Political analyst Charlie Cook sells himself as "independent, nonpartisan" pundit, but then how does it look when he’s donating his time and talent to a fundraising auction for Netroots Nation, the hard-left blogger convention? He’s offering "Coffee with Charlie Cook and a 1-Year Subscription to the Cook Report."
That’s not the biggest surprise: the Daily Kosmonaut crowd can also bid on the "Survivor Gabon Buff Autographed by Jeff Probst." At least that gift wasn't donated by the celebrity. The Netroots Nation convention began with the name Yearly Kos in 2006 and 2007.
UPDATE: Charlie Cook responded by e-mail with this message:
So with a waiting period, it doesn't seem like much of an opportunity to respond immediately to the item about me this morning, but maybe you will post this anyway.
Did I participate in a panel at Netroots Nation and when asked, did I say yes on donating "a lunch with Charlie Cook? Yes.
But then again, over the years I have participated in panels or given talks to each of the four national Republican campaign committees, on Conservative Values Conference, several county GOP committees and, within a couple of weeks of the Netroots thing, a donor maintainence event for a prominant conservative Republican Senator's leadership PAC, all for free.
Does that make me a conservative or a Republican? No.
I've done the same thing on the Democratic side as well. When you make your living in politics, you try to give some of your time back, balanced on the two sides, for free, because it is a decent thing to do.
Sadly, people would rather seize on one event and extrapolate bias.
As for the commentor about never being right, maybe being the first to predict that the House was turning over in 2006 my remind them. Maybe they should hope I am right when I started writingv a couple of months ago that Democrats seem to be headed toward heavy losses in 2010. Was that bias? And I assure the other commentor, my hair is only mind, not a rug, sorry. $1,000 to anyone who can prove I have ever worn a wig or hairpiece or for that matter, dyed my hair.
I would concede that Cook probably takes on panel discussions from all directions, but participating in a fundraiser (or in a lesser way, a "donor maintenance event") is a different matter.