McCain pollster: You know who I’d like to beat with a hammer? Frank Luntz

posted at 8:56 pm on November 20, 2008 by Allahpundit

Inherently blogworthy, not so much on the merits as for the exciting possibility that threatening to bludgeon people is now part of mainstream political discourse. Too bad we didn’t know this last month: The flaming I got from some of our commenters for posting all those gloomy polls would have been a lot more entertaining.

“We had a very unpopular war and the most unpopular president in American polling history,” he explained, by way of summarizing the election. “We had a 70 percent wrong track and we were winning. We were winning. And what happened? We said that’s not hard enough for John McCain. We should implode the financial markets. And what happens? We go from 70 percent wrong track to literally 90 percent.”

Unrestrained by the formalities of the election, McInturff levied some sharps words at fellow GOPers who — generally speaking — never really were bullish on the idea of a McCain presidency. The most biting jabs were saved for communications guru Frank Luntz.

“I saw Frank Luntz,” said McInturff, “who is a moron — I want to make sure this is clearly on the record — he was talking to Republican governors, making fun of John for not being able to use a BlackBerry. The man can’t do it because he is much more disabled than people can imagine… I would like to take a hammer and start breaking bones in Frank’s arms.”

I think he means “I’d like to break his arms just so he can see firsthand how tough it is for McCain to use computers” — which it is — but let’s not spoil a good throwdown with rhetorical niceties. In Luntz’s defense, his aim with the Republican governors wasn’t to gratuitously goof on Maverick but to use his inexperience with computers as a metaphor for the huge advantage Team Barry had over Team McCain on the ‘Net. Quote:

Noting that Obama has an e-mail list of 10 million voters, Luntz said that coalition “makes him and his supporters the most powerful special interest group in all of America.”

“He’s got 10 million names and our candidate doesn’t know how to use this,” Luntz continued, holding up his BlackBerry in the air. “There is a problem there.”

It’s not about who’s better on the ‘berry, it’s about who did a better job of turning his online presence into cash and votes. Don’t kill the messenger — or, er, beat him with a hammer. Exit question: If Hillary does land at State and things turn predictably contentious, will she or The One be the first to threaten the other publicly with a crowbar?


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Sure hope its a political hammer!

canopfor on November 20, 2008 at 8:58 PM

I’ll hold him…

right2bright on November 20, 2008 at 9:00 PM

right2bright on November 20, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Be careful of his “hair”!

Cindy Munford on November 20, 2008 at 9:02 PM

I don’t know why anyone would hire Luntz. I share his opinion. But not for the same reason.

eaglesdontflock on November 20, 2008 at 9:03 PM

And you’re standing up for Luntz?

FAIL.

wccawa on November 20, 2008 at 9:03 PM

I can’t remember who it was, but i remember some of McCain’s campaign staff using profanity while speaking on the record. It didn’t bother me, but it probably did bother some people and just seemed unprofessional.

clearbluesky on November 20, 2008 at 9:05 PM

Luntz was on Fox News talking about the worst ads of the political season and pointed to Obama’s ad of McCain not able to use a computer.
Yet he makes a very sick and idiotic joke about McCain’s war injuries, whether he meant to or not.
Luntz is an idiot with a bad toupee.

jencab on November 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM

If Hillary does land at State and things turn predictably contentious, will she or The One be the first to threaten the other publicly with a crowbar?

You’re just trying to give me a reason to live.

Cindy Munford on November 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM

We have no one to blame but “us.” We shot our own foot. With friends like these, Obama didn’t need all his millions of questionable donations….

DL13 on November 20, 2008 at 9:09 PM

Oh now this gets juicy,if HilRod gets anywhere near
Hopey’s administration as Secretary of state,for HilRod
or Changey,there better be a seperate Secret Service
detail just to keep the ‘One’,and Hillary safe from one
another!

And the Secret Service better secure all ashtrays in the
entire White House,because Hillary almost killed Bill with
one in a heated debate years ago!!

canopfor on November 20, 2008 at 9:11 PM

Well I hope that thing on his head has had it’s rabies shot.

anniekc on November 20, 2008 at 9:13 PM

He should catch a beating just for wearing that rug.

