Tag Archives: Chuck Todd

Trump continues his unpresidential presidency

Can the president of the United States stoop even lower? Is it possible for Donald Trump to go beyond the pale in speaking with vile disregard for other human beings?

Yes and yes.

Trump today decided to take on “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, calling him a “sleeping son of a bitch” at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

He went after the media yet again for its coverage of a planned meeting between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He impaled several cable and broadcast networks, saving praise — of course! — for the Fox News Channel.

Yes, the president has “treated” the nation yet again to a demonstration of how little regard he has for the office he occupies.

Calling a respected news anchor a “sleeping SOB”? Is this clown — and I’m talking about Trump — for real?

Sadly, the answer is yes. He’s very much for real.

Oh, but he’s “telling it like it is.”


Hoping to head off Trump Fatigue

I might need an intervention.

News junkie that I am, I usually cannot resist watching cable and broadcast news channels’ discussion of current events, of public policy and, yes, even politics.

Until now.

I awoke this Sunday morning and decided to avoid the weekly news/commentary/analysis talk shows. I didn’t watch George or Chuck on ABC or NBC, respectively. I had no particular desire to listen to the talking heads on “This Week” or “Meet the Press.”

Why? I fear it’s because of the subject matter: Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, the current president of the United States of America.

The guy is starting to wear me out. We’re not even at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Good grief! That means we have another nearly four years to go before the next presidential election!

Heaven help us. Or maybe just me.

I don’t intend to stop commenting on this clown’s tenure as president; I consider contributions to High Plains Blogger to be a form of therapy. I might even be able to fend off the Trump Fatigue I fear is beginning to overtake me.

Maybe I just need a day or two — or maybe three or four — away from the TV set.

Wish me luck. I’ll extend the same to you.

No, Kellyanne, critics aren’t ‘haters’

My dear mother taught me a few life lessons: Don’t wish your life away; keep an open mind; don’t “hate” anyone.

The last one stands out at this moment as I ponder the comments from Donald Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who calls critics of a recent gaffe “haters.”

No, ma’am. We aren’t haters. Actually, I haven’t yet weighed in on the gaffe, in which you mistakenly referred to a “massacre” at Bowling Green, Ky., that never occurred.

Conway did own up to her mistake quickly after the stuff hit the fan. She said she “misspoke” when she made the reference in an MSNBC interview. Do the critics “hate” her for saying such a thing? I would hope not.

I only can speak for myself on this one, but I don’t hate Kellyanne Conway. What I do hate, though, are the untrue statements that pour out of the mouths of the president himself and so many of his closest advisers. Maybe they believe what they say. Perhaps they know they are telling untruths … or lying.

I am amused — in a perverse sort of way — with so many of things Conway has said. She referred to “alternative facts” the other day in another TV interview. “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd told her that “alternative facts are falsehoods.”


I get that Conway is feeling chastened by critics. As a senior adviser to the president of the United States, it’s not too much to ask her to tell the truth — the whole truth — at all times.

Honest to goodness, though, I don’t hate her when she falls short. I just hate the words that come out of her mouth.

‘Alternative facts’ will become Trumpster’s new ID

Kellyanne Conway parlayed her experience as a public opinion pollster to a successful run as a presidential campaign manager.

She’s now a senior adviser to the new president of the United States.

Conway now has become the face and the voice of one of the more remarkable verbal miscues many of us have heard in some time.

She talked this morning about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s version of a silly story dealing with the size of the crowd at Donald J. Trump’s inaugural. Then she referred to something called Spicer’s “alternative facts.”

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd then sought to clarify what he heard by responding that there are facts and there are falsehoods.

Thus, a punchline was born.

This business of electing a new president is quite serious, indeed. I don’t intend to beat this horse any deader than it is, but in its way, Conway’s “alternative facts” notion seems to be the perfect metaphor for the discussion that prompted it.

Spicer’s angry rejoinder to the media about their reporting of the crowd size was ridiculous on its face. Then came Conway’s “alternative facts” gaffe.

