Friday follies. Before the weekend ends, two quotes from journalists worth noting made on Friday night shows:

♦ On MSNBC’s Hardball, NBC’s Chuck Todd forwarded the notion that if Florida Governor Charlie Crist drops out of the Republican primary -- where polls put him way behind conservative Marco Rubio -- and wins the Senate seat as an independent, “he becomes the most powerful Senator in the United States Senate” and “he becomes, probably, the viable third party candidate in the middle in the country” for President in 2012.

♦ A few hours later on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, David Remnick, author of the new book, ‘The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,' outed the real liberal agenda behind ObamaCare as he predicted that instead of being an “albatross” that will hurt Democrats at the ballot box in November, all those new beneficiaries will be grateful and vote Democratic:

When you add 30 million people to the rolls of getting health care, access to health care, seems to me a huge gain and the potential widening of the base for the Democratic Party among a lot of people who might not necessarily vote before. So, I don't think you're going to see a repeat of 1994 come this fall.

Of course, few of those 30 million will have any better access to health care by this November than they had before the bill passed.



Arianna Huffington stuck her foot in her mouth during Tuesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, and ended up being totally humiliated by host Joe Scarborough and guests Rudy Giuliani and Mort Zuckerman.

As the subject of Florida's Senate race was broached, Huffington decided to attack the former Mayor of New York City rather than address the qualifications of Republican candidates Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.

"Your judgment in people has not been stellar -- Bernard Kerik, anybody, so the fact that you're supporting Rubio now, I don't know exactly how seriously we should take it," irrelevantly spouted the liberal publisher.

Marvelously, some of the gentlemen on the panel didn't appreciate the cheap shot including Giuliani himself who finally said, "I come on here just to talk about Marco Rubio, you're attacking me on Bernie Kerik, you're attacking me on how I ran my presidential race. I imagine you're going to attack me on what I did in the Little League when I was a child" (video follows with partial transcript, h/t NB reader Pam): 



The comedic ingenuity that is adorning the pages of The Washington Post these days is astonishing, but not exactly in a good way.

Dana Milbank, one-half of the duo that sent panic throughout the newsroom at the Post last year after producing a video with his colleague Chris Cillizza that suggested President Barack Obama would serve a brew called "Mad Bitch Beer" to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she were to attend a White House-style beer summit, is still at it with the shtick.

In his Feb. 19 "Washington Sketch" column, Milbank declared Marco Rubio, an opponent of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's GOP Senate primary "the anti-Crist." Get it - "anti-Crist," as in "anti-Christ?"



Maggie Rodriguez and Charlie Crist, CBS In an interview with Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez turned to the hotly contested Senate race: “your opponent in the primary, fellow Republican Marco Rubio, and you...are in a dead heat in this race. Critics say that it’s because he is a true conservative and you are...a RINO, a ‘Republican In Name Only.’ How do you respond to that criticism?”

As Rodriguez spoke, the latest Quinnipiac University poll of the primary appeared on screen, showing Rubio with 47% among Republican voters and Crist with 44%. Crist defended his conservative credentials: “Well, if I’m a RINO, then so is Ronald Reagan.” At the same, time he seemed to attack conservative Rubio for being an “ideologue”: “...we do things a little differently here in Florida, we actually work together to get things done for the people. And I think that’s exactly what the American people want. They don’t want bickering and some ideologue on one end or the other to sort of be a standard bearer.”

While Rodriguez mentioned conservative criticism of Crist, she did not bring up the Governor’s well known hug with President Obama last year and staunch support for the stimulus package. In contrast, back in 2006, CBS correspondent Trish Regan labeled Democratic Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman’s embrace with President Bush as an “infamous kiss.” On the August 8 Early Show she touted how Lieberman’s left-wing primary challenger “Ned Lamont has used this now infamous kiss to his advantage on campaign buttons and television ads, suggesting Lieberman is just too cozy with the President.” Apparently CBS isn’t interested in Crist being “cozy” with Obama.



On Thursday’s World News, ABC correspondent Kate Snow filed a report that avoided portraying Tea Party activists as extremists, instead conveying the movement’s growing appeal and the fact that even some former Barack Obama supporters have signed on. Snow: "The majority of supporters are long-time Republicans like Danita, but there are growing numbers of independents, and even some former Obama supporters."

After recounting the movement’s recent successes in bringing down moderate political figures for not being conservative enough, Snow related that "moderates are scrambling to show their support." The piece also included a soundbite of ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd who suggested that Democrats are making a mistake in "trying to marginalize" the movement. Dowd: "I think Republicans definitely dismiss this at their peril. I also think Democrats, by trying to marginalize it, underestimate the anger out there."

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, January 7, World News on ABC:



Whenever Time magazine praises a Republican, you can almost always be sure it is because of an ulterior motive. And, sure enough, the motive for Time magazine to praise Florida Republican governor Charlie Crist is to slam his much more conservative senate primary opponent, former state House speaker Marco Rubio. Note the sympathy for Crist in this Time story by Tim Padgett coupled with criticism of Rubio:

Ever since a conservative tent revival began sweeping America last summer, sparked by angry misgivings about health care reform and other harbingers of big government, Republican purists have targeted Crist's moderate, bipartisan style. Seizing on his embrace of President Obama's $787 billion economic-stimulus plan, they've treated him as a whipping boy...

...Along the way they've anointed Rubio, a 38-year-old Cuban American, as the right wing's new boy wonder, a genuinely conservative David who can slay Crist's Goliath RINO (Republican in Name Only) in the primary next August.



Harry Smith and Jeff Glor, CBS Wednesday’s CBS Early Show continued pressing the theme that the election is over as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "Countdown to election day. The swing state showdown continues as Obama appears to open up an advantage in early voting." Co-host Harry Smith cited polls with wide margins to further shovel dirt on the McCain campaign: "New polls out with just 13 days to go until election day. A poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal gives Barack Obama a ten-point lead over John McCain, that's 52% to 42%. A poll by Reuters, C-Span, and Zogby shows the same ten-point spread." Correspondent Jeff Glor followed with a report: "Those poll numbers you mentioned and the math in these states makes the situation look increasingly difficult for John McCain."

Glor went on to describe how: "John McCain will campaign today in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida, following a big push for Pennsylvania." However, Glor immediately threw out the wet blanket: "Though registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the state by more than a million voters..." Glor also touted how Smith’s Tuesday interview with McCain was referenced by Joe Biden during a recent stump speech: "Joe Biden is sharply challenging John McCain over those controversial robocalls...Following Harry Smith's interview." Highlighting an Obama stump speech, Glor declared: "Obama pointing out that Florida, where he spent Tuesday, and where we've seen those long early voting lines, lost more jobs than any other state in the past year." Glor concluded the segment by observing: "In Florida, and other battleground states, officials say Democrats are early voting in greater numbers than their Republican counterparts, a good sign for Obama."



Charlie Crist, Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney better hope John McCain isn't banking on Tony Blankley for guidance on his Veep pick. Newt's former press secretary is blah—at best—on all three.

Blankley, also the former editorial page editor of the Washington Times and who continues to write a column there, made his remarks on MSNBC's "Race for the White House" this evening as part of a panel reacting to the news that McCain has invited the three governors—past and present—to meet with him over the Memorial Day weekend.

ON CRIST
DAVID GREGORY: What would Governor Crist bring to McCain's ticket?

TONY BLANKLEY: I don't think he brings much. I think if McCain can't carry Florida on his own, he's not going to carry it. He needs to carry something else. I doubt, I don't think he brings much to the ticket.

View video here.