On today's With All Due Respect, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg broke some news, saying she thought President Obama "got a message from Republicans via backchannels that they would probably move this [Supreme Court] nomination after the presidential election."

Let's game-plan this out. If it means that Senate Republicans would move to confirm President Obama's pick of Merrick Garland even if a Republican were elected president, it would be a huge backstab of the Republican base. But if Republicans would only move Garland if a Dem wins, thus depriving Hillary or whomever of the chance to nominate an unreconstruced radical, then it could be a crafty maneuver. Totenberg added that once Obama got such a concession, Dems would "work very hard" to get other concessions, forcing a hearing and a vote.



Has Al Hunt ever heard of de mortuis nil nisi bonum? Apparently not. On the day she was laid to rest, Hunt found it necessary to repeatedly assert that Nancy Reagan "was not a good mother."

Interviewed by John Heilemann on today's With All Due Respect, here was Hunt: "she was a formidable person. Sometimes unpleasant, not a great mother, but she loved her Ronnie and had great political instincts . . . She was not a good mother. I think actually Patti Davis, as moving as she was today, if you really listened to it, all was clear: she was not a good mother. She was devoted to Ronald Reagan, and anything that got in the way was a distraction."



Mark Halperin has ripped the MSM for its "outrageous" treatment of Bernie Sanders. Calling the media "lemmings," Halperin, seconded by John Heilemann, said on today's With All Due Respect, that the Hillary campaign has ginned up "faux outrage" over a number of Sanders' statements, and that the media has been "following it around," treating minor matters like "major contretemps."

Halperin also had a warning for Republicans: 'just wait until a general election if Hillary Clinton is the nominee at how much faux outrage her campaign shows over whoever the Republicans nominate." That comes as no surprise, but still refreshing to hear Halperin say it.



I'm guessing most NewsBusters readers could care less about "diversity" when it comes to choosing Justices of the Supreme Court. That they'd be thrilled if all nine justices looked, for example, like Clarence Thomas--so long as all shared his philosophy of judicial restraint and original intent.

On today's With All Due Respect, Mark Halperin interviewed Planned Parent president Cecile Richards. Richards declined to name someone she'd like to see nominated to the Court but did say she was "extremely grateful" for the addition to the Court of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. That prompted Halperin to observe: "regardless of ideology I think we can all agree it's great for the Court to look more like America." Richards piously agreed: "absolutely: without a doubt." Baloney: ideology is all to Richards. She would fight tooth and nail against an appointee who looked like Sotomayor but voted like the late, great Antonin Scalia. Similarly, she'd be all in for a male person of pallor, so long as he was pro Roe.



Let he who is without sin . . .  throw the first punch? Today's With All Due Respect rapped the MSM for its extensive coverage of Donald Trump having said of an unruly protester "[I'd] like to punch him in the face." Lamented John Heilemann: "cable news is so often so crazily dumb." 

Just one problem. Before Heilemann and Halperin bemoaned the MSM's excessive coverage of the line . . . they opened the show by playing in its entirety the clip of Trump's pugilistic proclivity! Hypocrisy, anyone? Their point was that the media's fascination with Trump's antics makes it hard for the other candidates to get their messages out. Fair enough. But they could have done so by briefly describing the "punch" remark. By playing it in full, WADR fell prey to the same temptation they were condemning in others.



Aid and Abet: "to assist another in the commission of a crime by words or conduct." Yup, in the mind of Dems, it's nothing short of a crime for the MSM to do anything but get behind whichever presidential candidate has a 'D' after her name.

Witness former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe--now a Hillary endorser--on today's With All Due Respect. He told John Heilemann that if Marco Rubio were the Republican candidate "you in the press, that worries me, because that's going to be a really interesting narrative: young, diverse, versus old." Plouffe went on to complain that the press will "aid and abet" Rubio, rather than letting Hillary define him. "And that's a big problem," concluded Plouffe. Hear that, MSM? Unwavering support for Hillary's plan to rip Rubio is required!



Could the end be near for Jeb Bush's presidential campaign? Would a back-in-the-pack finish in South Carolina be the final blow? Kasie Hunt seems to suggest so.

