Got home last last night, turned on the teevee and there was a rerun of a Kirk Watson interviewSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Got home last last night, turned on the teevee and there was a rerun of a Kirk Watson interview

20 February 2008 at 9:41:25 AM

...ohhhhh, THAT was a cringe moment. Chris Matthews of Hardball had Texas Senator Kirk Watson (from Senate District 14)  on, along with Cleveland US House Rep Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to talke about Obama. Matthews ALWAYS asks lately what the policy decisions of Obama have been and if there's any accomplishments and he asked Watson, who clearly wasn't prepared for the question.

What WAS funny was that after the exchange, Olbermann asked Matthews if HE knew Senate accomplishments. Nope.

Memo to the Obama campaign: When you put up surrogates on national television, make sure they can answer a basic question like lilke "can you name anything your candidate has accomplished in office." 

Right now, MSNBC is running a debate between surrogates for each campaign. Chris Matthews put the question to the Obama surrogate, state senator Kirk Watson. And Watson said ... nothing. Matthews then came back to him and pressed him on it: "List Barack Obama's accomplishments in the U.S. Senate right now." And Watson said ... nothing. Again.

It was about as awkward a moment as I've seen on tv in a long time. And the Clinton surrogate (whose name I didn't catch) jumped all over it.

Afterwards, Keith Olbermann gave Matthews a hard time about this -- pointing out, subtly, that campaigns are supposed to prep their surrogates and, in this case, somebody obviously forgot. In other words, viewers shouldn't conclude from this exchange that Obama hasn't accomplished anything worthwhile. (He has, particularly if you include his time in Illinois, though Clinton's record may still be better.)

Hee. At least for me this takes NOTHING away from Obama but it does make you think that Kirk Watson needs to, um, BONE UP before he goes out in public life to talk about candidates he supports.

P.S. Not that we think Kirk Watson is terrific. Here's Peter Stern from a week or so ago on Watson's stance with regard to the Trans-Texas Corridor, Toll Roads, TxDOT UNTIL he found out they had misplaced over a billion bucks.

P.P.S. Kirk Watson DOES get brownie points for me for utterly sucking up the humiliation and grovelling over his poor performance. Here's from the Austin-American Statesman - "Blunder Felt LIke a Bad Dream -And his statement about being on there, from Texas Politics

On Tuesday night, after an important and historic victory in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary by Senator Barack Obama, I appeared on the MSNBC post-election program. "Hardball" host Chris Matthews (who is, it turns out, as ferocious as they say), began grilling me on Senator Obama's legislative record.

And my mind went blank. I expected to be asked about the primary that night, or the big one coming up in Texas on March 4, or just about anything else in the news. When the subject changed so emphatically, I reached for information that millions of my fellow Obama supporters could recite by heart, and I couldn't summon it.

My most unfortunate gaffe is not, in any way, a comment on Senator Obama, his substantial record, or the great opportunity we all share to elect him President of the United States.

Had I not lost my mind, here are the accomplishments I would have mentioned:

Senator Obama's fight for universal children's health care in Illinois.
His success bringing Republicans and Democrats together (a huge selling point for me in general) on bills such as the one in Illinois requiring police interrogations and confessions to be videotaped.
His leadership on ethics reform in Washington (the bill that lobbyists and special interests are complaining about right now has his name on it).
His bill to make the federal budget far more transparent and accessible to Americans via the Internet - we could use that openness in Texas.
And his vital work with Republicans to lock down nuclear weapons around the world.
Of course, it would have helped to remember all of this last night. I encourage anyone who wants to know more (especially Mr. Matthews) to log onto

In the meantime, let's not lose focus on what's important in this election. It's not my stunning televised defeat in "Stump the Chump." Thankfully, it has nothing at all to do with me.

What's important is the direction our country is headed. What's important are the priorities, methods, and, yes, accomplishments of those seeking the highest office in the country.

Senator Obama has a vision for this nation, and we would be fortunate to fulfill it. He has the commitment to work with everyone from across the political and demographic spectrum to achieve it. And he has the strength to defend us, our security, and our values against all who will challenge them.

But most of all, he has the record to prove that all of this is possible. It's something no one should forget.

. . . Even though I did.

. . . On national television.

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