By Tim Graham ~
After a contentious Democratic debate on CNN, with moderator Dana Bash asking HIllary why she won’t release transcripts of her six-figure speeches to Wall Street firms, the pundits on PBS and NPR agreed: no one will care about this in the fall.
On NPR’s All Things Considered, anchor Robert Siegel asked: “do you think in the fall that the speeches to Goldman Sachs will be an issue?” David Brooks said naw, it’s no Watergate:
BROOKS: No. I mean, you know, these are minor league compared to everything Donald Trump has done. And, you know, speaking to Goldman Sachs is not exactly the Watergate scandal. It’s a thing, but it’s not a big thing.
Brooks was more measured on the PBS NewsHour, criticizing Mrs. Clinton’s historic penchant for secrecy:
BROOKS: The Goldman Sachs thing is so typical of Hillary Clinton. Remember the Rose Law Firm papers that showed up, like, mysteriously in the middle of the White House on the table after years? She will delay and delay and delay until it maximally hurts her, and then she will release. And she just has this pattern of secrecy.
I do not think the Goldman Sachs thing is going to hurt her in a general election. Democratic voters care about that stuff. Donald Trump would love to be partners with Goldman Sachs. Most independent general election voters want their kids to go work at Goldman Sachs. I don’t think that’s going to hurt her.
I do think — I’m sort of struck by the way Sanders has not really widened his critique. I thought one — a pivotal moment early in the campaign is when he didn’t go after the e-mails, which he — at that moment, he left — shut off an avenue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
BROOKS: And, secondly, he could really go on a class critique of her, that she’s living in a fancy house, she’s eating in fancy restaurants, she’s of the — she’s not only of the establishment. She’s of the One Percent. And he — that could be a very big social, but not on discreet issues like the Goldman Sachs speech, on her whole life. And he really has not widened it out and, frankly, been as aggressive as he might be.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That would be taking it to a personal level, wouldn’t it?
Isn’t it funny when PBS anchors think an attack would be “personal”? Brooks can call Ted Cruz “our national aphrodisiac” and nobody aat PBS blinks.
Liberal pundit Mark Shields agreed “To his credit, he’s — what everyone says, he has dominated the conversation, I mean, that the movement by candidates in this race has been toward Bernie Sanders’ positions, not toward anybody else’s. So, I mean, in that sense, it was a disciplined decision….I agree with David that the Goldman Sachs transcripts are not of great interest to Republican voters who — on such things. But he could have just belted her on that. He could have run TV spots on that, and he hasn’t. He’s chosen not to go at a personal level.”
Back at NPR, liberal E.J. Dionne was much less moderate than Brooks. He insisted Paul Ryan wasn’t going to run for president because the appeal of Reaganism was being ruined by Donald Trump:
I think he knows that this is not a good year for what you might call the neo-Reaganite themes that he has put forward. I mean, the votes for Donald Trump are a real rejection in many ways of his kind of Republicanism. And I’m not thinking just of the sunny personality. I am thinking of the old tax cuts for the rich, budget cuts, cuts in entitlements. Trump suggests there’s a big Republican constituency, particularly in the working class of the party, who are fed up with that. And so I think Ryan is shrewd here. He wants to save his House majority, which could be in jeopardy if either Trump or Cruz got the nomination. And he knows that his side has a lot of rebuilding to do if they’re ever going to win the argument again, which I have doubts about.
Dionne also cooed over Bernie Sanders taking his socialist gospel to Rome, that “parts of that [Donald Trump] Wall Street Journal editorial made you wonder why he didn’t join Bernie at the Vatican today and – to talk about capitalism and injustice. And by the way, Sanders really did quite a good job in the Vatican blending Catholic social thought with his own themes.”
He’s a regular Saint Bernard of Burlington.