Looks like newly chosen GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle (R-NV) has learned a lesson from other candidates whose introduction to the national press was less-than-friendly. She won the nomination Tuesday, and this morning made Fox and Friends her first national television appearance. She’ll follow that up with an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity.
Angle’s Fox experience this morning wasn’t exactly combative, and allowed Angle to bash rival Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by saying he’s operating with a “radical playbook.” The other national press she’s done? Laura Ingraham’s radio show on Thursday, Heidi Harris, Lars Larson (who had endorsed her candidacy), Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh. You get the idea.
On Fox today, Angle told the hosts she’s “been appealing to the whole nation” and touted her Web site to ask people to give her donations. Winning “must be such an experience for you,” host Gretchen Carlson gushed.Right before the insurgent Angle captured the nomination over a crowded Republican field in a come-from-behind victory, Nevada press were noticing she was ignoring them, too. Several local articles noted she was avoiding interviews.
Even former President Bill Clinton has noticed the silent treatment. Consider this comment Clinton made at a rally for Reid last week, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The former president made fun of Angle, saying she has disappeared from the public and had been ducking tough questions since she won the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s primary.
Recalling the children’s books and games “Where’s Waldo?” Clinton joked, “Now you’ve got to play ‘Where’s Sharron?’ because she’s hiding out, according to the local news. I might hide out, too, if I said I wanted to get rid of Social Security and Medicare.”
Of course, Reid hasn’t done any national interviews.
Even Republicans say that Rand Paul’s first mistake after winning his nomination in the Kentucky Senate race last month was doing a series of national interviews, starting with liberal Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. As we all remember, those didn’t go so well, and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee got him to back away. Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell suggested he keep it local, and Paul canceled a planned “Meet the Press” interview.
Appearing on the same “Meet the Press” episode that Paul had skipped, NRSC Chairman Sen. John Cornyn called the new nominee a “novice.” He said candidates new to the national stage “occasionally stumble on questions.”
Hotline On Call reported a roundup of the other Republicans who are “rarely quoted” by national media: Rep. Roy Blunt in Missouri, former OMB director Rob Portman in Ohio and Dino Rossi in Washington. But it’s not as if the Democrats are cable news regulars, either, and Republicans dismissed this story as no big deal since statewide candidates often focus in on local media as the way to win.
Hotline quotes NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh as saying “[Y]ou don’t get elected to the Senate by spending time in Washington D.C. or as a talking head on a late night cable show.”
Rep. Joe Sestak, who won the Democratic nomination for Senate in Pennsylvania last month, is the candidate who has done the most national press in recent weeks.
At the end of the Fox and Friends interview this morning, the hosts join Angle to challenge Reid to a debate. Watch: