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The O-train keeps a rollin' on through Pennsylvania and into
Hoosier Country having brushed off the ABC "debate".

Full Lineup and interview with The Real McCain author Cliff Schecter below
because a day without mocking John McSame is a day surrendered....

Urban Dictionary:  "Get that dirt off your shoulder"

Shaking them haters off. In other words it means to brush off negative energy of statements made about you.
Example: Hillary hates on me all day. Man I gotta get all this dirt off my shoulder.

Top train photo via ObamaFlickr
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THE LINEUP:

Meet The Press:  David Axelrod (D-Obama) and strategist Geoff Garin (?-HRC). Very Serious discourse with David Brooks, E. J. Dionne and the beautiful Michele Norris.

Tweety: Hillary Duff fan David Gregory, BBC's Katty Kay, Howard Fineman and WCAU's Renee Chenault-Fattah. Quotes here.  Good Fineman quote below.

This Weak:  
                     

Then Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson & George Will tell us why every time a bell rings it means McCain will win.

Face The Nation:  The Bland and the Blustering Part II! Bob Casey vs. Ed Rendell.  Joe Trippi.  Roger Simon from Tiger Beat, I mean, The Politico.

Late Edition with Wolf:  Former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ). NJ Gov. Jon Corzine. Philly Mayor Michael Nutter who spends more time on TV than he does stopping murderers in his city.  Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).  A couple of people talk Pope.  McCain economic adviser Carly Fiorina. Gloria Borger and Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria talk shop with the #2 Worst Political Journalist in the World: Mark Halperin.

Faux News: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Obama) and Chuck Schumer (D-Capital One).  Karl Rove gives us his new math, same as the old math.

60 Minutes: Lara Logan on tactics of the Taliban in Afghanistan, gastric bypass makes you healthier in some ways (duh), the lost Davinci art.

Interesting Quote from Tweety Show:

HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE:
"Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell is very strong for Hillary Clinton, and he's going to be strong through the Pennsylvania primary. Depending on what happens but almost regardless of what happens, look for Ed Rendell to be in the delegation of people going to Hillary Clinton at some point if necessary and saying it's time to hang it up. I think he's going to playing a broker's role down the road... He's telling people around town that that's the role he's going to play."

NOTEABLES:

CRANKED!  CNN cracked-up correspondent Richard Quest arrested for drug possession in Central Park.  When the cops approached him, he stated "I have meth in my pocket."

           

Sam Donaldson on political journalism: "People in this business are doing a better job than ever before."

1 in 5 veterans returning with PTSD.  John McSame still refuses to support increasing veterans' benefits and care.

The Free Market = 9,000 more people are free of employment!  Hooray, deregulation!

Out of touch Joe Scarborough after Obama's Jay-Z move:  "We looked at each other and said, What's he doing ?"
                                   

Go ask your kids, Joe.  
The men don't know, but the little girls understand.

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Sunday Talk Interview with Cliff Schecter:

                       
                                  The Real McCain

Democratic strategist/author Cliff Schecter was kind enough to submit himself to a few questions for the Sunday Talk audience this week.  Cliff is the author of the new book "The Real McCain:  Why Conservatives Don't Trust him and Why Independents Shouldn't.  He is also a weekly feature at Americablog, where he writes "Cliff's Corner".

Sam Loomis:  Thank you so much for being available for the Sunday Talk audience. In your book, you state how you (much like myself) used to have a higher opinion of John McCain.  Was there a tipping point that made you re-evaluate your opinion of him?  The media tells you to remain in a zombie stupor and love McCain unconditionally like they do.  Why didn't you comply?

Cliff Schecter:  First of all thanks so much for this opportunity to talk about The Real McCain, and more importantly the old codger himself, Sam. As the Netroots was the key to launching this book up towards the top of Amazon last week, I always feel at home in chats like this. As I say in the book, I gave McCain $20 in 2000. I fell for his faux-moderate "straight-talk" schtick. I guess the real change for me started in 2003 or 2004, when he started abandoning all of his positions to embrace President Bush. As he is simply not that stupid a man (as I like to say, he is George W. Bush who could finish reading My Pet Goat), he had to be acting in an incredibly cynical way.

