After two years of stupidly mocking Vice President Joe Biden for his supposedly light workload, Los Angeles Times blogger/former Republican operative Andrew Malcolm has had an abrupt change of heart: Now he suggests Biden is doing everything, so that he can portray President Obama as lazy and aloof.
What isn't Joe Biden in charge of these days?
For someone who was brought on board the presidential train in 2008 to lend some experienced gravitas to the ex-state senator savior's ticket and add a humorous effing gaffe here and there, the vice president seems to be running most everything these days for this Democratic White House.
Malcolm then rambles on, in typical Malcolm fashion, referring to Obama as "the Detached One" and posting photos of Obama talking on the telephone with his feet on his desk. It's run-of-the-mill Malcolm snark (which is to say: substance-free and barely coherent) except for the fact that it's the precise opposite of his prior mockery of Biden. And that's Andrew Malcolm in a nutshell: He's so fiercely devoted to mocking Democrats that he's willing to claim both that Joe Biden doesn't do anything and that he does everything.
Oh, there's one other demonstration of Malcolm's hackishness: Here's how he describes Jay Carney:
And then Biden's press secretary, Jay Carney, who used to work for a news weekly, facilitated Newsweek's cover story on how his boss was becoming so influential behind the scenes in the so-called Obama administration on crucial issues like Afghan strategy.
Actually, Carney was Biden's communications director, but factual errors are generally the least of Malcolm's sins. Notice how Malcolm suggests that Carney's prior "work for a news weekly" afforded him undue sway over Newsweek, which he used to win a cover story about his boss? Notice how Malcolm doesn't tell you which "news weekly" Carney used to work for? That's because it wasn't Newsweek -- it was Newsweek's decades-long rival, Time. That little detail rather undermines Malcolm's implication, doesn't it? Fortunately, Andrew Malcolm knows what to do with facts that undermine his innuendo: He omits them.
In theory, part of the reason why a news organization would put a former partisan political operative like Andrew Malcolm in charge of writing its politics blog is that his experience working in politics helps him understand what he's writing about. In theory. In Malcolm's case, however, it's clear that he either doesn't understand the first thing about politics, or he's willing to pretend he doesn't in order to score political points.
Today, for example, Malcolm writes about a Gallup poll asking respondents whether they are likely to vote for President Obama in 2012, or for an unspecified Republican candidate. Such poll questions are not uncommon, and are not completely meaningless (though the predictive value of horserace polls nearly two years in advance of an election is rather limited.) But Malcolm completely misunderstands (or pretends to misunderstand) the poll question, claiming it means Obama is tied with "any" Republican rather than a generic Republican:
Obama 2012 support slips; Now, any generic Republican ties him
President Obama's done a lot of talking recently about Winning the Future. Trouble is, he's not. Politically.
At this moment -- 57% of the way through a first term with only 628 days left until the 2012 presidential election -- the Democrat can only tie any conceivable Republican candidate.
Last February Obama led a generic Republican 44-42. This February, after the invisible "Recovery Summer" and Democrats' historic midterm election shellacking, any Republican ties Obama at 45-45.
You get the picture. In all, Malcolm uses the "any" construct to describe a generic opponent four times, including in his headline. But that simply isn't what the Gallup question assess -- and, again, Gallup's construct is not uncommon, and should be familiar to someone who has covered and worked in politics. The question didn't assess Obama's standing vis-a-vis "any conceivable Republican candidate" -- it assessed his standing versus a generic Republican candidate about whom respondents know nothing. That's pretty much the opposite of "any conceivable Republican candidate."
To see just how false Malcolm's description is, let's look at polling pitting Obama against one "conceivable Republican candidate" -- Malcolm favorite Sarah Palin. A Fox News poll conducted February 7-9 has Obama routing Palin, 56-35. A McClatchy-Marist poll conducted January 6-10 has Obama beating Palin 56-30. A December 9-13 NBC poll has Obama beating Palin 55-33. Not that Palin is the only "conceivable Republican" who struggles in head-to-head match-ups with the President: That Fox poll shows Obama up 30 points on Jeb Bush, 20 on Newt Gingrich, 8 on Mike Huckabee and 7 on Mitt Romney.
