Dana Milbank Live

May 06, 2011

Dana Milbank Live is your weekly opportunity for a give and take with Dana centering on the latest political news in Washington and his recent columns.

Each chat also features your responses to Dana's Etch-a-Sketch requests -- his lazy attempt to get you to do his work for him by seeking your best lines about the week's political oddities.

I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night, but I'm still on the adrenaline rush I got when I learned from Frank Luntz's focus group that Herman Cain was the runaway winner of the GOP debate.  As far as I am concerned, he is now the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.  I believe he will triumph in Iowa and New Hampshire after adapting the Godfather's Pizza slogan so that he is now "a president you can't refuse" rather than "a pizza you can't refuse."  If he finds that the others are closing in on him, he need only offer voters a slice of "Mozza-loaded crust pizza" (slogan: "Be careful: It's loaded.").  

I look forward to your questions, as well as any intel you can bring me on why my picture keeps showing up in restrooms of bars around Washington.




With the panel of nut jobs at the debate last night, is it too much to expect that Orly Taitz might be selected as VP by the eventual winner?

I believe she would complement Herman Cain nicely.  If people lose fillings because of the Mozza-loaded crust on his pizza, she can do their dental work.

Did you watch it? Nothing says "presidential" like an obnoxiously loud bell ringing every 60 seconds.

More of a "ding-ding" I thought.  Made it more like a game show.  One of my man Cain's better lines was when he stopped midsentence when the dinger dinged.  "Good brakes," he said when Bret Baier commented on his abrupt stop.

I have the answer. I have the answer. And the answer is...... to work at Blackwater in charge of ethics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_46AorP9aU

Let the mighty Blackwater pour

Like she's never poured before

From fortified shore to fortified shore

Let the mighty Blackwater pour.

Which would you prefer: Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain or Sarah Palin and Donald Trump

Please.  Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.  Get the order correct.

I am now a devoted scholar of Hermaneutics, and I plan to see him all the way through to the nomination. 

who would you chose?

Well, I like both the Taitz and the Bachmann suggestions.  But I think the best possible choice would be Pete Coors.  The pizza-and-beer combination is just unbeatable.

What was the event that allowed them to do that? Was is the SEALs' derring do? The long form birth certificate's existence? Or perhaps it was Donald Trump backing out of driving the Indianapolis 500 Pace car?

They have not dropped it!  Reince Preibus says so.

And even if they try to drop it the Democrats are making sure it is covered in tar so they will not be able to.


while his suggested changes are a radical departure from what is happening now, they all are logical. removing minimum wages removes govt interference in market pricing. those who view themselves as underpaid can simply search for work elsewhere. corporate taxes serve as a tariff on a country's own goods, and our country is the world's highest - though the larger co's who can afford lobbyists can avoid much of them. Cutting medicare in half to balance the budget really has to be done, via means testing and limiting procedures the govt will pay for in the face of continued medical advancement.

 He is a more consistent libertarian than Ron Paul.   But what fascinated me most about him was not his ideology but his thumbs.  Kept tapping them against his forefingers as if thumb-wrestling with an invisible opponent. 

Obviously this helps Obama, but do you think this might lead any possible GOP presidential contenders to decide against making a run? I'm thinking specifically of Mitch Daniels, who seems legitimately on-the-fence.

Daniels says his top consideration is family, but I think it's his only consideration. He very much wants to run. When again, after all, will there be such demand for a 5-foot-4 guy with a combover?  But his wife is understandably not eager to have their divorce and subsequent remarriage become a story of national fascination.   I think that's much scarier to Daniels than running against bin Laden's conqueror.

Based on what we know today, what % chance would you say Obama has of being re-elected?


If it's Romney, I think Obama's got it wrapped up.

If it's Cain, Obama can start looking for jobs in a Chicago law firm.

(How am I doing shilling for Cain?  Too cheesy?  Spreading too thick?)


When The Donald's campaign meets its demise, will you believe the news reports, or will you demand to see gory photos of the campaign's bullet-riddled corpse?

I will accept a short-form death certificate.

A golden oldie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woLQI8X2R6Y

Ah, there it is.  I thought that's what the last link was.  Maybe I should check these links before replying to the question. You guys could be sending me porn.  (Although, come to think of it, that would help readership.)

My lord, is he really only five feet four inches? I think that's the same height as James Madison. There's a campaign slogan in there as long as you concentrate on the Federalist Papers and ignore the burning of Washington by the British.

That is my estimate, but I feel pretty good about it.  I'm 5-9 and when I was standing near him at AEI this week I would estimate that he reaches the tip of my nose.  Possibly the bridge.