MSNBC's Hunt, appearing on today's With All Due Respect, sounded an ominous note for Bush fans. Reporting that the Bush campaign has been disappointed by the lack of a bump coming off a strong debate performance, Hunt said "to a certain extent there's a little bit of throwing up of the hands . . . The sense I'm getting from the people I talk to in the Bush circle is getting more and more pessimistic."



Any would-be Republican presidential candidate who had--hanging around his neck--all the scandals and investigations that surround Hillary Clinton, would likely not have the chutzpah to throw his hat into the ring. He'd know that the MSM would create such a toxic environment that his candidacy would never have a chance of getting off the ground. 

And so it is somewhere between amusing and outrageous to hear Mark Halperin claim, as he did on today's With All Due Respect, that the press is "biased against" Hillary Clinton. Granted, Halperin did so in the context of discussing this evening's Dem debate between Hillary and Bernie Sanders. As between those two, might the MSM lean towards Sanders, as the further-left candidate? Could be. But if Hillary wins the nomination, does Halperin doubt that the press will be pulling for Clinton against the Republican? Some bias!



Yesterday, Politico reported that in a Wall Street speech, Hillary sounded more like "a Goldman Sachs managing director." Today, Bloomberg's Josh Green quoted a financial CEO who attended another Clinton speech as saying Hillary "lavished praise on Wall Street, said you guys are the pillar of our economy."  Ruh-roh: how will the increasingly left-wing Dem electorate react to that? GOP strategist Steve Schmidt subsequently said that release of the speech transcripts could be "fatal" for Clinton's campaign.

Happy day after New Hampshire, Hillary! The MSM is not eager to sink Clinton. But the drip, drip, drip of these stories about what Hillary told people who paid her millions for her remarks threatens to swell into an irresistible torrent that will force Clinton to disclose. And when she does . . . 



With all due respect, indeed! On the Bloomberg TV show of that name that he co-hosts with Mark Halperin, John Heilemann today reported that the current and former governors in the GOP field--Bush, Kasich and Christie--think Marco Rubio is a "punk."

Clarified Heilemann: "when I say 'punk,' they have the same view that Hillary Clinton had of Barack Obama [in 2008]: line-cutter, punk, man of no accomplishment." It's hard to imagine the dignifed Jeb calling Rubio a punk, but in his interiew on CBS today, Jeb did flatly assert that Rubio had accomplished "nothing" in the Senate. Readers will also remember that yesterday, Joe Scarborough grilled Rubio-endorser Rick Santorum, who struggled to name a Rubio accomplishement in the Senate.



Of all the things you can call John Heilemann, one thing you cannot is "clandestine Republican operative." So it might be a sign of just how frazzled the Hillary campaign has become that her spokesman has in essence accused Heilemann of being a GOP catspaw.

On today's With All Due Respect, Heilemann pressed Clinton spox Brian Fallon as to whether Hillary would call herself a liberal. Fallon sought refuge behind the term "progressive." When Heilemann persisted, Fallon snapped "you're asking me because you want the RNC to clip this and turn it into a 15-second ad." Paging Richard Hofstadter's Paranoid Style in American Politics.



Question: what would happen if a Republican pundit called Michelle Obama "mean" and suggested President Obama "unleash" her on an opponent? On With All Due Respect today, co-host Heilemann said that whereas her public image was that of a "lovely and matronly figure," First Lady Barbara Bush was in fact as "mean" and tough as anyone, and said he'd like to see the Bush campaign "unleash" her on Donald Trump.

Heilemann's comment, which we'll stipulate he presumably meant as a compliment in his own way, came in the context of a Jeb campaign video in which Mrs. Bush praises her son as a problem solver--but also takes an unsubtle shot at people who talk "about how popular they are, how great they are." Take that, Donald! Heilemann said he would like to see the Bush campaign "unleash" Barbara on Trump, saying she "might be the one best able to stand up to him." Question: what would happen if a Republican pundit praised Michelle Obama by calling her "mean" and suggesting President Obama "unleash" her on an opponent?