In short, polling shows Obama with a lead over just about every conceivable Republican candidate. But Andrew Malcolm, who must be a fool, a liar, or both, writes that a poll pitting Obama against an unspecified Republican indicates that he can't beat any conceivable Republican -- the absurdity of which should be readily apparent to a political "analyst" and former operative like Andrew Malcolm. Or to a reasonably-bright fourth-grader, for that matter. And the Los Angeles Times pays him for this nonsense.
In the wake of Obama's State of the Union Address last week, there have been some rather childish games played by his media critics who turned SOTU reaction photos into failed attempts of gotcha. Even more distressing, the partisan attacks weren't plotted by online pests but by columnists for two of the largest newspapers in America.
First, the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan did not like Obama's SOTU last week, although the former Reagan speechwriter claimed she really, really wanted to. (Whatever you say, Peggy.) But how could Noonan support her claim that Obama's "unserious" speech feel flat when poll after poll showed viewers pretty much loved Obama's national address?
Noonan's play was to announce members of Congress were bored by the speech:
Response in the chamber was so muted as to be almost Xanax-like. Did you see how bored and unengaged they looked?
And to prove that the chamber response was "muted," the WSJ published this photo to accompany Noonan's column:
Get it? While listening to an hour-long policy speech, some members of Congress kind of looked bored. That's the proof Noonan presented to back up her claim that Obama fell flat. That, despite the fact that overwhelming majorities of viewers told pollsters they liked the speech.
Meanwhile, matching Noonan's failed attempt at a game of photo gotcha was former Laura Bush flak, Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times, who was eager to suggest Obama's speech put at last one prominent audience member to sleep. To prove his point, Malcolm published this photo of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
The caption claimed Ginsberg was in "VERY DEEP THOUGHTZ." Ha-ha! Get it? She snoozed through Obama's SOTU, was the clear implication.
But did she? Malcolm has no idea. Instead, the photo he trotted out captured a split-second image from an hour-long speech. And during that hour-long speech is it possible Ginsburg cast her eyes downward? Of course it is. But the chronically un-serious Malcolm wanted to pretend Ginsburg fell asleep even though he couldn't find a photo to prove his juvenile point. So instead he published a photo of her looking down and pretended that proved his pointless point.
Honestly, if Noonan and Malcolm had anything serious to say about the SOTU they should have said it. Playing games with crowd reaction photos however, is probably the least serious way to critique a policy address.
I get that Los Angeles Times blogger and former Bush aide Andrew Malcolm is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party, fueled by blind hatred of Democrats. He's made that abundantly clear. What's harder to understand is his passionate commitment to dishonest and nonsensical arguments. There are, after all, plenty of critical things a conservative could say about progressives that aren't distortions or falsehoods -- but Malcolm seems to take weird pleasure in coming up with ever-more-convoluted false claims.
Today, for example, Malcolm writes about a new Gallup poll -- and when Malcolm writes about polling, the question isn't whether he'll distort it, but how creatively. Here's Malcolm:
The new national survey finds that within only five days of Republicans taking majority control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 4, Americans' approval of the bicameral body's job shot up more than 50%, from its record low of 13% to 20%.
Nope. The Gallup poll doesn't find that approval of Congress jumped to 20 percent "within only five days" of the GOP's takeover of the House. It shows that it jumped to 20 percent at some point between early December and early January -- but because public opinion is not frozen in place between Gallup polls, we don't know when the increase occurred. It could have occurred in late December, before the Republicans took control. For all Malcolm knows, approval of Congress could have dropped in the days immediately after the GOP took over.
In December, when so much of the media coverage portrayed the lame-duck Democratic Congress and President Obama as being incredibly productive, popular job approval of that institution plummeted to an historic low 13%.
