MSNBC Spends Three Hours Gushing Over ‘Kinetic,’ ‘Soft Tone’ Biden

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Super Tuesday 2 marked a further coronation of Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee by the liberal media and a pivot away from any and all critical coverage of the gaffe-ridden candidate. MSNBC did its part, marveling at Biden putting “not just the South in play, but the Sun Belt” as well thanks to his “fascinating kinetic moment.”

And then, after Biden’s victory speech, one MSNBC pundit was there to swoon over his “very soft tone of voice as if you’re in the living room with him” and his use of the word “honor” that he would restore to the presidency.

 

 

First up was former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Trump Derangement Syndrom sufferer Nicolle Wallace, who insisted eight minutes past eight Eastern that Biden’s confrontation threatening a union worker who questioned him on gun control was a good thing.

McCaskill insisted that the tussle “will help him with those voters” instead of “hurt him” to which Wallace interjected: “I totally agree.”

Having been away from The New York Times since 2003, former executive editor Howell Raines’s mask hasn’t just slipped, but it’s collected inches of dust in the proverbial closet.

Speaking to Lyin Brian Williams, Raines claimed that Biden has not only placed “the South in play” for November, “but the Sun Belt in play in a way that the Democrats haven't been able to do for sometime” thanks to “this...fascinating kinetic moment in this campaign.” 

Comparing the 2020 campaign to 1976 and 1980, Raines added that “this is one of those nights when you feel the Earth moving.” 

In the next hour, it was Wallace’s turn to provide the supposedly astute analysis (click “expand”):

Donald Trump got himself impeached so that tonight wouldn't happen. Donald Trump got impeached so he wouldn't have to run against Joe Biden. We have all covered impeachment as though it was the big story in the headlines, split-screen America. What if voters didn’t split those two up and voters watched Donald Trump spending a maniacal year to trying to get the mustached John Bolton to setup a foreign leader with Rudy Giuliani to sabotage Joe Biden so this wouldn't happen. Don't you think Democratic primary voters are like “oooo, let's get Trump? Let’s get the guy who he doesn’t want to run against nominated.” 

The other thing is and I hear this from women — Democrat and Republican women, maybe it wasn't so much about running against Hillary Clinton. Maybe it was seeing the — the — the nightmare that was four years of the Trump presidency. The urgency is greater. The particulars about oh, let's do a revolution later. Let's get rid of this guy first. I mean, I think voters are having to weigh different things and they're more real world than idealized. 

To her credit, she correctly called out socialist Senator Bernie Sanders for deserving “as much blame for where he’s ended up tonight as anybody” after having been the front-runner prior to South Carolina, stemming at least in part from his disastrous 60 Minutes interview.

Joining the table in the 10:30 p.m. Eastern half-hour, Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell threw more superlatives Biden’s way by trumpeting what “a marvel” his resurgence has been, calling it “a stunning comeback.”

And finally, O’Donnell was tasked with offering up a flowery reaction to Biden’s speech at the National Constitution Center and he came through for his team (click “expand, emphasis mine”):

WILLIAMS: Lawrence O’Donnell, we were watching Joe Biden together. Did he touch all the bases? Did he do what a speech tonight had to do? 

O’DONNELL: He — he did everything that that speech had to do. Remember, this speech had a challenge that we've never seen in a campaign victory speech like this before. He also had to address this pandemic that is — that is about and he had to weave all of that together. His opening line was, this is your campaign. He was speaking to Sanders voters. He was speaking to everyone on — on the Democratic side of the electorate...He had a very soft tone of voice as if you're in the living room with him for most of the speech and just kind of ramped up his energy only slightly at the end, but — but it was all there all the time. It’s — it — he really was trying to create, I think, comfort, stability, talked about presidential leadership, and he used a phrase that, you know, in any other time you wouldn't think anything of it. He said, “if you give me the honor of becoming your president” And when — when I heard that, what I was hearing was, you know, the guy who has it now doesn't really think it's that much of an honor. He certainly doesn't honor the job. He doesn't honor the Oval Office. He doesn't honor the position and — and Joe Biden's use of that word “honor,” which at any other time I think would be a throwaway line in a political speech, for me had some real resonance and I just think he did exactly what he had to do.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Super Tuesday 2coverage on March 10, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Decision 2020: Super Tuesday 2
March 10, 2020
8:08 p.m. Eastern

CLAIRE MCCASKILL: And him going toe to toe with that union member today where the rest of the union guys were all around and —

RACHEL MADDOW: He’s confronted, yeah.

MCCASKILL:— he used a bad word, that will help him with those voters. 

NICOLLE WALLACE: I totally agree.

MCCASKILL: It won't hurt him, it will help him. 

(....)

8:09 p.m. Eastern

HOWELL RAINES: And Biden's success in the South last week continues a pattern where he is putting not just the South in play, but the Sun Belt in play in a way that the Democrats haven't been able to do for sometime. This is a fascinating kinetic moment in this campaign. I mean, never before have we had this kind of nominating contest under the shadow of a global pandemic. So we're really living history in real-time and I think one of the things that in my years, I've got a lot of this gray hair in covering — on nights like this. I have to say I've never known anyone who did the political demographics of these contests better than Steve Kornacki. And what he's sketching for us I think builds on what we saw happening last week, which is a coalescing of the Democratic center and center left around Joe Biden. Without getting too far out, I'm taken back to 1976 when Carter at this point in the primaries was able to overcome the “Anybody but Carter” movement in his own party and I'm taken back to 1980 when Reagan was able to overcome the “Anybody but Reagan” movement in his own party and this has the feel to me of a contest that's lurching toward an “Anybody but Sanders” moment. I, like Eugene, was stunned that Sanders went back to Vermont tonight. That sends to me a defeatist signal and, again, I'm cautioning myself about being predictive, but this is — this is one of those nights when you feel the Earth moving. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Hal —

[UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST SAYS “WOW”]

WILLIAMS: — let's go back to your choice of the 1980 result. That's interesting because an incumbent lost to a Republican challenger because of an exigency going on in his term, the taking of American hostages, the failure of a U.S. raid to get the hostages. We have an exigency underway for our incumbent president. A lot of his errors have been forced. This is unforced. This was something he was handed and we know not as of yet how this is going to play out over the next couple of months. 

RAINES: That's an excellent parallel, Brian, but I have to say I think, again, back to the kinetic nature of this moment, today for the first time the White House had a pretty good day in the public relations battle, and they didn't have it because of the President. They had it because of Vice President Pence is beginning to come into a more positive focus and he and the medical experts and Lawrence Kudlow who were out there this afternoon gave the White House upbeat, if that's an overstatement, but the first generally positive day they've had in this disastrous run. I think the exigency model that you're talking about is — is dangerous for Trump for this reason. People know he makes errors. People know he lies, but he's been given a wide strike zone, and this makes him look like he's not a manager and this is a big management task and I'm looking at that six out of ten non-college white men. They are the core of Trump's base and I think the managerial missteps that he's made really put him in a Carter-like position. That's an excellent analogy on your part. 

(....)

9:08 p.m. Eastern

WALLACE: Donald Trump got himself impeached so that tonight wouldn't happen. Donald Trump got impeached so he wouldn't have to run against Joe Biden. We have all covered impeachment as though it was the big story in the headlines, split-screen America. What if voters didn’t split those two up and voters watched Donald Trump spending a maniacal year to trying to get the mustached John Bolton to setup a foreign leader with Rudy Giuliani to sabotage Joe Biden so this wouldn't happen. Don't you think Democratic primary voters are like “oooo, let's get Trump? Let’s get the guy who he doesn’t want to run against nominated.” The other thing is and I hear this from women — Democrat and Republican women, maybe it wasn't so much about running against Hillary Clinton. Maybe it was seeing the — the — the nightmare that was four years of the Trump presidency. The urgency is greater. The particulars about oh, let's do a revolution later. Let's get rid of this guy first. I mean, I think voters are having to weigh different things and they're more real world than idealized. 

MADDOW: But you know, I have to say, I feel like the kind of coalescing that we're watching happening tonight, if it were happening around Senator Sanders, if Senator Sanders had, like, pulled off an upset win in South Carolina, started doing great in the south, and had a Super Tuesday like nobody thought he could, I honestly think that the coalescence we're seeing in the Democratic Party would also be happening around Senator Sanders.

CHRIS HAYES: There’s a smart argument for that.

MADDOW: I think it is about beating Donald Trump. I agree that it's about beating Donald Trump. And if you're going to do it with Sanders, great. If you're going to do it with Biden, great.

WALLACE; I don’t disagree.

MADDOW: If you're going to do it with a Hickory tree you just met, go ahead. 

HAYES: Yes, yes. It’s very —

MADDOW: The coalescence has its own moment. 

WALLACE: He's a vessel and I mean, the funny thing is if it had been Bernie Sanders — look at the window where you saw what that might have looked like was after Nevada where you had Rick Wilson and Bill Kristol and all these one-time Republicans saying, like, well, I guess a socialist is better than a psycho. That would be a fascinating story and I — yes — I think that is true. But the other thing happened. The opposite happened. Bernie Sanders has lost steam almost every single day. The other thing about Florida is he almost willfully threw Florida by spending four days defending his comments about Castro. He could have apologized and said, look, literacy is one thing, but jailing dissidents and writers and reporters is another entirely. To the people of Florida, I'm sorry. He didn't. Sanders has as much blame for where he’s ended up tonight as anybody. 

(....)

10:42 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: I was watching our friend Lawrence O’Donnell who has joined us here in the studio as you looked at the blue wall that Joe Biden is building in the south and east and you were just kind of shaking your head like, here we are. 

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, it's a marvel on so many levels. We have never seen a comeback like this in the presidential primary process ever. A giant front-runner at the beginning, loses his front-runner status and he doesn't go down to second place. He comes in fourth, he comes in third, he gets wiped out in the first three states, just wiped out, embarrassed and the idea of coming back in the fourth and then just going like a rocket from then, we've never seen anything like that before and it's a stunning comeback.

(....)

11:06 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: Lawrence O’Donnell, we were watching Joe Biden together. Did he touch all the bases? Did he do what a speech tonight had to do? 

O’DONNELL: He — he did everything that that speech had to do. Remember, this speech had a challenge that we've never seen in a campaign victory speech like this before. He also had to address this pandemic that is — that is about and he had to weave all of that together. His opening line was, this is your campaign. He was speaking to Sanders voters. He was speaking to everyone on — on the Democratic side of the electorate, and he did it in the most generous ways he could. He wanted — he congratulated Bernie Sanders. He said he wants to thank Bernie Sanders and thank Bernie Sanders’s supporters for everything they've contributed to the campaign and he's not presuming in this speech that that's the end of it, that Bernie Sanders is out. He had a very soft tone of voice. 

WILLIAMS: Yep.

EUENGE ROBINSON: Mm-hmm. 

O’DONNELL: As if you're in the living room with him for most of the speech and just kind of ramped up his energy only slightly at the end, but — but it was all there all the time. It’s — it — he really was trying to create, I think, comfort, stability, talked about presidential leadership, and he used a phrase that, you know, in any other time you wouldn't think anything of it. He said, “if you give me the honor of becoming your president” And when — when I heard that, what I was hearing was, you know, the guy who has it now doesn't really think it's that much of an honor. He certainly doesn't honor the job. He doesn't honor the Oval Office. He doesn't honor the position and — and Joe Biden's use of that word “honor,” which at any other time I think would be a throwaway line in a political speech, for me had some real resonance and I just think he did exactly what he had to do. What's so striking tonight is when a campaign like the Sanders campaign suffers the kind of losses that they’re suffering tonight, this is when you normally have the rouse the troops speech, it’s not over. Now, presumably that’s that was scheduled and got canceled, but they weren’t able to put together any alternative version of it in Vermont tonight, even for a smaller group to say tonight to Sanders’s voters, this is still alive, we’re still going, and so presumably we’ll wait for tomorrow to hear whatever it is Bernie Sanders is going to say. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Other MSNBC Video Lawrence O'Donnell Howell Raines Donald Trump Joe Biden Claire McCaskill Bernie Sanders Nicolle Wallace
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