary, and sometimes the journalists are correct, but sometimes 'a cigar is just a cigar'.
"Roll the dice" means gambling, taking a chance. And to elect someone with a limited amount of experience, even when they have a lot of good ideas and are charismatic, is a calculated risk. Is it not?
In some ways you could say that voting for any of the candidates is a gamble. We've seen too many politicians take stances and vote on issues that oppose what the majority of their constituents want, and in some instances are in direct conflict with the oath they swore to when elected (you know, "To protect and defend the Constitution..."?).
There's no doubt that Hillary's campaign has encountered some bumps in the road, and being almost dead even in the latest polls has undoubtedly made them anxious to draw distinctions between her and Barack Obama. That major distinction is experience. They'd both be a welcome change from what this country and the world has painfully experienced over the past seven years, and are both head and shoulders above anyone running for the Republican party.
Now the idea that Bill Clinton was doing anything other than being truthful when he said that "Obama is a person of enormous talent". I didn't read that as "damning him with fake praise" as it was characterized by Allison and Howard Fineman. And I think Clinton characterized the rest of the field of candidates correctly when he said that all but Obama had a long and fairly extensive history of foreign policy and legislative experience.
I think the same thing. The first time I heard Barack Obama speak he amazed me by how much sense he made and how well he communicated. So much of what he says reflects the same way I feel about many issues. In some ways he has characteristics that none of the other candidates do, and part of that [I think] comes from not being part of the Washington scene for too long. But as far as other (meaning the good) aspects of experience go, he just hasn't had the time or the experience(s).
As for David Gregory's questioning of Hillary Clinton regarding the quote, he clearly interpreted it negatively as simply a 'dig' and not as a simple [political] way to make the distinction between Hillary and Barack Obama. He could have phrased it differently, but competitive politics isn't a case of being as nice to your opponents as you can. These days that was being [relatively] nice!
The questioning by Gregory had the odor of another try for a 'gotcha' moment from a member of the press as opposed to unbiased critical questioning of a candidate and Hillary didn't oblige him.
I truly miss Theresa Heinz Kerry and her forthright and unabashed responses to questions like that. I'd like to think that she would have responded by saying "My husband said it, why aren't you asking him?".
The press can often be so petty.
PS, Allison's comments about Michael Jackson almost made me snort water out my nose!