I then started looking into his record, and what I found was shocking to me. His past positions on war and peace were completely different as he was an isolationist against involvement in Haiti, Bosnia and even Iraq initially in 1990, he changed his tune on taxes for the rich to win his party's support and embraced religious nuts he called "agents of intolerance" only a few years before. After writing a few articles, and seeing how little the media was covering The Real McCain, I decided someone needed to write a book on him from a perspective that was willing to be critical when it was merited. And what the hell, I figured why not me.

Sam:  You quote anonymous local Arizona reporters in telling the story of how McCain allegedly called his second wife a "c*nt".  That's not something Tim Russert would ever report.  With John Kerry and most recently Mitt Romney, The Boston Globe was able to get detailed stories of those two home state candidates to be promoted to bigger media outlets.  Do you forsee the same thing happening with the Arizona press, as it has a reportedly more contentious relationship with Senator McSame?

Cliff:  I hope so but am not so sanguine. The reason I broke this story as well as a second one about him was that the Arizona press has refused to report it. They have been sitting on these stories for years, as they have been well-known. I understand people fear for their jobs, so I don't blame the reporters, who were very forthcoming with me, as much as those who own the newspapers and don't want to go after him for a variety of reasons.

Progressive radio in Arizona, such as Jeff Farias, is doing a great job. But I don't expect much else in terms of coverge. Let's just say I hope I am wrong, but I wrote the book because I didn't have much faith in critical stories coming from those who know him best and should be telling them.

Sam:  With the lusty slobbering the traditional media does for John McCain, it's good to see your book getting right to the point on the front cover, with "the hug".  How do you see this McSame rebranding effort coinciding with a Democratic primary battle that could last right up to the fall convention?  It's obvious the gop and McCain HATE it when you link him with Bush or mention he wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years, but how do you see this message unfolding in the midst of the silly season which won't end?

         

Cliff:  There is no doubt it is tougher to get this message out there while the Democratic battle is still going on. It has made it difficult for me to get much traction on tv, a place where I have some contacts from past appearances. But, and this might shock you, FoxNews has been by far the most responsible of all the cable news shows in covering my book. They made McCain answer a question about the Rick Renzi story I broke and they also plugged my book a second time for an interview I had on Fox Radio and said nice things about it. Otherwise I have been shut out so far. But again, I think that will change if this Dem Primary were to end soon, as I think it will (thankfully) in early June or sooner. Then we can remind people even more how fake McCain's rebranding effort is, that he is, in fact, another term of Bush.

Also, blogs have been phenomenal in forcing the message out there to the MSM. Yes all of you guys. And I thank you for it. We got a great review from U.S. News & World Report, and coverage at a variety of other outlets such as The NY Daily News, Vanity Fair, a couple wire services that landed us in newspapers across the country, etc.

Oh and thanks for the kind words about the cover. I think that summed up The Real McCain. A guy who has prostrated himself for George Bush.

Sam:  The "Real McCain" videos are truly great.  The clip of McSame flip-flopping about gay marriage on HARDBALL is classic.  Does BraveNewFilms have any plans to put any future "Real McCain" ads on broadcast television to help define McSame?  David Brock's new group is up with a similar one already in DC (see comments for that one via Newsie).

Cliff:  I am actually no longer at BNF. I love their videos and enjoyed my time there. But once I wrote The Real McCain I had to leave to promote it, etc., so not sure what they have planned. Hopefully a lot. I will say I wrote about that incident in the book, McCain's flip-flop during a one hour edition of Hardball, on gay marriage. He has done the same on other shows on a variety of issues.

And I have some plans to push out some videos that I think show McCain to be the the tempermental, flip-flopper he is. Some friends of mine at Headzup created this one, a favorite of mine. Possibly because when they look at me they see a cartoon character.

I have plans to make some McCain videos with another friend, Lee Stranahan, who has made some hysterical viral videos on GOPers. So don't worry, there will be no lack of videos chronicling McCain from putting on the Depends through that last cup of Sanka.

Sam:  In the end of your book, you paint a truly horrifying picture of what President McCain's cabinet might look like.  Secretary of Defense Lieberman.  Attorney General Giuiliani.  Where does that leave Lindsay "Huckleberry" Graham?  He's like McCain's little Mini-Me.

Cliff:  You make a very good point. Little Lindsay will have to be somewhere gazing adoringly at McCain.
If he wants in a cabinet, he could probably pick the position (heh - SL). As a former Naval JAG officer though, I could definitely see him as AG, Solicitor General or even perhaps at Defense. A frightening thought. But as you may remember from that walk in the Baghdad market, he has very good taste in rugs. And is a quality haggler. So you can expect the Iraqi economy to benefit from Lindsay's travels there.

