Rachel Maddow's Would-Be Awesome Road Trip to Delaware Goes Awkwardly Awry

Seemed like a good idea when first bandied about at MSNBC.

In execution, however, Rachel Maddow's trip to Delaware on Oct. 5 to cover the Senate race between Republican Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons left something to be desired.

First up, Maddow speaking with "Delaware voter" Dr. Gilbert Sloan after Sloan asked Coons a question during a public forum at a senior center in Wilmington (first of three parts of embedded video) --


MADDOW: The way that this race is getting talked about essentially is that Christine O'Donnell is running a national campaign, she's trying to talk to the country, talk about national issues, sort of not even really talking about how they get filtered through Delaware. Mr. Coons is talking about Delaware, Delaware, Delaware. That's sort of, I think, the frame with which everybody's approaching this and in there (referring to public forum), listening to you and listening to the other questions that Chris Coons was getting asked, I didn't feel like that was true. I felt like there's a lot of national, values-questions, big-picture questions about difference between Democrats and Republicans, national questions that you guys here in Delaware really are concerned about. Does that seem right to you?

SLOAN: Of course we are and I almost hate to use the phrase but Chris Coons is a deep thinker. He actually reads books, in contrast to his opponent who is as shallow as can be and is floating on a sea of notoriety. And Chris, along with his predecessor Joe Biden, who also reads books, has a view and a profound view of what the world ought to be like and what America's role in the changing world ought to be.

Ah yes, the bookish liberal who places a premium on possession of a library card. Ann Coulter also reads books, as does Rush Limbaugh, and both are known to write them. Suffice it to say the good doctor is markedly indifferent to their inquisitiveness. When a Democrat tells you, especially more than once in nearly the same breath, how important he considers it that politicians "read books," what he's actually doing is trying to buff his remarks with a gloss of erudition.

Dr. Sloan appeared again during Maddow's show on Tuesday, intruding in the background during Maddow's valiant attempt at interviewing Coons while a determined pol droned on loudly behind them (Maddow later told viewers it was Delaware Senator Tom Carper).

Just before the second part of embedded video begins at 1:10, Sloan could be seen walking over and sitting in a chair behind Maddow, apparently intent on getting a closer look at her interview with Coons. And what does Sloan do while sitting there? Pokes his head past Maddow to come into camera range. Even the compleat scholar can't resist padding his 15 seconds of fame.

Then there was Maddow mixing it up with Delaware voters, or "average Americans" as liberals invariably say with unadorned elitism. One young woman, a Maddow clone who could pass for her cousin, opined at 2:05 in the video that --

... speaking for myself, if Chris Coons were dismembered and in a body bag, I would vote for him over Christine O'Donnell because he would do for for the state of Delaware than Christine O'Donnell would.

... with Maddow doubling over in response to this hilarity ... voters say the zaniest things! 

Seeing how Democrats don't consider death an impediment to voting, why should it be one for holding office? And heck, look at Joe Biden. He wasn't all there either and it turned out OK for him.

As if this Delaware Democrat's opinion wasn't bizarre enough, it was followed in short order by a Mother Jones-type complaining that liberals actually have to work to persuade voters to turn out at the polls (2:17 in video) --

One way I'd like to see Delaware be different than the rest of the nation is, I'd like to see a state where we didn't have to literally go out and knock on doors and beg people to participate by going to the polls on November the 2nd and casting their vote.

Sounds like it might be time for yet another stimulus program, this one directed at those listless voters. Especially considering how ACORN is no longer around to serve this vital civic function.

Mother Jones followed up with another gem (2:53) --

Look at the turnout we had when President Obama was elected. Oh but gosh darn, that turnout never happened before because for the first time in Delaware history, we had African-Americans registered to vote and they got out and voted. And if they don't get out and vote this time, we could lose it all again.

Wha ...? Prior to 2008, African-Americans couldn't vote in Delaware ? Ah, this helps explain why the first major party nominee of color looked to Delaware for his choice of running mate, despite its apartheid voting practices.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts