Andrea Mitchell: Teddy 'Hero' But Strom Not Alive Even in Senate

July 10th, 2008 8:06 AM

See Bonus Coverage at foot: Barnicle accuses Jesse Jackson of "corporate blackmail."

Two veteran members of the Senate, two entirely different treatments from Andrea Mitchell.  Reverence for Ted Kennedy; scorn for Strom Thurmond. Guest hosting in Mika Brzezinski's spot on Morning Joe today, Mitchell, emotion in her voice, hailed Kennedy as "valiant" and a "hero."  As for Thurmond, Mitchell mocked that he wasn't alive even when he was in the Senate.

View video here.

The reference to the late South Carolina senator arose in the context of a discussion of the way in which, with the nomination of Barack Obama, the torch of Dem leadership has been passed to a new generation, whereas the same isn't true in John McCain's GOP.

PATRICK BUCHANAN:  And in the Democratic party there's a whole new generation, whereas take a look at our party, Mike Barnicle.  We got John McCain.
Chuckles all around.
BUCHANAN: I mean, I'm not mocking McCain, I'm not mocking McCain --

SCARBOROUGH: He's 70-something and he's not the future.

BUCHANAN: That's exactly right, and the torch has not been passed in the Republican party.

SCARBOROUGH: I mean, if Strom Thurmond were still alive, Barnicle, he might be --

BUCHANAN: He'd be on the ticket!

MITCHELL: He wasn't alive when he was in the Senate!
A few moments later, when Mitchell steered conversation to Ted Kennedy's return to the Senate yesterday, her tone turned from mocking to reverential.
MITCHELL: Let me just quickly ask you, Mike, about a moment on the Senate floor: Democrats, Republicans, united in an ovation for Teddy Kennedy, the valiant senator returning to the floor to vote for the Medicare bill, a key bill that he cared passionately about there.   
Mitchell continued, as video rolled of the Kennedy family outside the Capitol.
MITCHELL: Teddy, Vicky and Patrick.  Mike—what a hero.
BONUS COVERAGE: Barnicle Accuses Jesse Jackson of 'Corporate Blackmail'

Guest Mike Barnicle had some tough words for Jesse Jackson. Discussing Jackson's "nutty" comments of yesterday, Barnicle offered an explanation as to why the would-be vivisectionist might be feeling resentment towards Obama.
MIKE BARNICLE: There's an element of envy and jealousy that's natural in guys like Clinton and Jackson when it comes to this young Obama, taking the spotlight away from them. And in Jackson's case, it's particularly relevant, because if you look at it, and to be honest about it, Jesse Jackson has spent the better half of the last decade perhaps, basically engaging in corporate blackmail, where he would go to large U.S. corporations: banks, financial institutions, and say "look, we need more black faces in the employment lines here, or else we're going to have to picket outside."  And they would contribute to Operation Push and other charitable endeavors that Jesse Jackson sponsored.

Nothing that many others haven't said before.  But query whether Barnicle has made similar comments in the past, or did Jackson's tangling with Obama prompt Barnicle to attack Jackson for a first time?

Note: Barnicle's comments came before Mitchell's remarks on Thurmond and Kennedy, but I've placed them after in the video clip to track the discussion here.

Update | 9: 15 AM:  Andrea Chummy with 'Shrummy,' Rothschild

When veteran Dem campaign consultant Bob Shrum appeared later Andrea chummily called him "Shrummy."  She also let it be known that big Hillary backer Lynn Forester de Rothschild [of those Rothschilds] is "a friend of mine."