JammieWearingFool on November 20, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Funny comments. I’m laughing and I’m not even loaded.:)

whitetop on November 20, 2008 at 9:27 PM

Even though McCain couldn’t physically use a BlackBerry (without some kind of stylus,) it was a big mistake to give the impression that he was also incurious about the technology. Once that impression (that he was incurious) was out there, McCain did little or nothing to shoot it down. It seems like a small thing, but it was a great help to the Obama campaign in labeling McCain a dinosaur.

RBMN on November 20, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Scuse me, McInturff, but where was a strong, attention-getting, headline-grabbing statement like that WHEN WE MORGAN FREEMAN NEEDED IT?!

L.N. Smithee on November 20, 2008 at 9:34 PM

Lub it!

SWLiP on November 20, 2008 at 9:38 PM

I’m glad I am not the only one who isn’t a Luntz fan.

jcheney on November 20, 2008 at 9:39 PM

I have said time and time again that his panels he used were a joke just like those stupid ones CNN and MSNBC and the text messages FOX used.

KBird on November 20, 2008 at 9:47 PM

Cindy Munford on November 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM

heh… pithy

Hog Wild on November 20, 2008 at 9:55 PM

That’s DR. Frank Luntz, to you. What’s up with that, anyway?

flyoverland on November 20, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Once again:

In 2000, McCain was “the most cybersavvy of this year’s crop of candidates.” But of course, back then he was running against Bush.

Jim Treacher on November 20, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Obama’s strength with his nutroots and online presence had nothing to do with Internet savvy or using computers. Obama didn’t mind breaking election laws and taking debit card and credit card money from anyone, anywhere in the world. It had to do with being willing to lie, cheat and steal. McCain wouldn’t.

odannyboy on November 20, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Exit question: If Hillary does land at State and things turn predictably contentious, will she or The One be the first to threaten the other publicly with a crowbar?

If we’re talking publicly, neither. If we’re talking privately, I know Hillary’s got a great lamp-throwin’ arm.

pookysgirl on November 20, 2008 at 10:03 PM

I needed a good laugh.

V15J on November 20, 2008 at 10:06 PM

A loser threatening a loser. Sweet!

SouthernGent on November 20, 2008 at 10:08 PM

Seems a bit extreme, what? Is this guy from the same great McCain team that so nobly stood up for Sarah?

Y-not on November 20, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Metaphor this, nuance that. Oh! what he meant by that was….. Why can’t anyone speak plain English. Quit offering excuses for these media guys who are supposed to know how to communicate. I know what McInturff said and meant. I also know what Luntz said and it cetainly wasn’t shrouded in nuance!

Vince on November 20, 2008 at 10:29 PM

First they blame Palin, then Rush, then Luntz.

McCain lost because of McCain. Google McCain opposition research and you will know why McCain attacked Romney more than Obama.

igoramus08 on November 20, 2008 at 10:44 PM

I can’t stand Luntz anyway, and I get the guy’s point. When I watched Fox I hated his “But WAIT! Look what the people say: Raise your hands if you think I should be, because of my annoying persona, quarantined by the CDC?” [hands go up.]

If Hillary does land at State and things turn predictably contentious, will she or The One be the first to threaten the other publicly with a crowbar?

She’ll throw a lamp and call him a string of expletives, none of which, she will publicly proclaim, were racial.

emailnuevo on November 20, 2008 at 10:56 PM

Not suprising he’s popular (Obama). People love rainbows and pixie dust instead of the truth.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m waiting for the incredible laugh I am going to have when the “checks” that are going to change people’s lives don’t show up.

Wait by your mailbox if you feel the need to do so. Pack a lunch, you are going to need it, in a bad way.

Talk is cheap. A hard lesson a lot of American’s are about to learn. Thank God my Mom taught me that when I was young. Saved me a whole lot of disappointment…

Hog Wild on November 20, 2008 at 11:00 PM

I agree with every word McInturff said, except it wasn’t President Bush who caused the economic melt down, it was the people who won the election. Republican governors and congressmen, except for Palin, sat on their hands after the convention. They make me want to puke. All of them.

rlwo2008 on November 20, 2008 at 11:08 PM

The Repubs have no one to blame but themselves for mcCain, and he is to blame for his losing.

