NBC’s David Gregory: GOP has no “Grand Wizard” to force out Cain; Update: Gregory apologizes

posted at 9:50 am on November 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Well, that makes sense.  After all, the political party of the Ku Klux Klan wasn’t the Republicans, was it?  Click the image to watch:

Gregory, NBC, grand wizard

Ann Curry, NBC News: “He’s not stepping down, continuing to suck the air out of the narrative the Republican party really wants to tell. Does the party now wish he would just go away?”

David Gregory, NBC News: “Well there is no, you know, grand wizard in the party right now who can really force the issue. I’ve talked to Cain’s advisers in Iowa, they think their support is still strong there, that it’s not falling. There may be cracks in the foundation according to pollsters I’m talking to, that his numbers may be starting to shift but right now core support remains there.”

So … what’s the implication here?  That the Democratic Party has “grand wizards” that can boot candidates out of presidential races against their will?  That’s absurd on the face of it, and all anyone has to do is note Dennis Kucinich’s two runs at the Presidency for proof.  Parties lost the explicit ability to control the candidates when the open primary began prevailing over the open convention model.  It’s true that political-party establishments can coax or discourage candidacies at every level, but that doesn’t work when the candidate doesn’t hold any elective office at the moment and has enough money to run his or her own campaign.

Besides the jaw-dropping reference to the Klan, the statement is absurd on its face anyway.  It’s the same as lamenting that a Deus ex machina doesn’t actually exist to solve a specific, momentary problem of any kind.  Those only existed in Greek theater, not real life, much like the “grand wizards” in Gregory’s head that handpick candidates for presidential races.

Update: Let’s enter the Wayback Machine and recall this catch by Newsbusters from six months ago (via HA reader Pain Train):

GREGORY: First of all, you gave a speech in Georgia with language a lot of people think could be coded racially-tinged language, calling the president, the first black president, a food stamp president.

GINGRICH: Oh, come on, David.

GREGORY: What did you mean? What was the point?

REP. GINGRICH: That’s, that’s bizarre. That–this kind of automatic reference to racism, this is the president of the United States. The president of the United States has to be held accountable. Now, the idea that–and what I said is factually true. Forty-seven million Americans are on food stamps. One out of every six Americans is on food stamps. And to hide behind the charge of racism? I have–I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.

Can someone please take the race card out of Gregory’s less-than-full deck, please?

Update II:  Via an NBC News e-mail, David Gregory apologized for the comment on Twitter later:

“Wizard” remark this morning was a very poor choice of words. Did not mean to make that connection at all. Was not thinking. I apologize

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