read: "Sir Harold Evans request the pleasure
of your company
for dinner and a conversation on The Media &
The Presidency [with] panelists: Dan Rather, HDNet;
Ed Rollins, Republican Political Consultant; Joe
Scarborough, MSNBC; Bob Shrum, TheWeek.com;
Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes; and Jacob Weisberg,
The Slate Group, moderated by Sir Harold
Evans, The Week. [The event was] sponsored
by The Alliance for Climate Protection."
The room was filled
with New York's glittery literary: Here is a list
of the guests from the press release (Jonathan
Marder & Associates): "...Amanda
Burden, Chuck Scarborough, Shari (Mrs. Ed) Rollins,
Tina Brown (Lady Evans), George Rush, Barbara
Warner Howard, Nicholas Wapshott, Caroline Graham,
Paula Zahn, Faye Wattleton, Heather Watts and
Damian Woetzel, former Governor Bill Weld, Gigi
and M Shafik Gabr, Patricia Duff, Debbie Bancroft,
Elizabeth Peabody and her father Sam Peabody,
Peter and Jamee Gregory, Kelvin McKenzie, Robin
Duke, Mary McFadden, Mary Louise Oates (Mrs. Bob
Shrum), Ernie Pomerantz, Tara Meltzer, Valentin
and Yaz Hernandez, Rick Hertzberg, Marsia Holzer,
Richard Johnson, Barbara and Michael Gross, Frederic
Fekkai and Shirin von Wolfen, Tom Freston, Michael
Goodwin, Catharine and David Hamilton, Richard
Cohen, Cece Cord, Ana Marie Cox, Shirley Lord
Rosenthal, Joni Evans and Bob Perkins, Jeff Bercovici,
Jeff and Myrna Blyth, Pamela Keogh, Steve and
Cynthia Brill." Be
sure to scroll down for photographs of the guests
and information about The Week.
Joe Scarborough, Sir Harold
Evans, Leslie Stahl,
Jacob Weisberg and Ed Rollins
Over three hundred
guests responded to the invitation and enjoyed
a lively evening of cocktails, dinner and rousing
political discourse. The panel discussion was
moderated by Sir Harold Evans, Editor at Large
of The Week. Perhaps taking advice from
Mohammed Ali to "float like a butterfly and
sting like a bee," Sir Harold kept the discussion
on track and engaged.
Bob Shrum, Joe Scarborough
and Dan Rather
Wit and insight
reigned. Joe Scarborough was especially funny
(not my usual opinion), quipping that: "Hilary
Clinton is my girlfriend; I just don't like to
talk about it," and throughout the night
ribbing Bob Shrum: "Why are you so
angry? You won!"
Joe Scarborough, Dan Rather
and Sir Harold Evans
Here are some selected quotes from the night's
Sir Harold Evans
opened the discussion by asking what everyone
thought of the Presidential campaign.
Rollins: [Rollins worked on the Mike Huckabee
campaign.] The Republican race was a Nascar race;
the Democrats ran a marathon.... Barack Obama
ran the best campaign I have ever seen.
Shrum: And Obama ran against two people.
Harold Evans: Could the Republicans have run a
Dan Rather: McCain
was the best candidate the Republicans had.
Rollins: The Republicans tend to nominate
the next guy in line.
Stahl: ...you have to give a lot of credit
to McCain personally for helping Obama win.
Scarborough: The Republican campaign was
run by a bunch of day traders [constantly changing
Weisberg: Obama used his skill as a writer
to help him win.... Obama did not take any advice
that modified his personality. McCain took too
Sir Harold Evans:
But could any Republican have won after the last
Scarborough: After Katrina, I saw volunteers
in a church parking lot ripping the Bush bumper
stickers off their cars. They saw an administration
that could not manage a flood in Louisiana.
Sir Harold Evans: How
can the Republicans turn things around?
Rollins: We cannot walk away from the base.
What do Republicans stand for? I doubt anyone
in the room knows. Most Republicans wouldn't know.
We have to get back to the base.
Rather: They need to listen to America.
Get on the web.
Sir Harold Evans:
Was the media biased towards Obama?
Weisberg: The media had a bias because
Obama sold newspapers.
Shrum: [Regarding McCain and the press]...
he was hosed in the press because he ran a bad
Rather: Journalists love the new and Obama
was the new. Can he climb this mountain? Obama
was the best story.
Weisberg: Hillary could not win after March,
but the media wanted the story, so we kept it
Shrum: From March on Hillary had a ten
Rollins: Hillary was a great candidate;
Barack Obama was a superb candidate.
Shrum: Hilary Clinton did an amazing job
of helping Obama get elected from the convention
Rather: The press has the power to persuade
and the power to inspire.... Most better educated
voters supported Obama and most press are better
Sir Harold Evans
then asked about McCain's choice of Palin.
Sir Harold Evans to Ed Rollins: Did the McCain
campaign ever contact Huckabee about the Vice
Rollins: There was no conversation with
Huckabee about the Vice Presidency. Nor did he
Shrum: Palin was a disaster.
Scarborough: Sarah Palin worked until the
Sir Harold Evans:
Was Palin destroyed by comedy? Did you feel sorry
Stahl: No...I did not. [Regarding McCain's
impulsivity] We always heard rumors about McCain
being hot-headed, that there was another McCain,
one we did not see on the first campaign trail
Rollins: McCain ran his own campaign the
way he runs his office and he always has a messy
Question about the 2000 election.
Joe Scarborough: The press
was much harder on Al Gore than on Bush. Bush
was new. After the third debate I thought, "Doesn't
anyone notice that he [Bush] doesn't speak English?"
Shrum: Gore won the election, he just wasn't
Scarborough: Both Al Gore and Hillary were
treated worse than Obama.
Question from the
audience about how the Republicans kept telling
lies and even when they were found to be lies,
they kept repeating them.
Scarborough: [Regarding Joe the plumber
who was not a plumber or even named Joe] That
type of strategy does not work when people are
jumping out of windows.
Rather: The election was about generational
change, more about generational change than race
or gender. It was the You Tube election.
|Tina Brown and Dan Rather
||Governor William Weld
|David Patrick Columbia
and Margaret Carlson
|CeCe Cord and
M Shafik and Gigi Gabr
|Chuck Scarborough and
Mary Alice Williams
||Cynthia and Steven Brill
Mary McFadden, Peter Gregory
and Elizabeth Peabody
Frederic Fekkai and Shirin
Joni Evans and Bob Perkins
Jim Hoge, Orin Kramer
Shirley Lord Rosenthal
Here is a
quote from the press release about The Week:
"The Week is the fastest growing
news and opinion magazine in America. Every week,
The Week’s editors scour hundreds
of newspapers, magazines, and web sites, seeking
out the most intriguing stories and the most thoughtful
commentary - left, right, and everything in between.
The Week’s focus is broad: U.S. and international
news, the best columns from here and abroad, business,
health, science, and technology, plus books, film,
the arts, consumer reviews, and leisure activities."