Lawrence O'Donnell Calls Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin Idiots

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday called Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin idiots.

In his disturbed view, the former Alaska Governor wrote a simpleton's book that would still be difficult reading for the conservative talk radio host.

While subbing for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown," O'Donnell belittled Palin's "Going Rogue" as an "index and footnote free, score settling campaign memoir" possessing "[no] mind numbing charts or graphs, no big words, no scholarly Latin phrases, like caveat emptor."

"And I bet the pictures are, like, amazing," said O'Donnell after claiming Limbaugh would "[struggle] to get through" it (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon, file photo):

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, SUBSTITUTE HOST: Breaking news; in our third story in the COUNTDOWN, Levi Johnston has seen Sarah Palin`s Oprah prompted invitation to Thanksgiving dinner, and says, quote, "you can tell by her laugh that she was full of it."

Meantime, Rush Limbaugh calls Palin`s book, quote, "truly one of the most substantive policy books I've read," end quote. Rush, I believe you. I cannot imagine you, in full recline on your Gulfstream, Cuban cigar in hand, struggling to get through a more substantive policy book than Sarah`s index and footnote free, score settling campaign memoir. No mind numbing charts or graphs, no big words, no scholarly Latin phrases, like caveat emptor. And I bet the pictures are, like, amazing.

Amazing. For those that can stand it, here's the rest of this segment:

O'DONNELL: The previously-released clips from Palin`s interview with Oprah Winfrey getting new life now that would-be-son-in-law Mr. Johnston has had a chance to see it.


OPRAH WINFREY, "OPRAH": One final question about Levi. Will he be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?

SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: You know, that is a great question. It`s lovely to think that he would ever even consider such a thing, because, of course, he is a part of the family. You want to bring him in the fold and under your wing.

He needs that too, Oprah. I think he needs to know that he is loved. He has the most beautiful child. This can all work out for good. It really can. We don`t have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama.

We are not really into the drama. We don`t really like that. We are more productive. We have other things to concentrate on.

WINFREY: Does that mean yes, he is coming, or no, he is not?


O`DONNELL: Mr. Johnston, through a "Playgirl" spokesman, has now responded. Quote, "you could tell by her laugh that she was full of it," and that her invitation was a, quote, "nice gesture, but she didn`t mean it." If he went, it would be "awkward." Do you think?

By the way, on the day Palin was taping that Oprah Interview, Mr. Johnston was at the 2009 Flesh-Bot Awards. And he was given his very own award for sexy achievements.

As for the crowd formerly known as the presidential campaign of senator John McCain, we are told that McCain instructed them not to respond to allegations in Palin`s book. But some of them have done more than just respond. McCain himself today saying he has the Palin book, but has not had a chance yet to read it.

Back to Mr. Limbaugh. He says he told Ms. Palin, quote, "people who get hold of this, like the AP or any of the state-controlled media, they are going to focus on the soap opera aspects of your book, and they are going to ignore what is truly one of the most substantive policy books I`ve read."

Let`s bring in MSNBC political analyst and author of "Renegade," Richard Wolffe, also senior strategist at Public Strategies.

Good evening, Richard.


O`DONNELL: Richard, I want to listen again to part of Sarah Palin`s answer to Oprah`s Thanksgiving dinner question.


PALIN: Of course you want -- he is a part of the family. You want to bring him in the fold and under your wing. He needs that, too, Oprah. He needs to know that he is loved.


O`DONNELL: Richard, you want to bring him into the fold. You want to take him under your wing. She can`t say I want to do that. Was she trying to get Oprah to invite Levi to Thanksgiving dinner?

WOLFFE: It`s a nice suggestion. But I suspect Oprah is kind of busy. Actually, I am, too, in case you were suggesting me.

I think there is a bigger picture here, which is that if you talk to people involved in the McCain campaign, she -- Sarah Palin had this weird disembodied reaction to everything going on around her. In public, we saw this fabulous TV performer, someone who could give a great speech at the convention. But in private, she was frozen in the head lamps. It was very difficult to connect reality to her, and get her to wake up to her situation.

I think, in her own mind, there may be a Sarah Palin, the real person, and Sarah Palin, the performer. And maybe the you, we, I think reflects that.

O`DONNELL: McCain has gotten word out to the campaign staff that he doesn`t want them talking. He doesn`t want them prolonging this story. But today an unnamed senior campaign official did dispute Palin`s claim that she was asked to pay legal fees for her own vetting. McCain`s former chief of staff, Mark Salter, defended the campaign`s version of how the Palin interviews with Katie Couric came about. But how long can the rest of the McCain campaign staff control themselves as they turn the pages of this book and find things in the book that they think are untrue?

WOLFFE: Well, it`s hard for them. I`ve been speaking to some of them. They find it very difficult when there are just plain factual errors, inaccuracies, fabrications. They don`t want to get into a public fist fight with Sarah Palin, because that`s unedifying. They recognize it, even if someone who may run for president again doesn`t recognize it.

Look, I was speaking to Nicole Wallace, who was accused of coming up with some weird story for why Sarah Palin would go speak to Katie Couric. According to Palin, Wallace had said that Katie Couric had low self-esteem, and that`s why, I guess out of some sympathy, she should do the interview.

Anybody who knows Nicole Wallace, who was a formidable figure in the 2004 Bush campaign -- anybody who knows Katie Couric would recognize that story just doesn`t pass the smell test.

O`DONNELL: There`s someone right there, Nicole Wallace. Doesn`t there come a point where she has an incentive to clarify as much what she thinks about Katie Couric as what she thinks about Sarah Palin in a situation like this?

WOLFFE: I think there is a desire to clarify things. And they are putting out statements through other people. Again, Sarah Palin has more ink than anybody else. She has more media attention. There comes a point where people have to make a judgment about credibility. Palin, for instance, has gone out and said that the AP reports -- according to her Facebook posting, AP reports about her book were erroneous. Well, she better be right, because in four days we`ll be able to see if the AP was true or not in its reporting about the book. And if she is lying, then, yet again, her credibility is going to be called into question.

O`DONNELL: Now, Levi Johnston has also said I don`t really pay attention to politics now that Sarah is gone. But I think -- Obama that is -- is doing a lot better than Sarah would have done. So I give him props. Do we expect former members of the Palin inner circle to go rogue and give props to Barack Obama?

WOLFFE: I`m not sure the White House is in that desperate a situation that they are going to need this kind of thing, especially from someone who is having trouble keeping his clothes on. We`ll see. It`s a fascinating spectacle.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe of MSNBC, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Lawrence.

MSNBC Countdown Lawrence O'Donnell Sarah Palin
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