Fox News's Chris Wallace was once again Steve Malzberg's guest on WOR radio Thursday, and the host of "Fox News Sunday" made some comments about Eliot Spitzer, Geraldine Ferraro, and the current Democrat campaign for president that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
In an interview that covered many subjects, Wallace said of Spitzer, "Gosh, what an idiot," while strongly disagreeing with Geraldine Ferraro's recent statements about Barack Obama, and concluded by saying that the "identity politics" the Democrats have been playing for years "is now coming back to bite them, big time" in such a fashion that it could "tear the Party apart."
To get things rolling, Malzberg asked his guest about the Spitzer resignation (15-minute audio available here):
It really is an unbelievable story. And, you know, you have to shake your head and talk, and think about the stupidity of the man, and the delusion of the man. And I even have to say I felt it in his final speech, his resignation speech yesterday. For a guy who did something as stupid and as self-inflicted a wound to kind of, almost give a campaign speech after he'd apologized, about what his vision of New York and America is, it just struck me this is the last guy that should be delivering lectures about any of this. And then to look in the papers today and see these pictures of this girl, and that was my overwhelming reaction -- "She's a little girl." She's not a lot older than his daughters. She's 22 I think, and, gosh, what an idiot...It's a level of hypocrisy and stupidity that really does verge on, on some kind of delusionary activity.
Indeed. Yet, what really makes Wallace so special is his willingness to espouse positions that might not fit neatly into current conservative dogma. For instance, here was Chris's views concerning Geraldine Ferraro's recent comments about Barack Obama only having risen to his current level within the Democrat Party as a result of his race:
The fact of the matter is being an African-American in this country is not an advantage. You know, you can say that, that Obama would not have been in the particular position he is, to give the keynote speech in 2004 which got a lot going, but, you know, if he weren't an African-American conceivably. But, on the other hand, you know, I think it's an obstacle he's had to overcome not an advantage...I can understand that it certainly adds to the fascination, and I'm certainly, one of the things that intrigues me is the idea of this country electing an African-American. You know, I think it would say, not getting into a discussion of whether I like Obama or don't like Obama or whatever. But I think it would say something wonderful just in general, you know, whether it was Condoleezza Rice or Obama, if we elected an African-American who's qualified, who's the best person, that would be a wonderful statement about, you know, for a country that has been so riven by race. But, I don't know that to sort of say, "Gee, isn't he lucky he's African-American," I don't even know why it was even worth, why it was something she needed to bring up. And, it does play the race card...It's an effort to diminish Obama and sort of say that he's a race candidate when he's clearly much more than that.
My view exactly, Chris.
Moving forward, Wallace elaborated on this race baiting theme. In fact, although most media outlets have shied away from an honest discussion of how the Clintons have used the race card during this campaign -- as reported by NewsBusters on January 27 -- Chris hit this subject in a fashion that most press members would never dare:
There has been a series of these comments whether it was the guy in New Hampshire who talked about, you know, doing a little blow, or something, whatever it was, the drug, the drug comments about Obama. Whether it was Andrew Cuomo, the brother of your, your previous citation's brother who said something about "Shucking and jiving." You know, there have been a number of racial comments which, have, it seems to me have been an effort to appeal to people and kind of in effect say, "Hey, don't, you know, don't forgot, Obama is an African-American"...You know, there have been so many of these you have to wonder whether Hillary Clinton is ordering it or not. Whether there is a kind of pattern here of the campaign of the Clinton campaign playing the race card. And obviously, when you see this kind of racial disparity in a state like Mississippi, bringing it back to your question, you could understand why the Obama campaign would be concerned because they have tried very hard, and I think pretty successfully, not to run a racial campaign, and to run as kind of a color-blind candidate, and to the degree that the Clintons are trying to pigeon-hole him, and put him in that box, that's something that he's gotta try to resist.
Next, Wallace disagreed with those in the media that view Obama's connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright as not being a big deal:
I have to say that I had not heard him before, and I saw some soundbites of him, uh, you know, he, I agree, he would raise questions if you think this is the church this fellow goes to, it does raise some issues.
Finally, Wallace made some observations about the current presidential race that deliciously go counter to the mainstream media meme:
You know, it's so interesting. The Democratic Party has talked so much about identity politics over the years, and African-Americans, and gays, and all of these groups. And it's now coming back to bite them, big time! Because they're seeing the Party split by all of this identity politics. And you've got these crazy rules, I mean, you know it does raise some question about how, you know, should Democrats run the country if this is the way they run their own Party? Because, it's a mess...Think about this for a second. After 2000, and the Gore campaign, and the talk about every vote has to count, if, if they finish all the voting, and let's say they do find a way to do a redo in Michigan and Florida. And, if, uh Obama still has the popular and pledged delegate, delegates elected by the voter, lead, which he might very well at that point, if Clinton, I mean, if the Clinton machine is able to turn this around and capture the nomination, uh, and deny an African-American who has the lead in popular votes and pledged delegate votes, I just think it's going to tear the Party apart. And I don't say that with any great joy. I just think that it would, I don't know how the Party could sort of live with its own conscience under those circumstances, and I think it would be so incredibly divisive that -- not that you're going to have the rioting in the streets you had in 1968 in Chicago -- but it would, it would split the Party in that same kind of way.
Isn't he a breath of fresh air?