Malcolm's suggestion that public opinion of Congress dropped amid media coverage of the productive lame-duck session is nonsense. He's referring to a poll conducted from December 10-12 -- before Congress passed the legislation that won it praise for productivity. Andrew Malcolm knows that, assuming he read the Gallup analysis to which he linked, so I can only assume that he's intentionally lying to his readers. Here's Gallup:
Americans' 13% approval of Congress last month was recorded shortly after President Obama and congressional Republican leaders came to agreement on a plan to extend tax cuts put in place under George W. Bush, but before Congress passed that plan and several other major bills. The record-low rating was mainly the result of a drop in approval among Democrats, who may have either disagreed with the compromise plan or been unhappy about the enhanced role Republicans were playing in the legislative process.
Not surprisingly, in the latest Gallup data, approval of the new 112th Congress improved significantly among Republicans, from a mere 7% up to 22%. But here's an intriguing point: Among Democrats, approval of the new half-Republican Congress also jumped, from 16% all the way up to 24%.
Combined with Malcolm's previous suggestion that the poor December numbers came after that month's flurry of legislative accomplishments, this suggests that approval of Congress among Democrats increased as a result of Republicans taking control of the House. More likely: It increased as a result of a flurry of legislative accomplishments, from the tax deal to repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Using harsh political rhetoric, Obama called hard-bargaining Republican congressional leaders "hostage-takers" for striking a tough legislative deal with him that avoided January….
...increases in withholding taxes, among other things. As one result, his approval improved to slightly closer to 50% and the Republicans' approval soared. Perhaps there's some kind of political lesson to draw from that.
The poll Malcolm is referring to showed that approval of Congress increased -- not that "the Republicans' approval soared." Malcolm made that part up. Perhaps there's some kind of lesson to draw from that.
I've previously noted Andrew Malcolm's obnoxious suggestions that everything having anything to do with Chicago is inherently corrupt. Here, the Los Angeles Times blogger and former Bush aide reminds us that his commitment to phony Democrat-bashing narratives is greater than his (purely theoretical) commitment to the truth:
In 1960 it was some 9,000 inexplicably tardy votes from Cook County, controlled by William Daley's father, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, that gave John F. Kennedy Illinois' electoral votes that gave Kennedy the White House.
Let's start with the obvious: If Kennedy had lost Illinois, he still would have won the 1960 election. With Illinois' 27 electoral votes, Kennedy had 303. Without Illinois, Kennedy would have had 276 electoral votes, still more than the 269 he needed to win. Therefore, Malcolm's statement that it was "Illinois' electoral votes that gave Kennedy the White House" is false.
Nor is there much reason to believe Malcolm's suggestion that Illinois was stolen for Kennedy, as Rutgers professor David Greenberg demonstrated in an October 16, 2000 Slate article:
National GOP officials plunged in. Thruston Morton flew to Chicago to confer with Illinois Republican leaders on strategy, while party Treasurer Meade Alcorn announced Nixon would win the state. With Nixon distancing himself from the effort, the Cook County state's attorney, Benjamin Adamowski, stepped forward to lead the challenge. A Daley antagonist and potential rival for the mayoralty, Adamowski had lost his job to a Democrat by 25,000 votes. The closeness of his defeat entitled him to a recount, which began Nov. 29.
Completed Dec. 9, the recount of 863 precincts showed that the original tally had undercounted Nixon's (and Adamowski's) votes, but only by 943, far from the 4,500 needed to alter the results. In fact, in 40 percent of the rechecked precincts, Nixon's vote was overcounted. Displeased, the Republicans took the case to federal court, only to have a judge dismiss the suits. Still undeterred, they turned to the State Board of Elections, which was composed of four Republicans, including the governor, and one Democrat. Yet the state board, too, unanimously rejected the petition, citing the GOP's failure to provide even a single affidavit on its behalf.
