Color The New York Times slightly disappointed that Joe Scarborough is saying he won’t run for president in the GOP primaries in 2016. “He comes with instant credibility, instant recognition of a brand,” the Times quoted Matt Mowers, executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. That instant brand recognition? MSNBC, the Obama Can Do No Wrong Channel.
But Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg honored his show “Morning Joe” as a “must-see for members of the New York-Washington news media-political axis.” That’s also code for the elites that love Obama. At least Stolberg recognized conservatives aren’t Scarborough fans, to put it mildly:
At 50, Mr. Scarborough is the Republican liberals love and conservatives love to hate — quite a turnabout from his days in the House, where he was a member of a brash young band of self-described “bad boy” conservatives who once tried to oust Mr. Gingrich, then the speaker.
In 2003, he joined MSNBC, where he hosts “Morning Joe” with Mika Brzezinski. The program is a must-see for members of the New York-Washington news media-political axis and is a source of irritation to Tea Party conservatives, some of whom regard Mr. Scarborough as traitor and see him as too conciliatory to Democrats.
“He went to work for MSNBC; that’s like going to work for The New York Times,” said Jazz Shaw, weekend editor at a conservative website, HotAir.com. “A lot of conservatives will never forgive him for that.”
Stolberg reported Scarborough wanted to cut his mini-boomlet short because his ability to host a program that relies on politicians as guests is “harmed when people start thinking I’m going to put on a shield and pick up a sword and start fighting in their arena.”
If he is “engaged in any campaign,” he insisted, it is “a campaign to make the Republican Party mainstream again.” He will continue to promote his book (he might even turn up in Iowa), but he suggested that his future — at least his immediate future — is in television, not politics.
“I’m not Sarah Palin, and I’m not Donald Trump,” he said. “I don’t need to stir the speculation. I have more influence sitting at the table where I’m sitting, and enjoy a much better lifestyle than I ever would getting back into public office.”
The comparisons to Palin and Trump are classic examples of snobbery from the former congressman from the "Redneck Riviera." Scarborough earns a reported $4 million a year from MSNBC. That's before the lucrative public speaking gigs.