I guess that “truce” was for real: Not only did he give Major Garrett a full 11 minutes but he did it the day after they got stomped in Virginia and New Jersey. Peace in our time! You can take your pick of the video below or the transcript; curiously, there are no questions about the recent hostilities. Nothing about Anita Dunn dumping all over Fox on Kurtz’s show a few weeks ago or Axelrod himself recently calling FNC “not really a news station.” Nothing about the White House refusing to let Fox interview Obama for the rest of the year or trying to bar Garrett from chatting with “pay czar” Ken Feinberg at the last minute. Nothing even about the administration’s creepy attempt to quarantine Fox’s scoops by lecturing other news networks on what should and shouldn’t count as news. I can only assume that Axelrod declared Fox-related questions off limits as a condition of the interview. Or maybe Garrett, as a hard news reporter, is embarrassed by all the petty squabbling and didn’t want to waste precious face time on questions about the White House’s media paranoia?
Nothing terribly revelatory here (although his comments about young Democrats and independents staying home without Obama on the ticket bode ill for his party in the midterms), but let’s correct yet another bit of lame spin about NY-23. Quote:
Fox News: Why should millions of votes in New Jersey and Virginia matter less than a larger political atmosphere than the relatively smaller number of votes in New York-23?
Axelrod: Well, I think you have to look at what those races were. The New York-23 race was the one race that was really a microcosm of the national debate. The other races in New Jersey and in Virginia were really state races very much focused on state issues and Jersey was very much focused on Gov. Corzine. But in New York-23 the issues that we’re discussing every day in Washington were very much on the ballot and particularly because of the purge of the republican candidate by the right.
Um, (a) Bob McDonnell ran explicitly on jobs, which I’m pretty sure are being discussed every day in Washington, and (b) one of Hoffman’s biggest weaknesses was that he was perceived as a carpetbagger. He lives outside the district, had basically no relationship with the local party bosses, and, when questioned by the area newspaper, famously showed little knowledge of local issues. Given how close the race was, that may have alienated just enough voters to tip it — which would make the result in NY-23 the most, not the least, parochial of the big three last night.
But whatever. There’s no arguing with spin. Exit question: Was Axelrod forced to do this interview simply because his cable news options are diminishing? Read it and weep, CNN fans.