Conway’s role as senior adviser requires her to speak well of her boss. I get it. Honest, I do. I don’t know what she’s thinking privately, of course, but it seems quite reasonable to believe she might be kicking herself tonight for uttering that silly statement.

Maybe she ought to take a page from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the president’s pick to become energy secretary. Perry said this past week he now regrets calling for the elimination of the Department of Energy when he, too, was running for president.

Conway might consider taking a couple of days away from media representatives and then tell them “I regret” providing so much grist for late-night comedians.

I am one American who would accept her contrition.

Is it ‘Dr.’ David Plouffe these days?


Now, now, now, David Plouffe.

Let’s not venture where we do not belong.

Not long ago, I — among others out here in the peanut gallery — got all over Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for Donald J. Trump, for issuing what amounted to a medical diagnosis of Hillary Clinton.

Pierson said the Democratic presidential nominee suffers from “dysphasia,” a neurological disorder.

“Ugghh!” we all thought. Knock it off, Ms. Pierson, we said.

Now it’s Plouffe weighing in, declaring that Trump — the Republican nominee — is a “psychopath” and that he “meets the clinical definition” of psychopathic behavior.


To his credit, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd called Plouffe down for issuing his own diagnosis, pointing out that he doesn’t have a medical degree or a degree “in psychology.”

Plouffe kind of shrugged and admitted he isn’t trained as a shrink.

David Plouffe is a brilliant political strategist, having engineered Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaign in 2008 and later serving as a senior political adviser in the White House.

He’s no doctor. So, let’s cease the medical diagnoses.

As Todd told Plouffe, “This is what gets voters so frustrated.”

Political tradition may be in jeopardy

The American political system produces many memorable traditions.

One of them involves an event in which the candidates for president of the United States gather in New York to honor a memorial fund established in memory of the late New York Gov. Alfred E. Smith.

The candidates poke fun at each other, and at themselves.

These two clips are from the 2012 event featuring President Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president.

It is absolutely hilarious! As is the 2008 event with U.S. Sens. Obama and John McCain.

My question today is this: Is this tradition in jeopardy in light of the obvious disdain that the current presumptive nominees — Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton — have for each other?

I’m trying to imagine Trump shrugging off “good-natured” barbs being thrown at him by Clinton. I’m also having difficulty imagining Trump being able to muster up the kind of delivery it takes to sling a zinger at Clinton, who then would laugh out loud.

I’ve noted already what NBC News political director Chuck Todd has observed, that neither Clinton or Trump offered words of congratulations to each other the other night after they secured their respective parties’ nominations.

That omission speaks to what looks to a lot of us as a precursor to the kind of campaign no one wants to see.

One of the beauties of our political system — and the people who participate in it — is that they’ve always found time to put the daggers back in the scabbard long enough to speak with good humor to some common good.

Is that tradition in jeopardy this year?


What they didn’t say is most instructive


I wish I could take credit for making this observation, but I cannot.

I’ll give credit to Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News’s chief political correspondent.

Last night, after their big victories in their respective presidential primaries, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spoke to their faithful followers.

Todd noted a great unspoken from both of them: They didn’t “congratulate each other” for becoming their parties’ presumptive presidential nominees.

Todd noted that going back to the 2000 election season, candidates have reached across to offer a word of thanks to their opponents for reaching an important and hard-fought milestone.

Al Gore congratulated George W. Bush in 2000; President Bush did the same in 2004 when John Kerry crossed the “presumptive” threshold; John McCain offered kudos to Barack Obama in 2008; and President Obama did the same when Mitt Romney became his party’s presumptive nominee in 2012.

This year? Nothing. Not a word of congratulations from either Trump the Republican or Clinton the Democrat.

Surprised at that? Me, neither.

Trump has labeled Clinton as “Crooked Hillary”; Clinton has said that Trump is “temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief.”

Todd has reason to worry now about what lies ahead as Clinton and Trump battle each other for the presidency.

If the absence of anything approaching a kind word about the opposition in their moments of triumph is any indication, we’re in for an extremely rough and uncivil campaign.