John The Baptist on November 20, 2008 at 11:20 PM

Jim Treacher has pointed out in this thread (and in the related Headlines thread) that McCain was Salon’s “most cybersavvy” presidential candidate in 2000. Something obviously changed because Luntz’s comments that got McInturff all riled up merely highlighed the common perception amongst many voters (possibly around 52% of them) that the Republican Party is the party of old guys that stand on their porches yelling for kids to get off their lawn–-which if you’ve seen the commercials on FOX News or heard the sponsors of the majority of right-leaning talk radio shows you’d swear that perception to be 100% accurate.

Look, the notion that McCain doesn’t use a computer or Blackberry because of his war injuries rather than not knowing how to use it has been challenged by Maverick himself during his campaign. In January 2008, when asked if he was a Mac or PC guy, McCain replied: “Neither. I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get.” In September 2008 he told reporters that “I am learning to get online myself… I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.” That’s different than flat out not being able to type on a laptop or mobile device because you’re injured.

All McCain needed to say to a reporter was: “Yes, I am a huge fan of all the innovative new mobile devices and recognize the power of the Internet, but the thing is that I can’t personally spend too much time on a keyboard because my arms were broken during my torture in a Vietcong prison.” He could’ve then used that as a starting point for talking about his plans to grow the economy using technology, have a discussion about healthcare reform, Gitmo, et cetera.

But he didn’t do that. And I think we all know that nobody in the media was going to ask him about it if he didn’t bring it up.

McCain’s website was so rudimentary and simplistic compared to The One. The social networking hooks on McCain’s campaign website were almost non-existent until they launched a “McCainSpace” subpage… in late August. McCain did some strong web videos on YouTube but even those weren’t done until the last few weeks of the campaign–-and were basically just TV ads that someone encoded in Adobe Flash to be view in 320 X 240 resolution. McCain’s tribe was fighting with flint tipped arrows while The One had an army of thralls in plate armor and catapults.

Luntz was advising all Republicans to embrace new technologies to make better connections with voters and was pointing out McCain’s failures in that arena because as the Republican presidential candidate, McCain was the standard bearer for the Republican Party. Luntz points out these facts and McInturff called him “a moron” and said “I would like to take a hammer and start breaking bones in Frank’s arms” in response.

Not good…

ScottMcC on November 21, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Look, I’ve been on the front end of technology for years.

The use of a Blackberry or any other device is nothing more than another utensil. It is a mode of communication, not the communication itself.

Direct mailers have vast data bases of contacts too, but are you interested in receiving more unsolicited mailings?

Consider your own email in box, what percentage of your email is valuable to you? Sheesh.

Captain America on November 21, 2008 at 12:28 AM

You know Frank Luntz does have that “come kick my ass” look about him. Allah captured that essence so well in the picture.

Theworldisnotenough on November 21, 2008 at 1:13 AM

Here, I’ll list all the differences between Luntz and a publicity-seeking, preening Media Whore…..

__________________

Janos Hunyadi on November 21, 2008 at 1:38 AM

But wait… I agree ‘killing the messenger’ moves no agenda forward but Republicans, and especially conservatives, have made that a mantra which worked a few cycles ago but now it sounds hollow and hackneyed every time it is rolled out.

Time to find people who can communicate and articulate. Palin did badly with the press… not because of filters but because she managed to come across as if on some sort of medication gone wrong. No filter made the message incoherent. The fractured messages coming from the right obscured the core values and message of the party. Against the Bush legacy the McCain campaign did as well as could be expected. Blaming the messenger and anyone else other than Bush is misplaced.

lexhamfox on November 21, 2008 at 1:57 AM

Proof positive Queeg’s campaign was run by libs.

So quick to violence in defeat…

Hey, Earth to Captain Ahab! How about showing some of that oft touted “honor” you’ve talking up since 2000 and admonishing some of these wretches?

Reflects poorly on you, seriously.

SuperCool on November 21, 2008 at 2:05 AM

With all the pre-election hype, with all the appearances all over TV, the “independent” voters, the graphs, the gizmos with the dials, the flush faced interviews…………

………………… he couldn’t ask just a few simple questions BEFORE the election that would have said it all.

Why anyone would even waste the time to fart in any “pollsters” general direction is beyond me……..

………….. the MSM and the pollsters are just propaganda machines, and now we have to live with it.

