department of corrections

Chuck Todd Takes It All Back, Everything Is Awesome In McCain Campaign

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Chuck Todd is still amazing in every way.Charming hairfaced news-geek Lothario Chuck Todd said all sorts of amazing things on Hardball last night about how John McCain and Sarah Palin appear to despise each other, and how their campaign staff are all tired and annoyed and full of hate for the world, and so on. It was wondrously candid! (Chuck Todd is in the tank, obviously.) Of course this morning the blog he co-authors had to run an unattributed sort-of retraction. Full text after the jump.

*** The dangers of parachuting in: Spending part of the day with the McCain-Palin campaign for yesterday’s interview was both an enviable and unenviable task. It’s always tricky to over-read exhaustion. The campaign pushed back hard on an initial impression one of us said on MSNBC — that there was a lack of chemistry between McCain and Palin during the interview — and cautioned us not to read too much into the campaign soup that’s exhaustion, mixed with a couple of tough news days for the ticket, some bad poll numbers, a healthy skepticism of the press, a pretty tough New York Times Magazine piece, and the fact that the two candidates don’t spend every day together. It was the same dynamic as you might see with Obama and Biden, except they have the luxury of having the motivation of positive news on their side, which can loosen folks up. Bottom line: The McCain campaign appears a bit tight (which is understandable given where we are in the campaign). But there is a bunker mentality that folks like us, when we parachute in, can miss. It’s a good lesson for all of us: Always be cautious from over-analyzing a situation; it can be dangerous punditry.

*** One other point: This is not an easy time for the trailing campaign, as more and more outsiders begin pointing fingers and assigning blame. It’s human nature to look over your shoulder and wonder what’s coming next. The McCain campaign team seems to be a more cohesive bunch than Kerry’s, Gore’s or Dole’s, so the backbiting might be held to a minimum. But it doesn’t make it any easier to read these pre-bituaries.

Wow, that is some kind of praise, that McCain is not yet quite as much of a failure as Bob Dole.

First thoughts: Double digits [First Read]

About the author

Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

View all articles by Sara K. Smith


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  • TGY

    Obvs., it’s in the interest of the MSM to make the race appear close.

  • Whiskeybaby

    I was wondering when Murray from Flight of the Conchords was going to weigh in…

  • StrangelyBrown

    In other words, McCain and Palin only hate each other because they’re losing, not because they’re both assholes.

  • graceless

    When you’re losing, you get grumpy.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    Steve Schmidt probably threatened to bitch slap Chuckie if he didn’t retract his earlier comments.

  • picardia

    I have hit the point where I am actually feeling sorry for John McCain.

    Not that this is going to change my vote, though.

  • Sarah Palin (

    I’d just like ta thank Mr. Tedd fer his endorsement, fer sure! YOU BETCHA!

  • Lascauxcaveman


    Heh, start writin’ ’em boys.

  • Bostoprov

    Apparently Chuck didn’t see the footjob Sarah was giving John just below the screenshot. That wasn’t discomfort, Chuck. It was a Walnut-gasm.

  • GlennBecksTaint

    goatees always lie

  • platypuseggs

    I feel bad for Chuck Todd’s integrity upon hearing that it hung itself.

  • Mara47

    I’m sticking with Todd’s first, unfiltered, observations.

  • Makeithurt

    Toad reminds me of a buncha guys I was in seminary with. We used to call them weasels.

  • Mara47

    I’m sticking with Todd’s fist. unfiltered, observations.

  • MathewBrooks

    [re=144527]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: I’m sorry but I think Chuck Todd could take Steve Schmidt.

  • Hamster

    [re=144523]Whiskeybaby[/re]: McCain/Palin are totally the life of the “Dick Party”

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=144524]StrangelyBrown[/re]: nah, it is just that McWALNUTS! is jealous because his hair and makeup merited only $8700 and Barbie’s was worth $13K. He feels that is wrong, wrong, wrong, as we know how he feels about heavy makeup on cu…uh, women. Plus, he is the boss, so no bitch should get more of anything than he does. So there’s some tension. Oh, and also the new poll showing that her presence on the ticket is costing him many votes. That little thing.

  • BigBrainOnBrad

    When they start the new season of Flight of the Conchords on HBO will Chuck Todd continue to work as a reporter or will he go back to being their manager Murray?

