When ABC's George Stephanopoulos, along with three-fourths of his panel, pile on a Democrat with the cameras rolling, you know said liberal elected official made a blunder of epic proportions.
Such was the case on Sunday's "This Week" when with the exception of Democrat pol Donna Brazile, it was virtually unanimous that Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's decision to go back on his campaign promise to accept public funds was "a big, big deal and a big, big flip-flop."
Readers should brace themselves for an alternate reality, as in a strange moment in television news history, George Stephanopoulos, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Matt Dowd actually agreed that the Obamessiah made a serious boo boo (video available here, Brazile's sycophancy removed for what should be obvious reasons, picture courtesy ABC News):
(Off-camera) The hot political topic of the week. Barack Obama becomes the first presidential candidate in the general election not to take public financing since 1976 since the system was started. We're gonna debate that on the "Roundtable" this week. I am joined by Cokie Roberts, Matt Dowd, Sam Donaldson, and Donna Brazile. And Cokie, right when Senator Obama made this decision, Senator McCain comes out and says this is a big, big deal and a big, big flip-flop.
COKIE ROBERTS (ABC NEWS)
(Off-camera) It is a big flip-flop and it is a big deal. It's not necessarily one that the American people care that much about. Because to them, political money is political money and it's all a mess anyway. But I do think that McCain can use this to say that Obama is just a typical politician and that's what he'll be doing. On the other hand Obama can raise so much money and he uses it so wisely that it is really hard to make the case that he shouldn't be accepting this money. […]
SAM DONALDSON (ABC NEWS)
(Off-camera) It's a smart move from the standpoint of raising money. He's going to do it legally, I suppose. And he wants to win the election and money talks. On the other hand, remember, Donna. He's the non-politician politician. He's the one who's got young people energized because he is not like the swarmy people in Washington who do all of this and cut and run and flip-flop. And now that's the danger to him. And when you go on his website and you hear his explanation, I would have felt better if he just said, folks, I want to win the election, I can do this. It's to my advantage. Instead he pretends that he is fighting big money. He is the champion. And you want to go, gag me with a stick.
Actually, Sam, valley girls said "Gag me with a spoon!" But I digress:
MATTHEW DOWD (ABC NEWS)
(Off-camera) To me I think it's a mistake both politically and for himself. I think that the most important thing you can have as a politician is your brand.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC NEWS)
MATTHEW DOWD (ABC NEWS)
(Off-camera) And no matter how much money you get from it, you can't overcome brand problems once they begin to develop. Do I think it's lethal? No, but I think it begins to add to the thing, is this this guy, just a regular kind of guy where he does these sorts of things? I also think the calculation that they made - so they hurt their brand, the calculation that they made that they were gonna get this extra money is a sort of false premise.