I was watching Thomas Roberts at 5:30 ET on MSNBC and he carried a story from BuzzFeed, “Obama Aides Doubt Clinton Strategy.” I hadn’t read the article at the time but the MSNBC story was another case of a sensational headline not lining up with the facts.
The premise was that Secretary Clinton was making the same mistakes as her 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary bid and the MSNBC “way too early with thomas roberts” segment went on to quote two President Obama operatives and then to quote a third President Obama anonymous source. This was a haphazard and poorly put together concept whose sources did not say anything to support the premise.
The first person quoted was Obama’s chief campaign pollster who said:
“I just don’t see any strategic value in stories positioning her as inevitable or the pre-emptive nominee, and I don’t think people who are out there talking about this help her, and I think she should make that clear,” said Joel Benenson, Obama’s chief campaign pollster and now the top White House pollster.
Is Clinton or her supporters writing these stories that are of no strategic value? No, they are not. MSNBC and other pundits, editorial writers, reporters and others are responsible for stories that have all but crowned her. Individuals and organizations representing the party have all said that she hasn’t decided yet and that everyone expects a strong primary season.
For the Democratic Party, the primary season is the opportunity for the Democratic spectrum to have the venues to express ideas as opposed to being a litmus test forcing candidates to raise their hand in an impromptu swear not to raise taxes. Although candidate Edwards eventually fell short with his extramarital affair and felony charges on campaign contribution law charges in the cover up, his message of two Americas was a resounding part of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.
The second person whose excerpt from the article quote was national press secretary for the 2012 Obama campaign Ben LaBolt with:
…activists, donors, and voters like to see candidates fighting for every vote. If they start to feel like their power and influence is diminished it could have unforeseen consequences.
Again, another quote that can be in no way contributed to a supposed Clinton strategy without regard to the fact that she has not declared a candidacy.
The third person quoted, an anonymous former top Obama aide said,
“People are really getting worried about it,” said another former top Obama aide, who said she would like to see a woman elected but worried that Clinton “doesn’t have a compelling rationale for her candidacy.”
Once again, another quote that hasn’t nothing to do with the article title and the MSNBC segment on the Clinton strategy. People getting worried and the idea that Secretary Clinton doesn’t have a compelling rationale for her candidacy are both ridiculous, the latter even more so and have absolutely nothing to do with the Secretary.
An MSNBC segment that posits a premise supported by relevant quotes and facts should be the standard. We should not have the privilege of the exhaustive reporting of Steve Kornacki and the thorough analysis of Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and others only to be subjected to the sensational segments like the one this morning.