  • mattbolt

    Alright, band meeting! Jermaine, present. Bret, Present. And Murray… also present.

  • Dave J.

    Shorter Chuck Todd: they look like losers right now, but that’s only because they are losing. We don’t know yet if they’ll be like Dukakis, or only like Dole.

  • ManchuCandidate

    The only impression I got was the literal/metaphoric gun pointed at Chuck’s head and the sound of a gun safety being released.

  • BigBrainOnBrad

    [re=144523]Whiskeybaby[/re]: Damnit!

  • Not_So_Much

    Oh, Chuck — please grow a set. Just because you wear your pubic hair on your face doesn’t mean you have to be a pussy.

  • mattbolt

    So he’s in a tank, but he also parachutes in? Chuck Todd is GI Joe.

  • hockeymom

    This is such bullshit.
    Todd already gave them the benefit of the doubt…the tiredness, the stress, blah, blah, blah…when he was talking with Matthews, yesterday.

    He was offering an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. No doubt NBC would rather have Todd behave the way Williams did…a bunch of hot air about “story arcs” and narratives and the need to stretch this interview over several news cycles because of its “importance”.

    Sorry Brian, nobody cares about the length of the interview, the story arc and talking points. People are interested in whether or not two people who want to run our country are on the same page and/or even LIKE each other.

    I don’t know if NBC is behind the pushback or if it’s the vindictive, throw them under the bus, McCain Campaign (see Joe Klein, Mike Murphy and Colin Powell). In any case, this backpedaling is just plain weak.

  • Cape Clod

    Neat trick, parachuting into a bunker. It would have been better to take them from behind and hose them down with flamethrowers.

  • magic titty

    I think he meant to say that everyone else on the planet hates McCain and Palin. Not that they hate each other.

  • The Neoskeptic

    [re=144522]TGY[/re]: recent AP poll saying it was too close… shows 45% of the sample the used were evangelical christians.

    chucky was right, they look like losers because they have realized they are losing.

  • TJBeck

    Just wait for the McCain stage fall:

  • Gopherit

    Somebody’s trying to keep his seat on the plane.

    Ass-kissing is unseemly Chuck, and your beard is ticklish.

  • Anonymous Office Zombie

    “Ah, did I say that these two losers are washed-up? What I meant to say was tune in for each and every exciting installment of Brian William’s exclusive interview with these scrappy comeback kids. You won’t want to miss a minute of this must-see-TV excitement and drama, exclusively here on NBC and MSNBC, the greatest newstravaganza a-go-go teams on television.”

  • tiger

    Wha??? He didn’t even mention hemherrhoids…

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Bob Dole? The banana guy? Tell me more about this “Bob Dole” other then the fact that he is every anonymous e-mail address I have. FAKT.

  • HuskyMescan

    Rick Davis probably called the NBC offices crying like a bitch.
    “you guys are in the tank, you love Obama I just know it! waaah waahh”

  • WadISay

    Pretty obviously, Todd got his chain seriously jerked here. That said, I have to say that, much as I wanted to agree with him, watching the interview last night I did not see particularly bad chemistry, tension, nascent recrimination or a pre-Bulworth moment. I just saw a couple of despicable assholes.

  • ColdCupofHope

    Why does NBC feel like they have to apologize for videotaping McPalin struggling to make it through an interview? All they did is show up with a camera and in dude to ask questions–everything else is on WALNUTS and Barbie.

    If those two want to make weird faces at each other and barely disguise their distaste for one another, let ’em. WALNUTS just seems to hate everyone right now–why should Palin be any different?

  • agitpropster

    Punditry, schmunditry.

  • Captain Flaps

    Ahhhwww…..poor Chucky Wucky got scared that he’s cratered his Meet The Press ambitions by offering a rare unguarded comment. Doesn’t he realize that what he said wasn’t partisan, it was simply an observation. It was also the most interesting thing he’s said all campaign. He’s just upset that his map is a poor man’s version of John King’s…

  • rev_matt_y

    To be fair: McCain isn’t as big a loser as Dole. November 5th might tell a different story.

  • SayItWithWookies

    It was the same dynamic as you might see with Obama and Biden, except…

    …that Obama wouldn’t spend half the interview looking at Biden’s thighs?

