Suggesting that Nicolle Wallace engaged in feline fisticuffs might be called sexist. But when Wallace actually accused Sarah Palin of seeking to "claw" critics, illustrating her assertion with a cat-like hand gesture, well . . .
It's no secret that Wallace is no fan of Sarah Palin. But the former Bush communications director and McCain campaign aide perhaps took things to another level with her attack on Palin on today's Morning Joe. Wallace was on to comment on Joe Scarborough's astonishing claim of yesterday, noted here, that "all" conservatives and talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken are harshly critical of Palin off the record, but are afraid to express their views publicly.
Wallace opined that if it ever looked as if Palin were close to copping the Republican presidential nomination, many GOP leaders who have to date been too timid to criticize her would step forward to expose Palin's putative shortcomings. In the course of propounding her theory, Wallace unleashed a hail of criticism of her own:
- "Mistakes were made [by McCain in choosing Palin]."
- "Her troubling deficiencies."
- "Her incredible cynicism, her bitterness, her aggressive attempts to claw [makes clawing hand-gesture] anyone" who criticizes her.
- "Very prickly, very cynical."
- "Heaven forbid, the leader of the free world."
Wallace asserted that Republicans hesitate to criticize Palin publicly for fear of angering Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, whom Nicolle claimed to admire. Watch Wallace go after Palin. She who is not bitter, cast the first claw?
The segment began with a clip of McCain speaking positively about Palin's role in the 2010 elections and predicting she will also play a positive role in 2012.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I would love to hear the truth. I'd love for him to just let it go. You know, and just be like, "you know, I was wrong" [in choosing Palin as my running-mate.] It was a mistake.
NICOLLE WALLACE: Mistakes were made.
. . .
I believe that if she were on the cusp of becoming the nominee for the Republican party a whole lot of people--Mark Halperin can probably name them all--would probably talk about some of her more troubling deficiencies.
. . . .
I think that what Joe wrote about yesterday, her incredible cynicism, her bitterness, her aggressive attempts to claw anyone who points out an area for her to work on--I think these things will continue to reveal herself.
. . .
Let me tell you why no one will take her on. Her defenders and supporters, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, people I admire, are so powerful on the right that nobody wants to anger these people; nobody wants to end up in the cross-hairs.
. . .
I think her nature has been revealed lately as very prickly, very cynical.
. . .
I really believe that if looked like she were about to become the nominee, or heaven forbid the leader of the free world, a whole lot of people would stand up and say a whole lot of things.
MIKA: All right, best-selling author Nicolle Wallace. Her book, Eighteen Acres, it's great. There's a female dog in it named Mika: and I know you meant nothing by that, right? Love it.
WALLACE: Mika is the president's favorite living creature.
MIKA: Female dog.