Morning Joe Adores 'Mayor Pete,' Takes Swipes at Hillary, Beto

April 15th, 2019 9:38 AM

"Hero." "Echoes of the Kennedys." "Very inspiring." "Good in every way." "Witty, charming, human, compassionate."

You get the idea. In the wake of his announcement speech of yesterday, today's Morning Joe was a veritable Pete Buttigieg love-in. In addition to Joe and Mika singing his praises, all the panelists joined in the chorus.

And beyond the glorification of Buttigieg, there were pointed shots taken at the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Beto O'Rourke. Donny Deutsch, who called Buttigieg a "hero," said that no one would have used the word for Hillary. And Mika suggested that "putting it kindly," Democrats "missed the mark last time around " by nominating Hillary.

Brzezinski also complained that the notion of Beto O'Rourke as the Kennedyesque candidate has been "forced on me . . . you feel this sort of contrived candidacy." In contrast, claimed Mika, "Mayor Pete feels much more natural, real."



Buttigieg is certainly having his media moment in the sun. The other candidates have undoubtedly taken notice. Somewhere, in dank campaign basements, oppo researchers are surely practicing their dark arts. How long before some unflattering item about Mayor Pete makes its way into the press?

Note: I had to laugh at Scarborough's suggestion that along with watching Tiger's triumphant final round at the Masters yesterday, "everybody" was also watching Buttigieg's announcement speech. Perhaps--in some sections of the Upper West Side. But when the ratings come out today, the Masters will undoubtedly have been watched in gigantic numbers, with viewers of Buttigieg's speech were a tiny fraction by comparison, limited to Democrats watching cable news instead of golf.

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:01 am EDT

JOE SCARBOROUGH: For some reason yesterday, Mika, everybody stopped. They were watching Tiger, and they watched Mayor Pete. And I don't know: ten years, twenty years from now, just may be a day that a lot of people look back on and see history being made.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, we were shuffling my mom from room to room. Let's go watch Tiger! Okay, let's go back for Mayor Pete! My mom loves Mayor Pete.

. . . 

DONNY DEUTSCH: We saw heroes yesterday. We say two heroes in different ways. We have the president we have. We can even look back to our last Democratic candidate. Whether you liked Hillary or didn't like Hillary, you'd never attach the word "hero" to her.

. . . 

MIKA: I'm just saying: there's a lot of nice candidates, but what we need, and what you saw yesterday in South Bend, was good. Good in every way. And good in every way that Trump is the opposite. 

. . . 

PETE BUTTIGIEG [from announcement speech]: A moment like that calls for hopeful, and audacious, voices from communities like ours. And yes, it calls for a new generation of leadership in this country.

JOE: There were so many echoes of the Kennedys, of JFK and RFK there . . . I must say, other than Barack Obama running in 2008, and I remember as a kid, Ronald Reagan running in 1980, I never really got flooded with the type of phone calls, and heard the excitement, that I heard yesterday afternoon from Republicans, independents, and Democrats.

. . . 

ADRIENNE ELROD: It was very inspiring to see this. 

. . . 

JONATHAN LEMIRE: He's proven himself to be witty, and charming, and human, and compassionate . . . It was a remarkable first step yesterday.

. . . 

MIKA: I sort of feel like this Kennedy concept, this young, new millenial candidate concept in Beto, which, I would like for him to come on the show, to understand exactly what he's about and ask him some real questions. But I feel like that concept has been forced on me. I'm not comfortable. Like, don't tell me that this candidate is the one. And you hear about all these Democratic operatives flocking to Beto, and you feel this sort of contrived candidacy. And then, you look at Mayor Pete, who is literally come out of nowhere, and it feels much more natural, real.         

. . . 

EDDIE GLAUDE JR.: Mayor Pete was reaching for a new consensus story. When we talk about "make America great again," Joe and Mika, what we're really talking about is a period that American historians call, where there was a consensus narrative, a story that linked us all. But it really didn't link us all. It was a story about white men, it was a story about understanding of America that turned its face away from all of this ugliness. But what Mayor Pete suggested is that there's another way to tell a story of America, that included not only him, but all of us.

. . . 

MIKA: Does the Democratic establishment see this candidate -- one could argue that they missed the mark, last time around, and they didn't see what was happening in front of them. That's probably putting it kindly. Do they see this candidate?   

ELROD: They do. And Mika, I gotta tell you, I have talked to a number of operatives, former colleagues of mine, for the past few days who said, you know what, I'm actually interested in going out and trying to work for Mayor Pete. So I think you're starting to see more of a transition from sort of this, you know, fringe candidacy, let's see if it goes anywhere, to: this guy's the real deal, I think we can make this movement into something that actually is a full-fledged, real campaign.

. . . 

JOE: He's not afraid. He's bold, he's audacious, and he's not afraid for Americans to see who he is. 

. . . 

JOSH LEDERMAN [NBC reporter present at Buttigieg speech]: They were all just enthused, they were revved up. We talked to a lot of them who said they'd already made up their minds. This is someone that hadn't known even existed a few weeks ago, but a few instances of hearing him talk, hearing the values that he's trying to bring to the table, they were pretty much sold . . . He certainly had a lot of enthusiasm, and folks who seemed like they were taking from him something that they were not seeing in any other Democratic candidate in this field.