After spending the last few days focusing on the events in Egypt, Chris Matthews turned his attention to the just concluded Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and spent the segment poking fun at and attacking the speakers.
Matthews started off with clips from Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, John Bolton and Ann Coulter, and remarked to David Corn that “there’s some people you don’t want to meet in a bar, that’s for sure, even you’re watching Star Wars,” and that “it’s almost like a levitation like in some carnival act, like they’re levitating and it has nothing to with reality.” Corn, who works for the left wing magazine Mother Jones, added that it was like a zoo where you are allowed to feed the animals, and that while he, Matthews and Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall were focusing on Egypt, the CPAC speakers were attacking Obama for being a socialist.
Marshall said the speakers were operating in an alternate reality and that there isn’t anything Obama could say that would change what they were saying in any way. Marshall added that the ‘Obama hates America’ theme wouldn’t play well in the 2012 presidential campaign and would be seen as “out there.”
Matthews then asked how much the person who runs against Obama next year will have to “kiss butt” with this crowd to get the nomination and lamented how a credible person like Pawlenty has to act zany to get the nomination.
The discussion turned to Ron Paul, who won the straw poll on Saturday, and Matthews used that as an opportunity to go after one of his favorite targets, Sarah Palin.
Palin, who has never attended CPAC, received 3% of the vote in the poll and Matthews thought she should have done better since the “zanos” that attended the meeting, Marshall added, are her constituency.
But Matthews failed to mention how contrived the poll is. First of all, Paul only won because he brought in the largest number of fiercely loyal supporters. None of the other potential candidates mounted any type of concerted effort to win the straw poll, making Romney’s showing even more remarkable since he finished only 7 points behind Paul.
Like almost any poll, though, out of sight is out of mind, and with Palin’s absence a low vote percentage was inevitable. It likely has nothing to do with what Marshall said were the hits she has been suffering lately.
But why bother with facts that would only lessen the impact of an attack on Palin?
The only reason Matthews went after CPAC with such zeal was to marginalize a conference that drew over 10,000 people and put the conservative movement on display, which is a real threat to the Democrats in 2012 and something he only wishes the liberals could effectively duplicate.