[W]hat's typically left out of the legend is that multiple election boards saw no reason to overturn the results. Neither did state or federal judges. Neither did an Illinois special prosecutor in 1961. And neither have academic inquiries into the Illinois case (both a 1961 study by three University of Chicago professors and more recent research by political scientist Edmund Kallina concluded that whatever fraud existed wasn't substantial enough to alter the election).
Townhall columnist Tony Blankley, a top aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, completely misrepresents that era:
Bill Clinton, of course, is famous for triangulating between the Republicans and the Democrats, moving to the center/right, signing the Republican welfare reform bill (which he had twice vetoed before the election of 1994, when the GOP thumpingly took back the House and Senate), agreed to the Republican-proposed balanced budget (which he steadfastly opposed before the election), proclaimed that the era of big government was over and, in his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, bragged about signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican "Contract with America."
Bill Clinton did not veto welfare reform before the 1994 election. Didn't happen. In fact, he didn't veto anything before the 1994 election: The first veto of his presidency came in June of 1995. Clinton vetoed GOP welfare reform proposals in late 1995 and early 1996, after which he built up a 20-point lead over Bob Dole before signing a welfare package in August 1996. The difference between Tony Blankley's completely false history and the reality of what happened is not a trivial matter of misremembered dates: It fundamentally undercuts Blankley's point.
Nor did Clinton oppose a Republican-proposed balanced budget prior to the 1994 election, as Blankely suggests -- in part because there was no such budget. (Republicans did produce alternative budgets in 1993 and 1994 but neither was balanced.) In fact, the Republicans -- every one of them -- opposed Clinton's deficit-reducing 1993 budget. In the winter of 1995-96, Clinton vetoed the Republican budget, again undermining Blankley's portrayal of Clinton as quickly caving to GOP demands after the 1994 election.
Finally, I have no idea what Blankley thinks is the basis for claiming that Clinton "bragged" in his 1996 convention speech about "signing into law 14 items that had been in the Republican 'Contract with America.'" That contract contained only 10 bills -- and wasn't mentioned in Clinton's speech. More broadly, the suggestion that the speech was some conservative capitulation to the Republicans is ludicrous. In it, Clinton bragged about the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban and a minimum-wage increase -- none of which was popular with Republicans. He excoriated Republicans for producing a budget that contained "cuts that devastate education for our children, that pollute our environment, that end the guarantee of health care for those who are served under Medicaid, that end our duty or violate our duty to our parents through Medicare." He blasted the GOP's "risky $550 billion tax scheme that will force them to ask for even bigger cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment than they passed and I vetoed last year." And so on.
I understand why conservatives like Blankley and Andrew Malcolm want to pretend that Bill Clinton governed like an arch-conservative: He had considerably more success than the most recent president who was actually conservative. But it would be nice if they used some examples that are, you know, true.
Los Angeles Times blogger/former Bush aide Andrew Malcolm writes:
Back in 1994 when Bill Clinton received a lesser shellacking from voters angry over his liberal policies, he took three months to follow Dick Morris' advice, adopt some Republican goals like welfare reform as his own and declare out of the blue, "The era of big government is over." The result: An easy 1996 reelect for him.
Like Fred Barnes before him, Malcolm inexplicably ignores the effect an improving economy had on Clinton's re-election. As political scientist Brendan Nyhan has noted, "Clinton's move toward the center … may have helped somewhat to boost his margin above what we would have otherwise expected, but the driving force in 1996 (as in every election) was the state of the economy." (As Nyhan acknowledges later in the post, there is evidence that Clinton's move to the center is itself overstated.)
And as for Malcolm's suggestion that Clinton's adoption of "Republican goals like welfare reform as his own" resulted in an "easy 1996 reelect": Nonsense. First, Clinton had long made welfare reform a goal of his own. And by the time he signed legislation on August 22, 1996, Clinton had already built a comfortable lead over Bob Dole -- even after vetoing welfare legislation twice. When Clinton vetoed a welfare reform bill on January 9, 1996, he was trailing Dole in Gallup polling. By the time he signed a bill in August, Clinton had established a solid double-digit lead that reached 20 points on multiple occasions. So, basically, Malcolm is completely wrong.