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2008 at 2:14 AM

One night in the Hanoi Hilton would satisfy me. And that goes for you too AP!

Easydoesit on November 21, 2008 at 5:41 AM

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m waiting for the incredible laugh I am going to have when the “checks” that are going to change people’s lives don’t show up.

Hog Wild on November 20, 2008 at 11:00 PM

I wish I could share your optimism that these checks won’t be showing up, but I doubt it. Lots of money will be handed out to our permanently-entitled, never-taxpaying class under the guise of “recession relief” or some other mild description.

It’ll go like this: Obama promised a federal tax cut to 95% of Americans, 40% or whom don’t pay any federal taxes to begin with so their “cut” is just a welfare check.

The financial crisis will require a walkback on this promise so the “most able” of this group will be called upon to do their “fair share” which means no cut, and probably an increase, for the 55% who do pay taxes.

Checks will then go out to the 40% who never have paid taxes, subject of course to the usual “correct” demographic/geographic criteria – the rural poor will not be determined to be anywhere near as needy as the urban poor because the rural poor are predominantly… you know. Rednecks and such, not reliably 100% Democrat voters. Dismissible.

Gilda on November 21, 2008 at 6:13 AM

There are many I’d love to bludgeon, but Frank Lutz isn’t the first on the list. He IS on the list yes, but he’s not #1.

I’ll let you guess who the #1 spot ought to be occupied by, but I’ll give one hint….

The things I hate most in this world is socialism, communism, and the tenets behind it; keynessian economics.s

Spiritk9 on November 21, 2008 at 7:00 AM

Obama’s strength with his nutroots and online presence had nothing to do with Internet savvy or using computers. Obama didn’t mind breaking election laws and taking debit card and credit card money from anyone, anywhere in the world. It had to do with being willing to lie, cheat and steal. McCain wouldn’t.

odannyboy on November 20, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Yes, it’s a lot easier for a candidate to raise tons of money when they’re not limiting themselves to U.S. donors, as McCain did. It’s also easier to get more votes when you have groups like ACORN signing up illegal aliens (sure amigo, just check the little box on the registration form that says you’re an American citizen; nobody will ever verify it). Winning’s always easier for the ones who’re willing to cheat and lie, and once the cheater has won and is in power, who’s going to investigate him?

AZCoyote on November 21, 2008 at 7:33 AM

What good is Barry’s email list going to do him when he bankrupts the coal industry and the electric plants have to shut down because there is no coal to run them? The battery in a laptop only works for so long before it needs a re-charge.

Bicyea on November 21, 2008 at 7:43 AM

I do not have nor do I know how to use a blackberry. Of course, I’ve never had a need to.

abcurtis on November 21, 2008 at 8:18 AM

The Repubs have no one to blame but themselves for mcCain, and he is to blame for his losing.

John The Baptist on November 20, 2008 at 11:20 PM

No problem, but people like Luntz, and fools like Huck didn’t help the Republican cause any.

right2bright on November 21, 2008 at 8:29 AM

The battery in a laptop only works for so long before it needs a re-charge.

Bicyea on November 21, 2008 at 7:43 AM

Apparently you are very backward in your thinking…you are not a “green” progressive.
Here is Obama’s answer to your silly statement.
Learn to live in a GREEN world…or die.

right2bright on November 21, 2008 at 8:34 AM

I agree with McInturff, Luntz is a moron and all of his “focus group”.

Falz on November 21, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Maybe we’ll be witness to the first White House Blackberry wars. Luntz is ok, and now he’s rich.

Griz on November 21, 2008 at 10:36 AM

…the exciting possibility that threatening to bludgeon people is now part of mainstream political discourse.

But isn’t already? Didn’t I hear Karl Rove cite the example (albeit more than a decade ago) of Rahm Emmanuel ranting about Clinton’s political enemies and driving a knife repatedly into a table saying “Die! Die! Die!”?

You have posited this as the “exit question” :

If Hillary does land at State and things turn predictably contentious, will she or The One be the first to threaten the other publicly with a crowbar?

But, in light of the above, doesn’t it need amending in terms of (a) the parties and (b) the weapon of choice?

Blaise on November 21, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Frank Luntz is a putz. A room full of people turning little dials? Why don’t they just consult their mood rings?

Kalifornia Kafir on November 21, 2008 at 12:25 PM