Daily Archives: December 1, 2010

Political Campaigns, Civility and TV Talking Heads

Well, if Joe Scarborough and Michael Bloomberg make a third-party run for the White House in 2012 you can say you read about it here first. Well, not really, since that would be a lie. Actually, Howard Fineman created some Inside the Beltway buzz about the possibility a few weeks ago in The Huffington Post.

Hey, I just wanted to get aboard before the campaign train left the station. Just sayin’.

Scarborough is a former congressman from Florida and now a TV Talking Head with his own morning show, Morning Joe. And Bloomberg is the billionaire mayor of New York City. Both have vigorously denied any intentions to form a tag team candidacy with the intent of wrestling Democratic and Republican candidates for the White House.

Hmm. We’ll see.

Scarborough has announced plans to help launch a new national group aimed at restoring civility to politics — and Bloomberg is in on the action. Here’s from Fineman again, writing yesterday for The Huffington Post, “Scarborough Attacks Palin, Agrees To Help Launch Centrist Civility Group“:

Such anti-partisan yearnings are common these days, but what makes “No Labels” potentially significant is its organizational ambition and big-buck backers. The group hopes to set up affiliates in all 50 states and offer support for fellow beleaguered centrists. Jacobson is a prodigious fundraiser with wide contacts.

More important, they group could serve as a natural piece of infrastructure for any independent, centrist candidacy for president.

Organizers stress that the group is “neither a third party nor a stalking horse for any presidential candidate or other candidates.”

But Bloomberg’s interest in the possibility of an independent bid is well known, and some of the new group’s backers are among those advising and encouraging the New York mayor to consider it.

As for Scarborough, he heatedly denies any interest in running — as a vice presidential candidate on a theoretical Bloomberg ticket.

But he is teasingly vague about what he might consider doing on his own. He avoided a direct answer to the question earlier this month at Harvard, saying only: “There are so many issues where America is united… I think we’re coming up on a very historic time. I’m very happy where I am right now, but you never know.”

Hey, I’m all for civility in politics and government — and elsewhere. I’ve opined here many times that the lack of civility is a major problem in resolving the key issues facing this country.

So for a group that is going to restore civility, something doesn’t seem quite right with the way Scarborough framed the announcement. Here’s from Fineman’s HuffPost article again:

TV’s Joe Scarborough, who today dismissed Sarah Palin as a symbol of “anti-intellectualism” with a “dopey dream” of being president, will help headline the launch next month of a new national group dedicated to restoring civility in politics.

Looks like the civility campaign is off to a rocky start. LOL

C’mon, Joe. When it comes to Sarah Palin “man up” — at least you can be civil until the campaign really gets started.