As it turned out, MSNBC was a little squeamish with the idea of one of its hosts being included in a presidential straw poll.
So, as The Atlantic’s Molly Ball reported, organizers at this weekend’s Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H. ultimately honored the network’s wishes and had Joe Scarborough’s name scratched from the event’s survey.
But he did sign a lot of autographs.
“I could have gotten some good press, you know?” Scarborough told Ball. “The reception was good, I was signing some books. It was very positive.”
Oh, he still got good press. The conservative website Newsmax published a glowing report on Scarborough’s appearance at the conference.
The MSNBC morning host was a “rock star,” New Hampshire state Rep. Joseph Sweeney (R) said.
New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn called his speech “engaging, humorous, and insightful.”
And we’re told that Scarborough was kept busy at the conference signing copies of his book, “The Right Path,” which Newsmax said “has drawn sterling reviews and may offer a blueprint for Scarborough’s campaign platform if he decides to enter the 2016 fray.”
It’s fitting, really. The event that was supposedly going to cement Scarborough as a 2016 contender was nothing more than a glorified stop on his book’s never-ending publicity tour.
He gleefully wrote on Twitter this weekend that he “[s]igned hundreds of books.”
HotAir’s Jazz Shaw (who notes in his interview with Scarborough that “Joe has frequently spoken well of Hot Air”) said that the “line to get an autographed book stretched from the center of the registration area out to the main lobby of the hotel and even blocked us from getting into the press room for a brief time.”
All of this underscores what the Scarborough ’16 gossip is all about, and probably why Scarborough is doing his best to keep it alive.
He told Ball that, absent a run from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) or Jeb Bush, the GOP field is “wide open,” apparently dismissing the chances of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who actually won the weekend’s straw poll, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).
His trusty sidekick Mika Brzezinski gushed on Monday’s edition of “Morning Joe” that the book “is really a great sort of map for the Republican Party to help the party figure out how to win again.”
But she said she would never allow a White House bid “because I love my job.”
Scarborough responded to Brzeinski’s praise by calling the 2016 chatter “fun speculation.”
Speculation, it seems, that just may help him sell lots of books.