Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Interview Problems

398px-Debbie_Wasserman_Schultz,_official_portrait,_112th_Congress.jpg
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC, has two big PR problems. The first is that she speaks almost exclusively in what sounds like focus-group-tested sound bites. The second is that she's no good at it, either because she lacks a certain common touch or because her sound bites are not, in fact, focus-group-tested.

It's hard to tell whether these problems are most exacerbated when confronted with a semicritical interviewer like ABC's George Stephanopoulos or when confronted with a fawning devotee like Rachel Maddow -- a very smart gal who can do so much better than she did in this segment with Wasserman Schultz, in which Maddow's easy questions allowed the congresswoman to rattle on like an unthinking politibot.

Worst moment:

Voters [in Republican-led states] are becoming disturbed by the extreme radical policies that are coming out of these state legislatures and out of these governors. This is not what the voters signed up for... The direction the Republicans would take us, really, right off the deep end, essentially waging war on the unemployed, as if somehow them being out of the job is their fault, and rewarding businesses. Really, it's like reverse Robin Hood-ism. It's really shocking, and I think voters are really taken aback.

Really, Debbie? Do you really think the best reelection strategy is to pretend the public agrees with you? To hope that the power of suggestion will compel them to forget that, just ten minutes ago, they were calling you a Comminazi feminist? And after all your noble noises in January about raising the level of discourse, is it really wise to start using martial metaphors to describe your political opponents?

Convince us of your positions, Debbie! Present an argument! Don't pretend the argument's already been won!  It just makes you look cynical.

The Maddow interview was bad, but it's probably better than the Stephanopoulos one from yesterday. That was a wide-ranging interview in which the following subjects came under discussion: controversy over the White House's hosting of a performance by poet/rapper/actor Common; Sarah Palin's assessment of the political implications of the Bin Laden killing; Mitt Romney's presidential prospects; and Gabbie Giffords' health. Wasserman Schultz actually deigned to answer questions about exactly one of these subjects. The rest she sidestepped.

A paraphrase of the discussion:

George: Do you think Common's critics are racists, or do they have a point?

Debbie: The White House likes to celebrate art.

George:
Sarah Palin doesn't think the assassination of Bin Laden will help Obama's reelection chances next year. Is she right?

Debbie: Bin Laden was a bad man.

George: Of the putative Republican candidates, Mitt Romney's polling the strongest. Is he the one who scares you?

Debbie: Romney has no integrity. He's twisting himself into a pretzel to defend his health care policies in Massachusetts. He has no principles. He's not honest. He has no convictions. We don't know who he is.

George:
So then. You are scared of him.

Debbie: No. But just to reiterate: Romney has no integrity. He's twisting himself into a pretzel to defend his health care policies in Massachusetts. He has no principles. He's not honest. He has no convictions. We don't know who he is.

George: How's Gabbie Giffords?

Debbie: Awesome!

The tragedy here is that Wasserman Schultz looks like she's a partisan posturer precisely because she's so uncomfortable with partisan posturing. It's the slick ones you've gotta worry about.


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18 comments
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pschieber
pschieber

She doesn't LOOK like a partisan hack: she is.   

Dave E
Dave E

Easy questions are the key to a good interview with a Democrat.  And  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is nothing but a "Shill" for the Democratic party and a partisan hack like Resident Obama.  They sure do love thier titles don't they, just like Barbara Boxer does.

Midnight Rider
Midnight Rider

 Brandon, good job finally an opinion based not on ideology.  Keep up the great work. 

Trafficlawyer
Trafficlawyer

Wasserman is as dumb as they come only rivals hank johnson. 

Anon
Anon

DWS is done.  she has the pussy of an 80 year old yenta.

glass slipper
glass slipper

Shultzie is just another self serving poliTIC who apperently doesn't represent me or anyone else that I  know in Broward Town. And she talks like a fucking retard. 

Judge Roy Bean
Judge Roy Bean

This blog is just about done.  I'm sure gunna miss it unless someone fixes it. 

W. Cronkite
W. Cronkite

Brandon K Thorp's point is that Debbie could do so much better.

He's right.  Also, DWS is over-exposed, IMHO,and over-celebrated.  (There is an entire chapter devoted to her in a truly useless book, "Pennsylvania Avenue - Profiles in Backroom Power."  Her chapter is titled "DWS - Fundraising Phenom."  I bought the book because it was pushed relentlessly on the Morning Joe show, when the book first came out. (2008)   Chris Matthews loves Debbie, so does Rachel Maddow.   But it was OUR PULP who let us know some additional 'stuff' about Debbie (in his recent article about Jack Tobin) that put Debbie in a more realistic light.   She's a hard worker; she gets lots and lots of press.  She's 'a phenom' at fundraising, according to the book.  So, Brandon K Thorp, do not listen to these nay-sayers who are simply irked because Bob is no longer on the case of all the 'locals.'

What they're saying, BKT, is 'when are Stacy Ritter and Ilene Lieberman going to get indicted?"

That is what we want to know!  

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

 Mr Thorpe....

Just what was your point????  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz talks like a real person.  If you don't like her answers, that's one thing, but to say intimate that she doesn't respond is your opinion, not a fact.  Secondly, there are times when she will be responding as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee and others when she will be responding as our Congresswoman, "Our Debbie."

I truly am a bleeding heart liberal, but, I don't think that your blog post was relevant.  BITE into an issue and ask for DWS's opinion...look at her record and question her on that...but, to concentrate on speculation regarding the other party's candidates does not serve us well.

BOB!!!!  Where are you?????????????

Bman
Bman

This blog has gone lame. 

Guest
Guest

Debbie Wasserman-Shultz is one of the best we have in Democratic Party Today!!She wonderful!Brandon K....go back to classified

BlacktipShark
BlacktipShark

 G'bye, Pulp.  This blog was fun while it lasted.  RIP.

Christy
Christy

 Did Pulp leave behind a CPR manual or defibrillation paddles?

Guest
Guest

So sorry to have to say this, but Brandon K just isn't doing anything for me.No Sale..  

Bubba
Bubba

If these latest blogs get any more exciting I will ................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 

Not
Not

Is there actually a post in this blog critical of a democrat.  No friggen way.  First!!!!

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