Cruz channels Newt by blaming the media

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the George R. Brown Convention Center Friday, May 3, 2013, in Houston.  The 2013 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits runs from Friday, May 3, through Sunday, May 5.  More than 70,000 are expected to attend the event with more than 500 exhibitors represented. The convention will features training and education demos, the Antiques Guns and Gold Showcase, book signings, speakers including Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin as well as NRA Youth Day on Sunday ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

Ted Cruz is likely to get beat Tuesday in Indiana.

With a probable win in the Hoosier State’s Republican presidential primary, Donald J. Trump  will be standing as the presumptive GOP nominee.

So, who’s Ted Cruz blaming for the flameout his campaign suddenly is experiencing? The media.


It’s not going to work for the junior U.S. senator from Texas any more than it worked for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich four years ago when he sought to blame the messenger for reporting negative things about his campaign.

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd tried in vain Sunday to get Cruz to answer a simple declarative question: Will you support Trump if he’s the nominee?

Cruz didn’t answer. He then sought to blame the media, which he said are controlled by liberal Democrats.

“That’s what people hate about politics and the media,” Todd answered. “The broad brush.”

Yes, Cruz was painting the media with the broadest of brushes. Gingrich sought to do the same thing in 2012 with his broadsides against the “mainstream media.”

I just feel compelled to remind all of those who keep insisting the media speak with one voice that the “mainstream media” also comprise a large number of conservative voices. Fox News Channel? The bevy of radio talk-show hosts? All the right-leaning publications around the country — The Weekly Standard, The National Review? They, too, are part of the mainstream.

And let’s not ignore the torrent of online outlets that give the conservatives — even the “true conservatives,” such as Sen. Cruz — plenty of opportunities to air their views.

As Todd told Cruz on Sunday, Republican voters — not the media — are rejecting his message.

Take a bow, Cool Hand Chuck Todd

todd and trump

Chuck Todd deserves a pat on the back for keeping his cool this morning in the face of an astonishingly boorish comment from — yep, that’s right — Donald J. Trump.

The “Meet the Press” moderator was interviewing Trump early today. The exchange took my breath away.

Todd asked Trump about the guy in Ohio who rushed the stage where Trump was speaking; Secret Service agents intervened to keep the guy away from Trump.

Trump then said something about “hearing on the Internet” that the fellow as a follower of the Islamic State. Todd said the reports were false. Not so, said Trump, repeating that he “heard it on the Internet.” That — right there — told me plenty of Trump’s (lack of) judgment, that he would take anything he “heard on the Internet” as gospel.

But I digress …

Trump then said the guy was dragging an American flag on the ground, which he said proved he was an ISIS follower. Todd said once again the report was proven to be false.

Then Trump said he “loves the flag more than you apparently do,” implying that Todd, well, doesn’t love the flag and what it stands for.

So. There you have it.

A major presidential candidate buying into Internet gossip as truth and then implying that a veteran broadcast journalist doesn’t love Old Glory simply because he sought to dispel the bogus report about an ISIS connection.

I salute Chuck Todd for maintaining his professionalism in the face of what I considered to be a serious affront.

Here’s the interview in its entirety.




Terror vs. gun deaths


Here’s an interesting statistic that today drew some attention on one of the many Sunday morning TV news/talk shows.

In the past decade, 153,144 people have died in this country from gun violence; 3,046 individuals have died at the hands of terrorists during that same period.

This came from Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press,” citing the stats provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He asked Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, about whether the country needs to do as much to combat gun violence as it has done to battle terrorism.

Lowry gave a reasonable and intelligent answer, which was that government’s fundamental role is to protect citizens against foreign enemies; he added that any gun-related action “on the margins” won’t do anything and that more comprehensive action runs the risk of infringing on the Constitution’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

Meet the Press tackles gun violence

The discussion was fascinating.

Still, I’m a bit baffled by the fact that with such a huge disparity between gun-violence deaths and terror-related deaths, we still have been unable — or unwilling — to deploy government’s machinery to impose additional restrictions on gun ownership that does not infringe on citizens’ right to own a firearm.

After all, the government created a whole new Cabinet-level agency — the Department of Homeland Security — immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Still, madmen take guns into public places and massacre thousands more innocent victims … and we do nothing?