Ever wonder what I'm up to these days?
I was meandering through the news around the world, as I am wont to do, and I saw the name Dick Morris in an unusual place - a Romanian newspaper. I read further to learn that ole Mr. Morris now has his sticky fingers deep inside the upcoming (2004) Presidential elections in Romania. Why? And more importantly, how?
First it's time for a little refresher on his bio:
Dick Morris is best known for his relationship to Bill Clinton. He managed Clinton's successful gubernatorial campaign in 1977. He worked with Clinton on and off until 1996 when he was fired (more on that in just a second). His most "famous" campaign success was engineering the '96 win after the '94 Democratic loss of control in the legislature made people wonder whether Clinton could win again.
Dick Morris is probably even BETTER known for why he was fired in '96 a few months before the elections - his long-time prostitute spilled the beans, revealing not only the relationship but also that Dick Morris regularly told her sensitive (if not classified) information while getting his first name sucked. Sounds oddly familiar somehow :)
Once the scandal broke, Dick Morris took off into the sunset and Clinton soon had new scandals to deal with. Morris later wrote a book about all the good times he had with Clintons (both of them!) throughout the 20 year relationship, how great and all around how swell and super-duper a ride it had been.
Except the odd fact is that for this entire life, Dick Morris has been a hardcore Republican. He has succesfully managed or consulted for more than 30 Senators and Governors, (nearly) all of them Republican. Read that number again: more than 30 wins. These include, but are not limited to, "Petey" Pete Wilson (Gov-California), Bill Weld (Gov-Mass), Trent "Lynch 'em" Lott (Senator-Miss), Jesse "the colored race" Helms (Senator-NC) and Kay Bailey "Yeehaw" Hutchinson (Senator-Texas).
But wait! There's more: he has also successfully managed/consulted for Presidential campaigns as well. Other than Clinton you say?
Mexico - Vincente Fox
Argentina - Fernando de la Rua
Uruguay - Jorge Battle
Seemingly inexplicably, a year or so after his '96 scandal, Dick Morris turned into one of the most hardcore pro-Republican anti-Clinton (including allegations that Clinton punched him out) people on the planet. He currently works for Fox News, writes scathing articles and just published a book which must be the mirror opposite of Al Franken's. In Dick Morris' world, the New York Times are all liberal liars and all terrorism is 100% the fault of Bill Clinton. Just reading the reviews is enough to make you shiver. Here's some fun quotes from some of his articles:
"From the out set, the War on Terror was sharply different from other U.S. military actions in the strong support it received from American women. Normally, men back military action by 10 to 20 points more than women do. But, after 9/11, women felt more endangered by terror and backed action against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as strongly as men did."
Misogyny at its finest
"The Democrats don't have much chance anyway in 2004. Now would be the perfect time for Sharpton to show how badly they need him. Once Al runs as an independent, he'll never have to do it again. He can name his price for not jumping ship a second time and not torpedoing Democratic chances of victory."
Bizarre political analysis of the 2004 race
"Legislative action will never bring genuine campaign-finance reform. Consultants will prove endlessly inventive in gaming whatever system the reformers can devise so as to give their candidate an edge and allow the power of massive money to be felt. But reform laws will become irrelevant and redundant as the Internet replaces the special-interest fat cats as the best way to raise money and takes the place of TV as the most effective way to get votes."
Something I actually agree with, oddly enough
What is a little scarier however is this interview with Dick Morris from October 5, 2003:
Q: As a fellow alumnus, I'd like to know your thoughts on how attending
Columbia influenced your career?
DM: NOT AS MUCH AS IT SHOULD HAVE. I CUT MOST OF MY CLASSES TO WORK ON LOCAL POLITICS AND USED COLUMBIA AS A BASE FOR MY POLITICAL CAREER. BUT ONE COURSE, IN SOVIET POLITICS, BY BIALER, WAS EXCELLENT AND GAVE ME AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE POLITBUREAU FORM OF POLITICAL ORGANIZATION WHICH I USED AMONG MY FELLOW CONSULTANTS IN OUR WORK IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
Q: You have observed that you think if the 2004 election is about
terrorism, Bush will win, and if its about anything else, Bush would lose.
Would another terrorist attack between now and November 2004 help or hurt
George W. Bush? Put another way, would the Democrats benefit from a
national security breakdown because they've urged Bush to spend more and do more; or would Bush benefit because people would rally around the President?
DM: HELP, BECAUSE IT WOULD RAISE THE PROFILE OF THE ISSUE AND END OUR COMPLAISANCE.
Q: What do you think of the job [New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg is doing? Can he be re-elected, or was it one of those flukes that he won in the wake of 9/11? On the subject of New York, how far do you think [New York State Attorney General] Eliot Spitzer can go?
DM: SPITZER CAN BE GOVERNOR AND PERHAPS THE FIRST JEWISH PRESIDENT. BLOOMBERG IS DOING AS WELL AS HE CAN BUT I DON'T FOLLOW HIM MUCH
Q: Can an anti-war candidate like Howard Dean, or even a Wes Clark, win in
the wake of 9/11?
DM: 9-11 IS FADING FAST. A WOUND THAT HEALED TOO QUICKLY.
That's just an excerpt from the whole thing. The "wound that healed too quickly" is the obvious oddity in the excerpt but I also found his misspelling of Politburo extremely odd as well as his referencing to using lessons from a 20+ year old class on the Soviet Union while in the White House.
Anyway, back to the year 2004, where Dick Morris is now managing the campaign of 54-year-old Lia Roberts, currently the chairperson of the Nevada Republican Party. Ms. Roberts is an American citizen but also holds Romanian citizenship. She was born in Romania but has spent nearly her entire life in the United States and her Romanian is fairly well atrocious.
This egotistical Presidential bid, managed by Dick Morris, would all be for sh*ts and giggles except that some analysts think that she could win enough votes to make a bid against the current favorite, Adrian Nastase. You may not care one whit about a country called Romania but it frightens me beyond end to think of this GOP hag, managed and surrounded by Dick Morris and his ilk, running a foreign country.
So in any event, that's a brief synopsis of what ole Dick Morris is up to these days.