What Sully Said

by matttbastard

"Oh yes, with sprinkles!"
"Oh yes, with sprinkles!"

New Political Animal head honcho Steve Benen has penned the ultimate smackdown of Ron “keep up the fight” Fournier’s bullshit op-ed-masquerading-as-analysis re: the newly announced Obama/Biden ticket (sample dingleberry of wisdom: Biden “talks too much”–yep, that’s why they pay Ron the big bucks, folks), both of which y’all should check out (assuming you haven’t yet done so). But I want to highlight something that Andrew Sullivan also noticed regarding Fournier and his blatant (if inconsistent) use of “aggressive Republican spin”:

Last spring…Fournier was lambasting Obama for arrogance [link added–mb]. Now, apparently, it’s a lack of confidence. Whatever works, I guess. But please, get a blog.

From “ooz[ing] entitlement” to lacking confidence–apparently even the DC bureau chief of the Associated Press has trouble keeping GOP talking points straight. Forget blogging — methinks Fournier should just get out of the beltway entirely, maybe score himself a nice quiet job behind the counter of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Whatever works, natch.

Related: Jack and Jill Politics rounds up a cross-section of responses to the veep announcement from POC commentators; Jimmy Orr Peter Grier provides a more, um, traditional (read: analytical) analysis; Cara is underwhelmed, skdadl is optimistic, publius is “psyched” and Hilzoy is thankful Obama didn’t pick Bayh (aren’t we all); Delaware native Shawn Mullen paints an informative (if at times fawning) portrait of Biden; various reactions from NARAL, Hillary Clinton, and Howard Wolfson, who notes that Obama’s pragmatic, traditional veep choice “gives an opening to the McCain campaign to pick a woman or make an out-of-the-box selection.”

Update: This is interesting:

The Washington Bureau Chief of the Associated Press, Ron Fournier, may command speaker’s fees of up to $10,000 per appearance.

As of this writing, Fournier appears to be available for booking through the All American Talent & Celebrity Network‘s website. I called to confirm that he was still listed with the agency, but I haven’t heard back yet.

According to his speaker bio, Fournier co-wrote a book called Applebee’s America with Bush’s former chief strategist Matthew Dowd and former high-level Clinton adviser, Doug Sosnik. Appropriately enough, the 2006 book is a treatise on political marketing for politicians, captains of industry, and mega-church pastors.

AP’s ethics policy on outside appearances:

OUTSIDE APPEARANCES:
Employees frequently appear on radio and TV news programs as panelists asking questions of newsmakers; such appearances are encouraged.

However, there is potential for conflict if staffers are asked to give their opinions on issues or personalities of the day. Advance discussion and clearance from a staffer’s supervisor are required.

Employees must inform a news manager before accepting honoraria and/or reimbursement of expenses for giving speeches or participating in seminars at colleges and universities or at other educational events if such appearance makes use of AP’s name or the employee represents himself or herself as an AP employee. No fees should be accepted from governmental bodies; trade, lobbying or special interest groups; businesses, or labor groups; or any group that would pose a conflict of interest. All appearances must receive prior approval from a staffer’s supervisor.

h/t Steve Clemons

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5 thoughts on “What Sully Said

  1. I suppose I’m optimistic, although my list of Biden bloopers just grew a little longer today, and I guess that’s inevitable.

    He’s a good talker and fighter, though, so that gives me some hope. Plus, as I said, if you’re an old chick like me, the guy is kinda cute. Never underestimate an eye that twinkles. ;-)

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  2. There were no overwhelming options* (Bayh? Kaine? Ugh). Besides, to a great extent, the veep is an underwhelming (and largely undesirable) position in an administration.

    I hate Biden for many, many reasons, but will be quite happy to finally have him out of the Senate (and thus unable to preside over any more legislative disasters like the bankruptcy bill). I would have been far more worried if Biden had been named Secretary of State or Defence *shudders*

    *re: Clinton — I still believe there’s either a judicial nomination or at the very least a prominent cabinet position with an Obama admin in her future, hopefully Health and Human Services, since Obama needs help wrt health care policy.

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  3. You mean I’d be underwhelmed no matter who was picked? Could well be true. But “Biden, not as bad as some others” doesn’t fuel the enthousiasm much. Since enthousiams seems to be a rather important part of Obama’s victories it worries me slightly. As does the fact that Biden seems to stand for almost everything Obama opposed, so we’re back to “Change you can hope for”.

    I’m not sure a judicial nomination for Clinton would be a good thing, but that might also be due to ignorance about the exact workings of the UL legal system. In the Netherlands judicial nominations are for judges and there’s less politics involved (no SCOTUS-alike, civil law).

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