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Notes on the February 7, 2010 broadcast

February 14, 2010

No annotated transcript this week, just a few random thoughts. The full transcript is here.

1. John Brennan is very impressive as a guest. He exudes a no-nonsense approach to counter-terrorism. Yahoos in Congress (of both parties) should be very wary of how they might look in trying to take on or second guess Brennan.

2. In this exchange we saw a foreshadow of something David Gregory has really sunk his teeth into:

MR. GREGORY: But are you confident he’ll actually be executed?

MR. BRENNAN: I’m confident that he’s going to have the full weight of American justice.

MR. GREGORY: But is he getting all the due process? If the, if the attorney general says, “Failure isn’t an option,” other White House officials have said he’ll be executed, is this really the shining example of American jurisprudence?

MR. BRENNAN: It’s going to be the shining example when he is brought to justice, and I’m just—I’m convinced and confident that Mr. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet his day in justice and before his maker.

One week later (2/14/10), Gregory really went after Vice President Joe Biden (in a somewhat tedious manner) on this same topic.

3. The first time Alan Greenspan starts talking, it is clear he is not wearing a microphone. While Henry Paulson answers the next question, you can kind of tell that someone is placing a mic on Greenspan. Then comes a wider shot where you can clearly see a technician crawling on the floor between Gregory and Greenspan. Later in the week I saw a replay of the show where that shot has been edited out.

4. Later in the show, this exchange about the Super Bowl:

MR. GREGORY: All right. We will leave it there. But before I let you go, here’s the picture of you back in the playing days at Dartmouth, here. So I got to ask—we’ve got a couple of football fans, because I know, Dr. Greenspan, you are as well. Super Bowl picks. Secretary Paulson, you first.

MR. PAULSON: Well, I’m going to go with the Indiana and Peyton Manning.

MR. GREGORY: OK.

MR. GREENSPAN: It’s very difficult to go against Peyton Manning.

MR. GREGORY: My view as well. We’ll make that the last word.

So. How did that work out for you guys? 🙂

5. This exchange about the tea party movement may be zeroing in on one of the most important emerging political stories in the country:

MR. GREGORY: But what role does she play in a Republican Party right now, Dee Dee, where the gains for Republicans in 2009 special elections were won by Republicans like Scott Brown or Bob McDonald in Virginia, or Chris Christie in New Jersey, much more moderate Democrats than the sort of brand of conservatism that she represents?

MS. DEE DEE MYERS: Well, but that didn’t stop her and the tea party movement last night from taking—for taking—from taking credit for Scott Brown’s victory. And it is interesting, because not only did she rally a conservative base that may or may not be Republican, she went out, out of her way to say her husband’s not a Republican and to say that this movement is a warning to both Republican and Democratic officials that maybe they need to look at what they’ve been doing—how they’ve been doing business over the last few years. So I’m not sure this is exactly where this is going. She’s clearly positioning herself as a spokesman, if not the leader, of the tea party movement, but is it a third party? Is it part of the Republican Party? I don’t think that’s clear.

MR. GREGORY: As a movement, what impact does it have for the midterms?

MR. GILLESPIE: I think it’s going to have a significant impact in the midterms. Look, I think a lot of these people are new to the political process, and I think Dee Dee’s right. They, they are not Republicans or Democrats, many of them at this point. They’re leery of both parties. But their overwhelming concerns are about debt and spending and government intervention in our economy and higher taxes. And I think at the end of the day, as they look at the candidates for them in November, they’re going to end up voting for the Republican candidate. I believe that’s what happened for a lot of folks in Massachusetts and other places.

On the following week’s show (2/14/10), David Brooks makes a provocative statement about the possibility of third party finally rising in America. Stay tuned for more on that.

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