Until the campaigns begin in earnest, the proliferation of the presidential hopefuls largely serves the media’s yawning need for content, as less established candidates gamble for exposure on the Sunday shows against the risk of appearing bush league. There was a lot of the latter this Sunday.
WORST: Ben Carson
Neurosurgeon headline generator Ben Carson’s statements likening Obamacare to slavery and so forth are so outlandish Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace dragged him onto the show and basically asked if he was kidding. Carson responded by overturning Marbury v Madison, which would have been a far more impressive maneuver had he given any indication he knew what Marbury v Madison was. Instead Wallace explained to him the origins of judicial review and Carson said nah, we don’t need that.
FWIW, Carson continues to talk movingly about his own personal story of rising out of childhood poverty to become not just a successful neurosurgeon but what appears to be an all around active citizen. The problem is this story of grit-driven economic and civic mobility capsizes his comparisons of the U.S. to Nazi Germany. Watch below, via Fox News:
WORSTEST: Carly Fiorina
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is giving Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) a run for his money as the 2016 GOP field’s pluckiest troll, but she’s less savvy when forced to account for her troubled run at HP. (Fiorina was fired by HP in 2005; the company’s stock rebounded upon the news.) Challenged to do so by Meet the Press’ Chuck Todd, she unfurled some Silicon Valley-grade sophistry:
“I was fired in a boardroom brawl…It is a leader’s job to challenge the status quo. When you do, you make enemies.”
Thanks to overuse by the pundit class the concept of “leadership” has become elasticized. When the definition is stretched so broad that it can encompass running a tech company into the ground, we may safely retire the term.
Fiorina then wedgied her own logic, arguing that the brilliant-on-a-harvest-moon moves she made at HP were done against the dictates of the shareholders, those elitist bullies, and for the benefit of employees:
“A CEO cannot run a company based on conventional wisdom or current emotion. A CEO’s job is to build sustainable value over the long term for as many employees, as many customers, and as many communities as possible.”
Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 people while at HP, which is to “sustainable value over the long term” what “fired with a $21 million severance package” is to leadership. Watch below, via NBC News:
WORSTESTEST: Mike Huckabee
Huckabee’s defense of hawking miracle diabetes cures? “I don’t have to defend everything I’ve ever done.” This, from a party that answers policy questions with demands to see President Barack Obama’s college transcripts.
Huckabee takes “worstestest” as unlike the candidates above, Huckabee has been around a quarter century and held executive office. Presumably he knows better? Watch below, via CBS News:
MISSING THE DEADLINE: JEB BUSH
After literally ignoring his brother existence upon his campaign launch, Jeb Bush has recently embraced the foreign policy adventurist. Mediaite won’t honor Bush in this roundup because a) his full interview with Megyn Kelly doesn’t air until tomorrow, and b) his claim that he still would have invaded Iraq was a tad muddy. Kelly asked him whether he would have done so knowing what we know now; he answered according to the intelligence available in 2003, a sleight of hand that keeps Hillary Clinton in the conversation. Given that she isn’t appearing on the Sunday shows at all, we guess something has to.
[Image via screengrab]
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