Sam:  While being a reckless spender last year, McCain now has proven he can't raise any money after he blew it all.  It's been reported this week that his campaign will rely on the RNC and free media coverage to compensate for the carpet bombing he'll likely get from Obamamania.  You are a Democratic strategist, how much of a financial advantage do you think our nominee will have to display in order to run against the lust that people like David Gregory will show for John McCain?

Cliff:  Well there is no doubt that in the past Republicans won by (beating) overwhelming sound ideas with cynical, slick ads. Obama will probably have to vastly outspend McCain's campaign, because the RNC has more cash than the DNC and you can expect McCain's friends the Swift Boaters (remember McCain condemned them in 2004, yet has raised $600,000 from their funders and accepted money from 7 of their top 10 funders) to come in and defend him with ads--as well as other well-heeled GOP special interests.

And there is no doubt McCain will benefit from his pulsating, gyrating, salivating, BBQ lovefest with the media. Reporters might be the only ones he's hugged tighter than Bush in that cover photo on The Real McCain.

Although, Obama will benefit from his brilliant organizing on the ground, from the general mood and Senate and House races that bring out Dems and put up more ads defining the GOP brand. So all in all, I like our chances, if could just end this primary already.

Sam:  Any time you are on TV against a republican, you have totally demolished them and left them urinating in their pants crouched on the floor like babies, as evidenced by some classic YouTube clips.  Why aren't you on television more often?  Bob Scheiffer is retiring soon, you would be awesome on Face The Nation with Cliff Schecter.

Cliff:  Thanks so much for the compliment Sam.  I would love to do more tv, and hopefully that will happen as this cycle goes on. I heard that one GOPer complained I was too mean to him, which cut into my tv time on a major station. Yes, Republicans, so macho. I came really close to being hired as a pundit on two new shows on a major cable outlet, but they were cancelled at the last minute when the head of programming left the station. Oh well. There will hopefully still be many opportunities as the election cycle goes on, and frankly, if people here continue to buy my book (only $10! C'mon, buy one for a friend, for family, to piss of your favorite Republican!) in large numbers, it gets harder and harder for them to ignore the message and not have me on.

I would love to do more tv. And as for Face The Nation, I think I might be able to bring a bit of an "edge" there. To me the key is making sure this book is a success, and that will help pave the way to more tv, which I hope not only benefits me but progressives by having more of our voices out there on tv fighting the good fight.

Sam:  Having written an indictment of McSame with this book, what advice can you give people who have left-leaning relatives that would consider voting for John McCain in the fall?  I plan on working my family hard all summer with the help of your book and other weapons at my disposal.

Cliff: Please make sure they know who they are voting for. Not the media image, but the reality. I will make one last shameless pitch and say get them my book (I must apologize, I don't have the Clooney pr team, so my publicist tells me I have to do this) or show them articles, votes, whatever necessary so they know the truth. Explain to them that McCain voted to ELIMINATE the minimum wage and deny children healthcare. That he'll send your sons and daughters and tax dollars to Iraq for the next 100 years (not to mention Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, etc). He is in bed with lobbyists, he has a dangerous temper, he is more of a warmonger than Bush, he will continue the Bush economy.

Make sure they know all that. He ain't the man they think he is. I know, I once believe it too. I gave him $20 as we talked about up front. I then took a journey and learned about The Real McCain. They can take the same journey.

Sam:  Thanks again for submitting yourself to my inane Sunday Talk questions.  Thank you for all you have done for Freedom and for supporting America by writing this excellent book.

Cliff:  No, thank you Sam. You are doing a service to all progressive authors by doing this series, making sure we can earn a living that allows us to stay out there and continue to fight full-time for what we all believe in. And thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read my wacky meanderings. I really appreciate it, and all that you guys do. Keep it up boys and girls, and we will take this country of ours back.

More Cliff Schecter:
realmccainbook.com
Cliff on Facebook
Cliff's blog
Cliff's Youtube gop smackdowns: This one's great,  this one is too, and hilariously saying adios to Rick Santorum.
More clips in Comments Section below.

_______________________________________________________________________

Originally posted to Sam Loomis on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 08:30 PM PDT.

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