I was watching MSNBC yesterday when I got a tutorial on how much hot air passes for analysis these days. The discussion was centered on the “reported” offer by Barack Obama of the Secretary of State position to Hillary Clinton.
Here is how the “analysis” went.
– Did he really offer the position to her or did he not?
– Will she accept the offer, or will she not?
– If she accepts the offer, and if Bill Clinton is appointed an envoy, will he end up working for her?
– If she does not accept the offer, why would that be? Is it because she doesn’t want to be vetted?
– Who leaked the offer to the media? Was it Obama’s camp or Clinton’s camp?
– Why did they leak – was it a deliberate/ “strategic” leak or was it not?
– If it was a deliberate leak by Obama’s camp, what was the strategy behind it – did they want her to accept, or did they really want her to reject the offer, but be seen as offering it to her? Or were they trying to damp Kerry’s hopes or send a message to Bill Richardson?
– If Obama wants to really offer Secretary of State to Clinton, was it because he wants to put together a “band of rivals” like Lincoln? Was he taking the Godfather’s advice – “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”.
– Or was he floating the idea to see how his followers would react to Clinton’s appointment?
– If it was not a deliberate leak by the Obama camp, does it mean we can expect a lot more leaks from the so-far leakless Obama camp?
– If it was a leak by the Clinton camp, why did they leak it?
– When Clinton joked about the speculation in Albany, did she do that because she was serious about the offer, or because she wasn’t?
– Will Kerry feel bad? He gave Obama his first chance on the national spotlight. Will Richardson feel hurt? He endorsed Obama at a crucial juncture.
There was much more, and this went on for two whole hours – first thrashed out by Chris Matthews, and again rehashed by Keith Olbermann.
I wondered if this was what I should expect on television for the next four, or maybe even eight years.
Maybe it doesn’t matter – I have already torn out most of my hair.
I tried switching channels – but what are my choices? Another “analysis” on why the market crashed again, on CNBC? House flipping on HGTV? Yet another rerun of a program on the Grand Canyon (Travel channel)?
I think I shall take up knitting. Or Hatha Yoga. Unless you guys have better ideas?