Los Angeles Times blogger/former Bush spokesman/de facto Palin aide Andrew Malcolm ignores the former half-term governor's dreadful poll numbers to ask: "Will the good news never end for Sarah Palin?" The truthful answer to that question is, of course, "yes." Malcolm's answer, on the other hand ...
She's got a hit cable TV show.
Depends on how you define "hit." Three million people watched the second episode -- in a country of more than 300 million people. Of those who watched the first episode, 40 percent decided not to watch the second. Is that a "hit"?
Polls of Republicans show the former Alaska governor is currently a most popular candidate for the party's 2012 presidential nomination.
Palin is "a most popular candidate"? What does that mean? It means not even Malcolm thinks he can claim Palin is the most popular candidate. In other words, it means that even after two years in which the news media has hung on her every Tweet, Sarah Palin hasn't been able to separate herself from the likes of Mike Huckabee, who most Americans probably couldn't pick out of a police lineup. More good news for Palin!
With Malcolm's spin on Palin's behalf reaching Baghdad Bob levels of transparency and absurdity, maybe it's time to start calling him Anchorage Andy?
Here's Los Angeles Times blogger/former Bush flack Andrew Malcolm, desperately trying to invent some controversy:
One of the perennially fun things about following American politics is tracking the people who say they are not running for president. The fact is, somewhere around 310,767,362 Americans will not be running for president in 2012. Most of them will not bother making a formal announcement of what they are not going to do.
What's intriguing now is those people who announce they are not running, often without prodding. Howard Dean, the notorious Iowa imploder, did that here recently, as The Ticket reported.
Think of it this way: If one Saturday noon out of the blue your teenager announced....
....he was not going to the mall, where is the first place you'd look for him later if necessary? For some reason, recently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Australia as the place to say she was not running again. Flashback to her statements that she was not dropping out of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary process repeated right up to her actually dropout.
First, Dean's announcement that he will not run for president in 2012 did not come "without prodding." It came in response to multiple columns suggesting he might do so. And Andrew Malcolm knows that -- he linked to the piece I just linked to, which makes it abundantly clear. In other words: Andrew Malcolm is lying.
Second: Malcolm's snark that Clinton choose "for some reason" to announce that she won't run in 2012 and his accompanying implication that the announcement was disingenuous was, itself, disingenuous. Clinton was asked a question and she answered it. Which Andrew Malcolm should know, since it was reported in his own newspaper.
Salon.com announced today their rollout of the Hack 30 -- their list of the 30 worst pundits in the American media. And, not surprisingly, Los Angeles Times blogger and Media Matters favorite Andrew Malcolm makes the list at number 28 for writing "every story in such a way that maximizes its chances of getting linked to by Matt Drudge" and masquerading "as a regular news blogger instead of your bog-standard right-wing crank."
There's not a whole lot there I can quibble with, but looking at this barely coherent Top of the Ticket entry from Malcolm this morning, I feel justified in saying they should have put him higher on the list:
So just to wrap up, the LA Times' political blogger posted some analysis this morning in which he called Joe Biden old (and balding); complained that Biden isn't held to the same age "rules" as presidential candidate John McCain was, even though Biden is six years younger and not running for president; and suggested Obama replace Biden because in two years he'll be almost as old as McCain was two years ago. Later on in the post, he contrasted "Real Good Talker" Obama with Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, whom he called a "doer."
Seriously, Salon... 28 was way too low.
So close Andrew, so close.
We've been mocking Malcolm for months now because the former Laura Bush flack and full-time Sarah Palin cheerleader writes incessantly about Palin and about polling but rarely, rarely, has the nerve to connect the two dots and concede that Palin's polling numbers are a wreck. Malcolm though, does find all kinds of time and space to post endlessly about how supposedly awful and catastrophic Obama's polling numbers are. (For the record, Obama is right about where Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were at this point of their first terms.)
