MSNBC debuted the program Race To The White House today in Tucker's old time slot and the review from the C&L staff is mixed at best. We realize that it's the first run for this show, but the faces and format are all familiar and there is definitely room for improvement. Host David Gregory does an admirable job, although he loses control of the panel, allowing the lone wingnut to dominate the conversation by yelling and spewing delusional talking points over the other panelists -- something we were hoping to see less of.
Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson and Chuck Todd were spot on, as usual. Where the show stumbles is the presence of Joe Scarborough and his rampant, fact-free ranting which drops the IQ of the show by double digits. The panel discusses the tanking U.S. economy and the mortgage meltdown and the Scar defends President Bush saying it wasn't deregulation that caused the current crisis, it was greedy homeowners:
Scar: "This is not the type of economy it was in 1992 when Bill Clinton got elected. It's not the economy stupid, yet, for most voters out there."
Gregory:"Rachel, there's a big disagreement about that."
Maddow:"Yeah, Joe, if you were running for reelection on the basis of a platform right now that the economy's actually secretly awesome, we just can't tell, I don't think that you'd be reelected. [snip]
Scar:"This did not happen because of deregulation, this happened because homeowners got more home than they could afford, they got interest only loans, they gambled wildly because they wanted to turn it around and make hundreds of thousands of dollars and guess what? The market changed! [snip] You know what, no consequences. Gamble, go to Vegas, lose your money and you know what? We're going to blame it on GEORGE BUSH!"
Joe has his own MSNBC morning show where he can yell and brow beat his co-hosts all he wants, isn't that enough? The cheesy graphics are distracting and the sound effects and music are a little annoying. We give Race For The White House a C+. Lose the Scar and it automatically jumps into B territory.
UPDATE: The Huffington Post has another clip from the same show with Scarborough getting caught on-air stuffing a brownie in his face. Watch the clip here.