Advice to Camp Clinton: if it's not too late, remove all sharp objects before viewing the tape of this morning's Early Show. The CBS program served up a thorough trashing of Hillary's debate performance, capped by the unkindest cut of all from a Dem/MSM perspective: analogizing Hillary to Bill Cunningham, whose tough talk about Barack Obama in introducing John McCain yesterday prompted the Arizona senator to disassociate himself from the conservative radio talk show host.
CBS White House correspondent kicked off the avalanche of bad press for Hillary by offering this debate review:
JIM AXELROD: Clinton tried new ways to knock him off stride . . . But Obama seemed to slip nearly every thing she threw at him . . . Obama had the easier job than Clinton. All he had to do was avoid a major gaffe. And it what may very well be the last debate of this campaign, he seemed to handle that job breaking very little sweat.
Then it was Bob Schieffer's turn -- and don't be fooled by the avuncular image. Responding to co-host Maggie Rodriguez's questioning, Schieffer cast Clinton as an angry loser.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Watching the debate last night, going in Barack Obama, as Jim just mentioned, had all the momentum, ahead in the poll numbers, ahead in the delegate count. Do you think that Hillary Clinton succeeded in swinging the pendulum back in her direction?
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm not sure she did. We all wondered which Hillary Clinton is going to show up last night, and the one who showed up was the Hillary Clinton who was mad as the dickens and determined to do something about it. I mean, she had steam coming out of her ears. You know, there's kind of a rule in politics, Maggie. Which candidate is attacking the press? Which you figure out who that is, then you know which one is losing. This was Hillary Clinton who had her back to the wall. She knows it. You saw all of the frustration, and, clearly, the anger that comes with that. I think she was trying to ruffle his feathers, rattle his cage. Somehow, you know, get into his dignity, as it were, and I'm not sure she did. I'm not sure she really helped herself last night.
Co-anchor Harry Smith then chatted with Bay Buchanan, who was less than impressed by Hillary's complaining about getting hit with the first question.
BAY BUCHANAN: She's running for President of the United States. She says I'm the one that's ready, I'm the one that's ready to take office, no learning curve. And then she complains cause she gets tough questions? The whining act is not one that's positive. It doesn't work real well -- but it is classic Hillary.
Then it was time for that unkindest cut in MSM eyes, as Smith lumped Hillary together with Bill Cunningham.
HARRY SMITH: But it is interesting, though, because it puts Hillary and a lot of conservatives on the same page. You heard this conservative guy who was introducing John McCain yesterday saying somebody's got to pull the bark off of Barack Obama. And now all of a sudden Hillary is saying the same thing: has Barack Obama gotten the scrutiny he should be getting?
Triple-ouch with a bullet.