Bill Schneider Phones It In

When you decide to do a weekly segment on television news, you’d better be prepared to stretch your credibility on occasion when there is no news that fits your formula.

And so it is with CNN’s alleged "political analyst" Bill Schneider‘s Play of the Week on the news channel’s weekly Inside Politics show.

Today Schneider awarded the Political Play of the Week to Hurricane Charley. He justifies bestowing the award on the force of nature pounding the Florida coast by making the point that "People said this election could turn on events: a terrorist attack; a sudden upturn or downturn in the economy; the capture of Osama bin Laden," but nobody suspected one of those events could be a hurricane.

According to Schneider’s penetrating insight, "The outcome of this election could be in Charley’s hands" because "Voters all over the country will be paying attention to how the government responds" and that could affect the political fates of both Bushes, George and Jeb.

Well, I guess it could, Bill, but it requires more suspension of disbelief than I’m capable of. It assumes that Hurricane Charley will be disastrous enough to have political ramifications. That, of course, remains to be seen.

More importantly, it assumes that both Jeb and George Bush don’t understand basic politics. If you remember your Politics 101 class, you’ll recall that a fundamental tenant of keeping your constituents happy is by pulling out all the stops in the wake of a natural disaster.

I’m not normally that generous to either Bush but I’m willing to give them this much: I’m confident that there’s a 99.9 percent chance that the Bushes will pull out all the stops if they need to in Florida.

Unfortunately, this sorry excuse for analysis is far too common for Schneider but, hey, it’s a good gig if you can get it.

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