The good news is Malcolm this week almost came clean and leveled with his right-wing readers about how poll after poll after poll after poll shows Palin is anchored down by sky-high unfavorable ratings. But in the end, Malcolm couldn't bring himself to spell that out in clear language or provide any links for readers to follow.
This is all the courage Malcolm could muster this week:
Polls have consistently shown American voters dubious that the 46-year-old ex-governor and VP candidate is qualified to sit in the Oval Office.
Whatever you say Andrew. Of course, what recent polls show is not that voters are simply "dubious" about Palin's qualifications. What the polls have shown quite clearly is that a solid plurality of people don't like Sarah Palin. Period. That, plus she loses when matched up against Obama in a hypothetical 2012 contest. But other than that, her numbers are fine.
Still, Malcolm just couldn't bring himself to admit those salient facts.
Andrew Malcolm is shamelessly spinning for Sarah Palin again.
We've frequently noted that the Los Angeles Times blogger and former Republican operative has a habit of distorting public polling data in an attempt to make Palin look good. And that when he can't think of a way of spinning Palin's lousy numbers away, he simply ignores them. (Malcolm even admits to doing so.)
So when a recent CBS poll found that only 22 percent of Americans view Palin favorably, Malcolm just ignored it.
But now Malcolm has found a result he thinks he can spin in Palin's favor, so he's suddenly back to writing about Palin polling:
Sarah Palin's favorable ratings are up again.
We should probably write something about that to keep Americans informed as the 2012 presidential race starts taking shape.
Predictably, a new Associated Press-GfK Poll finds Palin to be "the most polarizing of the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates." According to AP's numbers, 49% of Americans view the politician mother unfavorably, while 46% view her favorably. Five percent, far less than for other potential candidates, claim not to know enough to have an opinion.
Eleven months ago a Gallup Poll found Palin's favorability was at 44%, up from 40% two months before.
If you read that closely, you probably noticed how laughable Malcolm's lede is. He compared two polls conducted 11 months apart by two different polling firms, found that the more recent one has Palin's favorability a whopping two points higher than the older one (but still a net negative) and declared that Palin's numbers are "up again."
It's like he's trying to prove himself to be a completely dishonest hack.
For a more valid assessment of Palin's favorable ratings, here's Pollster.com:
People still don't like Sarah Palin.
This morning Biden went before the administration's new favorite campaign audience, college students looking to get out of a class. He told the young people in St. Paul that: "Reports of the death of the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated."
Which is funny on two levels. One, no one has come forward to claim credit for declaring said party defunct yet, even after 20 months of failed recovery efforts. And, two, in Minnesota, Biden's party is known as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. For a local news video report on Biden's talk go here.
As 'gotchas' go, hitting Biden for saying "Democratic Party" in a state where the party is technically called the "Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party" is pretty awful. It isn't like shouting "Hello, Cleveland" to a crowd of admirers in Detroit. It's more like saying "Rhode Island" rather than "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." In other words: Who cares?
Answer: Nobody. That's why Biden's comment was greeted with applause and cheers rather than hisses and boos, or irritated silence.
But, perhaps realizing that his first attempt fell flat, Malcolm took one more shot at making Biden look bad:
Biden also emphatically told the crowd and Americans listening beyond:
"I'm here to tell you that on November the 3rd, the Democrats will retain a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate."
Biden's bold yet predictable prediction ignited resounding cheers from Republicans. That's because if Democrat voters follow Joe's advice at the polls on Nov. 3, Republicans are sure to win. The Democrats will be an entire day late since the midterm voting is actually on Nov. 2.
Weak. Biden does not appear to be saying that Election Day is November 3. He appears to be saying that after the mid-term elections, Democrats will retain their majorities. And had Andrew Malcolm included Biden's very next words, that would be clear. Here's Biden's quote again, with the portion Malcolm left out:
"I'm here to tell you that on November the 3rd, the Democrats will retain a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate and these two folks will be heading to the state capital."
