This is just ... well it's beautiful. Sarah Isgur Flores, former deputy campaign manager for the Fiorina campaign, was on MSNBC on Tuesday night to provide analysis of the election returns. And boy howdy she analyzed all right. She analyzed all up in their faces.
Oohhhhh snap!! Here's the full transcript from Newsbusters:
RACHEL MADDOW: Why do people like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker and Jeb Bush and so many other sort of less complicated messengers of that conservative message flame out so bad and so early?
SARAH ISGUR FLORES: Well, I think one way you look at that is just tonight. Donald Trump tweets something, all of Twitter ended over his tweet about Ted Cruz' wife. The media has covered it endlessly. How much live town halls did any of the cables cover for any of the people you just mentioned versus that the time they gave —
MADDOW: But that’s competitive advantage that he chose to try to — he ran a —
FLORES: It’s an enormous competitive advantage.
MADDOW: Right. Right, but that just means that nobody else in the field was good at competing with him on those terms.
FLORES: Or that cable news cared more about the that than the democracy that they were reporting about where you look at — I mean, $2 billion in earned media isn’t just that he was better at capturing earned media.
MADDOW: The way that — the root word of news is the word new. The reason that the news spent a lot time covering Donald Trump more then it spent covering other candidates is that every time he opened his mouth, he made some sort of controversial comment that changed the news cycle and so, people ended up following him to do that. The media wasn’t rooting for him to become president by doing that. They were following him because he was driving a good media strategy. No other Republican even competing with him on that for a second, which is a competitive failure. Not something that you can say the media choose the candidate.
FLORES: Well then, we’ve set up an incentive system moving forward where I don’t think you’re going to like the candidates you’re going to see.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Well — well — yeah but — look —
MADDOW: Right. The incentive system is something that the candidates exploit to win.
I love this. It was of course, totally civil and it would be a shame if Rachel Maddow doesn't have her on again (although it's my opinion that Maddow is a pretty honest dealer when it comes to her guests and I wouldn't expect fallout from the exchange.)
But look Flores is of course 100% correct. I have seen this everywhere I've traveled covering this election. People see nothing but unchallenged Trump every day on their TV. His every word is played over and over and, when it is challenged, it is challenged from the left by the hated left-wing media. The result of which is that all a lot of people see is Trump saying "Rah Rah Rah" and media folks either smiling with him or calling him a racist.
What you didn't and don't see is 24/7 live coverage of Cruz townhalls, Rubio speeches, Bush campaign stops, Rand Paul .. anything, and the list goes on. Maddows's defense that Trump does more things that are newsworthy is a particularly gross observation, because what she is conceding is the old "blead it leads" bit. They watch Trump waiting for him to say something crazy. And he delivers. It's a perfect racket. He won't suffer with his voters and he picks up new ones from all the free air time. That's not a system that rewards a serious candidate or serious consideration of the issues. It's one that rewards being a jerk or a democrat. (Or in Trump's case, both.)
In any case, that was a hella good answer by Flores. Just makes me all the more wistful about one of my favorite candidates this campaign season, Carly Fiorina.