Could you elaborate a bit on why you believe Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush to be grown ups in the race for the republican nomination? And for that matter, how does Donald Trump make the cut as a "babysitter" and not one of the children that need supervision?

In the movie Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter Is Dead the babysitter had all the money.   That's why Trump is the babysitter.  I did not mean to imply anything about his emotional maturity.

What kind of parent names their child "Reince Preibus"?

To his credit, he jokes that if you take the vowels out of his name it's RNC PR BS. 

Reuters has already released the photos of three guys in pools of blood, why not just release it and get it over with? Isn't it almost certain to get leaked anyways?


In this case as well I am willing to accept a short-form death certificate.

It's not the gore that bothers me.  I just think that anybody who is skeptical that the guy is dead will think that any picture released has been photo-shopped.


Between Michelle Bachman, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin, who would have thought four years ago that Ron Paul would become the sanest of the conservative candidates?

While the night belonged to Herman, let us praise Ron Paul's ability to get the South Carolinians to applaud his answer in favor of heroin legalization.

It has to be Herman Cain for President and Mike Gravel for Vice President. Keep it bipartisan.

I think if he's going for a national unity ticket, Cain should pick a Democratic businessman, such as Dal LaMagna, aka Tweezerman.   I ran into him last night and he's available.  Got only about 16 votes in New Hampshire last time, but he makes exceptional grooming implements -- which could come in handy if the Mozza-loaded pizza makes a mess.

When he passes the way of all flesh, will we get to see a picture of his comb-over for propoganda purposes?

It is his patriotic duty to give it as a living bequest to the Smithsonian.  Also tax-advantageous.

The primary season is a long way off. Do you think South Carolinians will even remember this debate come primary time?

It is no use to deny the Cain surge.  He is unstoppable.

Chris Cilizza has on his chat that there were people calling Pres. Obama "Unbeatable" after killing OBL. Where were these people he's referring to?

Apparently Juan Williams said so.   So it must be true. That said, Juan may have changed his mind after watching the pizza guy last night. 


How did Newt manage to flub it so badly? He's out before he's in, really. Maybe he should go by his full name, Newton, that sound much more presidential.

I think it really ended for him when that polar bear Knut died in March in Berlin.   Newt had, in fact, given a speech identifying himself with Knut when the bear became a celebrity a few years ago.  

Why has the White House changed its story so many times? Are they deliberately fueling the conspiracy minded? Jay Carney seems to be flailing in not failing.

Fog of war.  It does seem as if this happens every time.  Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, the "threat" to AF1 on 9/11.   I'm not assuming the current version of events is the final one. 

Food service is one of the biggest employers of undocumented workers. Maybe an ICE raid is in order.

Be careful.  They're mozza-loaded. 

Do you regret missing out on the tag team shellacking of Donald Trump? Having three thousand people laugh at you while the President ridicules you has to hurt. I miss Tupac and Biggie.

No, but it definitely mitigated the embarrassment we Posties felt that he was our guest at the dinner.  As it turns out, we were facilitating his ridicule.

Cain and NJ Gov. Christie - Godfather and Soprano!

Now that's the ticket.

And do you remember what Chris Christie said when the Democrats threatened to shut down the state government?  He said he was going to go back to the governor's mansion and order. . . . a pizza!


What about a Cain/McCain ticket?

You can make Cain puns, but I am not Abel.

Easy there Milbank, you sound like your getting a thrill up your leg every time you hear him speak.

And it doesn't stop there.  It's like sciatica. 

Did you notice that in Obama's speech he started pronouncing Pakistan like a real American and not like a cosmopolitan internationalist?

This is a positive development. 

I think we may have had more support for a global-warming treaty if he didn't insist on saying Copen-hah-gen.

You own all the dive bars in D.C. with this ink dot art! What's the reaction you are getting? Free drinks?

I am getting nothing!  Worse, I fear the poor artist who is doing all this work is getting less than he/she anticipated.   They should have picked a real celebrity, such as Cillizza. 

Well, we're at the end of our hour.   Please follow me, and, even better, send me column suggestions, on Twitter: @milbank.   Thanks for chatting.


In This Chat
Dana Milbank
Dana Milbank reviews the political theater of the nation's capital in his editorial-page column. His most recent book is "Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America;" his other books are "Homo Politicus" (Doubleday, 2008) and "Smashmouth" (Basic Books, 2001). Milbank joined The Post as a political reporter in 2000 and wrote the "Washington Sketch" column for nearly six years. He lives in Washington with his wife and daughter. • Dana Milbank Bio & Archive
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