Now, which makes more sense: That Joe Biden was saying Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton would be "heading to the state capital" on Election Day -- or after Election Day? The latter, of course. So it seems clear Biden was not telling the audience that Election Day is November 3; he was predicting the results of election day. But that doesn't fit Andrew Malcolm's deeply dishonest desire to trash Joe Biden at every turn, so he lopped off the end of the comment -- and we know he was aware of it because it's in the very source upon which he based his post -- in order to pretend Biden made a mistake.
For years, many in the media have been trying to disparage Barack Obama by suggesting that "Chicago-style politics" is so uniquely corrupt and nasty that anyone who ever lived there must also be corrupt and nasty. It's an absurd line of attack, but not a surprising one, given that much the same thing was said about Arkansas the last time there was a Democratic president.
Now, when it comes to absurd but unsurprising attacks on Barack Obama, Los Angeles Times blogger and former Laura Bush aide Andrew Malcolm never met one he didn't like, and guilt-by-geography is no exception. Malcolm's blog is littered with snide references to Chicago. And today, Malcolm provides the best evidence yet that "Chicago-style" is the emptiest epithet around. Here's Malcolm's headline for a post about GOP Rep. Joseph Cao:
Republican Rep. Joseph Cao reaps the rewards of bipartisanship; Obama thanks him the Chicago way
The Chicago way? Oh, no! What has Barack Obama done to that nice Joseph Cao? Had him whacked? Dispatched hired goons to intimidate his family? Uh … no:
Now, thanks to the indispensable daily Playbook of Politico's Mike Allen, the world knows that the very first campaign ad that Obama taped for this fall election cycle was to benefit Democrat Richmond against the Republican who enabled the White House to call healthcare passage bipartisanship.
Turns out, the "Chicago way" is campaigning for members of your political party. Why, that's worse than anything Nixon ever did!
Such an identification with voters, especially Republicans, independents and women, may help explain Palin's success endorsing primary candidates this year; about three out of four of her picks have won their race, including most recently Christine O'Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller of Alaska.
Like much of what Malcolm writes, that just isn't true.
According to the Washington Post's "Palin Endorsements Tracker," 25 Palin-endorsed candidates have won their primaries, and 11 have lost:
That would mean about two of three Palin picks have won, not "three out of four." So how does Malcolm get to 75 percent? Presumably by adding the seven endorsees who didn't have primaries, which would bring the numbers to 32 wins and 11 losses, or "about three out of four." Of course, doing so would be spectacularly dishonest, but I wouldn't dare put that past Malcolm.
But that's not the whole story. See, the Post's endorsement tracker already overstates Palin's success. It counts among her 25 wins seven candidates who she endorsed after they had already won their primaries: Tim Scott, Renee Ellmers, Martha Roby, Jackie Walorski, Adam Kinzinger, Vicky Hartzler, and Sharron Angle.
Now, obviously, candidates who had already won their primaries by the time Palin endorsed can hardly be used as evidence of her "success endorsing primary candidates." Unless, of course, you want to give Sarah Palin credit for not accidentally endorsing candidates who have already lost their primaries.
So, if you look at the win-loss record of candidates who Palin endorsed prior to their primaries, you find 18 wins and 11 losses, not the "three out of four" Malcolm claims. Now, 18-11 is reasonably impressive -- it's a 62 percent success rate. So it seems rather illuminating that Malcolm would tell such a convoluted lie (counting both candidates who have not had primaries and candidates who had already won their primaries) when the truth would have worked nearly as well.
The lesson, as always: Don't trust Andrew Malcolm when it comes to Sarah Palin. Or, really, ever.
(It should also be noted that it's absolutely insane that the Washington Post includes the seven candidates Palin endorsed post-primary in its tally. There's just no justification for it.)