Scarborough Hits Palin Over the Head With Bachmann's Success

June 28th, 2011 10:44 AM

It seems no matter what Sarah Palin does or doesn't do, she's going to be lambasted by America's press - even the supposedly "conservative" ones.

On Tuesday's "Morning Joe," co-host Joe Scarborough used Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's successful campaign launch as a means of bashing the former Alaska governor (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: And what a contrast, Andy, with Sarah Palin. And there’s going to be this contrast for some time. Of course, Sarah Palin’s people now are conducting outreach to Iowa activists. She obviously can’t love what’s happening with Michele Bachmann. But just think: had Sarah Palin a year ago surrounded herself with professional handlers where, not to tell her what to say or how to act, but, but to stop her from doing some self-destructive things. It’s like when Roger Ailes, who runs Fox News and knows a little bit about these things. Roger Ailes said, “Don’t put out that thing on Facebook after Gabby Giffords (unintelligible)." She ignored Roger, and she paid for ignoring Roger. She doesn’t listen to people. Michele Bachmann does, and it makes a difference.

First off, why do people in the media - even the supposedly "conservative" ones - think Palin isn't happy with Bachmann's success? Doesn't this assume she's going to toss her hat into the ring and therefore sees the Minnesota Congresswoman as a competitor?

If the opposite is true, and Palin has no intention of running next year, at least not for president, she might be thrilled with Bachmann's success. She could be exuberantly cheering her fellow Tea Partier on as Bachmann likely more closely echoes Palin's conservative views than most of the other Republican presidential candidates that have announced.

As I like so many observers believe the former Alaska governor is not going to run and instead is biding her time to not only have some influence over the 2012 platform but also to decide who she's going to throw her support behind, it is quite possible in the coming months we're going to see these two ladies on the same stage with one quite happily endorsing the other.

As such, Scarborough and his compatriots in the media on both sides of the aisle gleaning some de facto competition between these women are making an assumption that could be tremendously false.

As for Ailes recommending Palin not respond to the Tucson shootings, does that mean he was right?

People all throughout the liberal press were blaming the former vice presidential candidate for Giffords' shooting. Should she really have stayed quiet and not defended herself?

The idea that Palin's response to that incident hurt her is largely in the minds of her detractors who will attack her no matter what she says or does.

At this point in time, is there really anything this woman could do that would get the approval of folks like Scarborough and his colleagues?

Beyond which, why do the press see Bachmann and Palin as being tied at the hip? Does every action by one have bearing on the other?

Fortune magazine editor Andy Serwer pointed this out to Scarborough. There is indeed an odd sexism going on here that presumes that every discussion about Bachmann has to involve Palin and vice versa.

Until the moment that Palin actually does enter the race, can't these women be judged independently, or is that asking too much?