When he’s not gushing over the Obamas, you can make a fair bet that CNN commentator Jack Cafferty is bashing conservatives, and he returned to one of his favorite subjects of scorn during his regular “Cafferty File” segment on Thursday’s Situation Room -- Sarah Palin. He labeled three quotes from a recent speech the Alaska governor gave as “painful.” He concluded his commentary by remarking that “whoever said truth is stranger than fiction must have met this woman.”
The CNN commentator also hinted twice during the segment that the Alaska governor was unintelligible. During the commentary, the commentator remarked that Palin “talked about why the Republicans lost in November, and seemed mostly to blame the press, at least I think that’s what she said.” Later, after Blitzer stated that the governor would be visiting Washington and that they were going to try to have her on the program, Cafferty laughed and replied, “Well, let’s hope so. Maybe you can understand her.”
Cafferty began by reading the quotes without an attribution and asked his viewers to see if they could guess who gave them. After reading the first two, he labeled them “vintage Sarah Palin.” After reading the third quote and labeling all three “painful,” and summarizing what Palin had talked about during her speech, he asked his “Question of the Hour:” “Is Sarah Palin still relevant to the national dialogue?”
As you might expect, all but one of the viewer responses that Cafferty read at the end of the hour bashed the Alaska governor to one degree or another. The sole exception actually targeted the commentator himself: “Given she’s the subject of at least one of your questions every time she opens her mouth, it must mean she’s still relevant to the national dialogue!” That person has apparently been paying attention, since Cafferty devoted 35% of his “Questions of the Hour” over a month period between late August and the end of September 2008 to talking about Palin.
The full transcript of Cafferty’s commentary, which began five minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Thursday’s Situation Room, and the viewer responses, which he read 3 minutes before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour:
JACK CAFFERTY: Wolf, I’ve got a couple of quotes here. I want to read them, and you listen and see if you can guess who said them, okay?. The first one is in connection with last November’s election -- quote, ‘And there was that media slant this go round. And unless things change, the GOP had really better can stand together, ‘cause we got that on the battlefield also. I call it like I see it and like I lived it on the campaign trail. Not complaining, but dealing with reality’ -- unquote. Or how about this one: ‘Some in the media actually participated in not so much the who-what-where-when-why objective reporting on candidates and positions, those five W’s that I learned when I had a journalism degree so many years ago in college, when the world of journalism was quite different than it is today.’
Give up? Vintage Sarah Palin -- it’s a speech to a GOP dinner last week in Alaska. The governor talked about why the Republicans lost in November, and seemed mostly to blame the press, at least I think that’s what she said. The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she’s not whining about it, but rather calling it like she sees it. Here’s another quote: ‘Sometimes it gets me in a lot of trouble when I speak candidly, and I speak from the heart and I do such a thing. But I am going to’ -- unquote. This is painful.
Palin mocked the Obama administration’s elimination of the word ‘enemy combatant,’ while praising President Bush’s efforts to fight the war on terror, even though ‘the political and media elite ridiculed and mocked him.’ As for the future of her party -- which she no doubt would like to be a big part of -- Palin rejected the idea that the Republican Party become more moderate -- instead saying the GOP needs to communicate its ideas better. Now there’s an idea.
Here’s the question: is Sarah Palin still relevant to the national dialogue? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile and post a comment on my blog. Whoever said truth is stranger than fiction must have met this woman.
WOLF BLITZER: She’s coming to Washington to address a big Republican event, as you know, in the next few weeks. We’re going to invite her to join us. Hopefully, she will say yes.
CAFFERTY: (laughs) Well, let’s hope so. Maybe you can understand her.
-4:57 pm EDT
CAFFERTY: The question this hour: is Sarah Palin still relevant to the national dialog?
Bill in Michigan: ‘I never considered her to have much depth, interest or actual grasp of the important issues at hand, but she does know how to rally up the conservative segment of the Republican Party, and as long as she can rabble-rouse and fundraise, she will have relevance, which is really kind of sad when you think about it.’
Susan in Wisconsin writes, ‘To backwater people and certain members of the media, she is still relevant, because she’s not a threat to their intellect.’
Dan in Ohio says, ‘Why should Governor Palin complain? When a mirror is put up by the media and reveals a shallow, self-absorbed hypocrite, whose fault is that? She’s symptomatic of the problems with the GOP -- deviate from either the talking points or platitudes and they’re lost. As Tina Fey remarked in the epic parody on Saturday Night Live, “you tell me what a maverick wants and that's what I want.”’
H. in Seattle: ‘Given she’s the subject of at least one of your questions every time she opens her mouth, it must mean she’s still relevant to the national dialogue!’
Chris in Philadelphia: ‘Let’s rephrase the question. Do you want Caribou Barbie running the free world? No. She had her moment. It passed. She should get the hint.’
Pat writes from Butte, Montana, ‘Oh, please, Jack, why would you of all people bring up Sarah Palin? It’s long past due for the media and everyone else to just stop reporting on her. She tried and it didn’t work. We all know it. She doesn’t, and the only way to get the message across is to not shine the spotlight on her.’
Francheska weighs in with, ‘Are Valley Girls still totally relevant? Totally not!’
And Diana in Santa Cruz, California: ‘Flailin’ Palin is as relevant as Octo-Mom.’