  • shoeho

    [re=144527]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: [re=144553]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Them’s my bets!

    **Unknown NBC exec to Chuck** “You MORON! We need people to WATCH the FUCKING NETWORK ELECTION NIGHT! How the FUCK do you think we pay for all your neat graphics toys, polls and shit! You tell them McCain is a hurting puppy now, they’re all going to go to the godamned movies, or watch that asshole Jon Stewart!” **leaves, slamming door on Chuck’s fingers**

  • Jackie Treehorn

    [re=144567]TJBeck[/re]: But will they blame the stage fall on shoddy construction work by Lou the Labor Goon?

  • gjdodger

    [re=144569]Gopherit[/re]: Somebody’s trying to keep his seat on the plane.

    Speaking of which–introducing FIVE PAGES OF JOE KLEIN’S REVENGE!,8599,1853025-1,00.html
    Kick “Anonymous” out of the Straight Talk Fokker, bubbah, and you’re cooked.

  • MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend

    Chuck Todd will have egg on his face after McCain fathers Palin’s next baby.

  • Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=144664]gjdodger[/re]: I thought it was funny that Clinton didn’t even kick Klein off the plane, even when he knew Klein was the “Anonymous” who wrote “Primary Colors,” but McGrumpy will boot you just because he can.

    Aww, Chuck. I love ya’ man. But let’s please keep the ass-kissing to a minimum. Unless it’s mine. Literally.

  • Miller

    Nice that he was told to hit the large red EJECT button after he accidentally let his true observations through without the filter on. Sure, they’re just tired. They’re really BFF. Nothing to see here. Everything is splendid.

  • sarcasticusername

    umm walnuts and moosealini campaign together more often than any ticket in recent memory, in order to avoid walnuts standing in a room talking to himself, nice try trying to walk things back though chuckie (he was already pulling back on rachel’s show last night, i guess the threatening call came pretty quick). they hate each other, and walnuts wants to slap both her and himself for being so stupid, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, but of course stating the obvious is bad journalism.

  • mcfrady

    It took me awhile, but I finally got the “Murray” reference.

  • TGY

    [re=144645]SayItWithWookies[/re]: ‘Gams’ instead of ‘gaffes’.

  • problemwithcaring

    [re=144645]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Did that creep you out too?
    I wasn’t disturbed by reports of perceived tension. The notion that both of these people hate each other is the only vaguely human thing I have heard about these two fucking freaks in weeks.

  • kirkaracha

    there is a bunker mentality that folks like us, when we parachute in, can miss

    Is he really trying to suggest that a bunker mentality is more positive than what he described!? ‘Cause I’ve seen that movie where Hitler’s in his bunker and he’s pissed off about Sheffield United being relegated and he seems awfully grumpy to me.

  • Liverspots

    Why is MSNBC still trying to pretend it’s not the liberal answer to Fox News. We’re not watching because we think it’s unbiased, we’re watching because it’s fun to see Chris Matthews lay traps for Michelle Bachmann, Keith Olberman mock Bill O’reilly, and Rachel Maddow be Rachel Maddow. And Chuck Todd adds a huge dose of adorable.

  • lawrenceofthedesert

    Speaking writer to writer, Chuck, how exactly do you parachute into a bunker?

  • blader

    Clearly, Chuck missed the ‘bedroom eyes’ juju Palin was throwing at McGrommits during that interview, which is easy to overlook if you’re a 40 year old virgin

  • populucious

    “The McCain campaign team seems to be a more cohesive bunch than Kerry’s, Gore’s or Dole’s…”

    Look, just because we suggested that they’re LOSING doesn’t mean that they’re LOSERS…see…it’s…well…take these other great losing teams in history…oh…RACISM…CUNT…nevermind.

  • Fivetree

    Why do these people grovel to Walnuts? Is he THAT evil? It’s like they’re so afraid of him that they can’t bring themselves to call him on his crap or tell the truth about his miserable failure of a campaign. What demonic powers he must possess. C’mon, Chuck, the old fart can’t raise his hands above his head, you can take him.

  • sk1win

    I watched Chuckie go out of his way, not once but twice, to make his point about lack of chemistry. What an axe wound! Tim Russert’s ashes must be rolling over in the Buffalo Bills stadium right now.