Update 12-03 | 1:55 PM: Barack fires back; claims Hillary becoming "more desperate and negative by the day." See complete update at foot.

Are Hillary's internal polling numbers telling her staffers that she's in big trouble? That's the provocative theory that Chris Matthews floated on today's Morning Joe.

Host Joe Scarborough asked what could have caused Hillary and her senior aide Howard Wolfson to go on the attack against Barack Obama this weekend, respectively questioning his character and accusing him of maintaining an improper political "slush fund." In response, Matthews conjectured that Hillary's helpers have looked at the polling data . . . and seen her support "crashing."

View video here [with apologies for mediocre video quality.]

There was a truly fascinating event on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that could definitely have lasting meaning on the 2008 presidential campaign.

Not only did host Tim Russert bring up former President Bill Clinton's flip-flop on his support of the Iraq war, but also NBC's David Gregory said, "It's a reminder of what some people who don't like Hillary Clinton don't like."

Maybe Bill shouldn't have complained about how his wife was treated by Russert and Gregory during the October debate in Philadelphia.

Possibly recalling the former president's criticism, Russert started this fascinating exchange (video available here courtesy Allah):



U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) gestures as U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) listens at the CNN/Nevada Democratic Party debate in Las Vegas, Nevada November 15, 2007.


Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign, in the audience at CNN's Republican debate of November 28th, making comments after the airing of his YouTube question on gays in the military.

The fake news keeps on coming: a former intern at the radical Islamist group CAIR was another questioner chosen by CNN at its "average joe" debate.

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterDo none of the Republican presidential candidates, including the former mayor of New York City, care about crime in the African-American community? According to "The View’s" Sherri Shepherd, they do not. Joy Behar says those encouraging a more stable family structure are "mental midgets" because they will not discuss racism.

At the now infamous CNN/YouTube Republican debate held last night in Florida, candidates received a number of questions from the over 5000 videos submitted for review. The questions were selected by a panel who went through them all, whittling down the choices to just a small number. Out of all those 5000 questions, CNN failed to choose one question about the issue of health care reform. And then CNN has the audacity to snivel about it on the Political Ticker last night. [Emphasis mine]

The issue of healthcare has sparked some of the most heated debate this campaign season on the Democratic front, but the Republican presidential contenders seemed to all but ignore what is considered a major priority for many voters.

Recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls show healthcare reform is consistently at the forefront of voter concerns along with the war in Iraq and the economy.

Candidates often find a way to include their talking points and campaign priorities in debate answers regardless of what the question posed to them actually is. Since no question was posed to the candidates about their healthcare reform plans, they all but ignored the issue choosing instead to emphasize their stances on illegal immigration and the war in Iraq.
–CNN's Emily Sherman

Update | 8:05 AM: Hillary's Howard tries to weasel out. See update at foot.

Like Rudy and Romney going after each other over immigration last night at the GOP debate, MSNBC was taking some jabs at rival CNN this morning on the issue of the gay questioner who turned out to be a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that no one at CNN was aware of retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr's involvement with the Clinton campaign.

View video here.

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterNot only does CNN try their best to muddy Fred Thompson's stance on the Confederate flag but they use a picture that makes the candidate look ashamed of himself or pensive to accompany the piece, cementing the fact that CNN is trying their best to flavor Thompson's flag stance as a "bad" thing for him.

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterWednesday night's CNN/YouTube presidential debate for the Republican candidates largely lived up to its promise to be a debate fitting for Republican voters as the vast majority of the questions used were asked from a conservative point of view.

The Republican presidential candidates are holding their latest debate tonight at 8:00pm ET on CNN (web video link) in conjunction with YouTube.

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Mary Katharine Ham briefly chatted with CNN's Anderson Cooper and David Bohrman about tomorrow's CNN/YouTube debate and concerns about the agenda of questions that will be picked. For the whole thing, go here, but I just had to share this priceless gem (my emphasis in bold). First Ham's question, then Cooper's answer:

Q: There’s been a bit of scandal about the screening that CNN did on its “undecided voters” for the last Democratic debate. The diamonds-and-pearls question was attacked by the questioner herself. There were some allegations that several of the voters were in fact liberal activists on quite a few issues (and one Democratic Party operative). What’s the process for checking these YouTube questioners and their affiliations?

AC: “Well, campaign operatives are people, too. We don’t investigate the background of people asking questions…that’s not our job...