Dana Milbank Live

Nov 11, 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.

Good afternoon, dear reader.  The flag is flying here in the editorial page's Chevy Chase bureau.  Happy veterans day to all veterans on this chat, and welcome back to all veterans of this chat.

After I signed off last week, a couple of comments came in saying nice things about how nice my legs looked in fishnet stockings.   While I did not get the chance to respond, I would like to do so now by thanking Herman Cain for participating in the chat and sending those comments in.

So, let's talk about the Republican blame game, Rick Perry's oopsie, and whatever else is out there.


We have a mixed breed dog from a shelter. Whenever the dog hears the name of Cain's tax plan, she goes affectionately nuts. The dog runs to my wife, puts a paw on my wife's shoulder, and vigorously licks her face for a minute or two. Go figure.

The 9-9-9 plan is indeed a very compelling dog whistle.   I believe it also attracts some people.   My own view is that 9-9-9 now stands for 9 women each leveling 9 sexual harassment allegations in 9 separate news conferences.

Why are Republicans still supporting Cain, when they were repulsed by similar accusations against Clinton? By the way I'm a Republican and am puzzled by it, myself.

 Republicans are not still supporting Cain, at least not most of them.  Cainiacs are supporting Cain.  They are similar to Ron Paul's followers.  They are just so disgusted with Washington and politics that they assume anything bad that comes out about the Hermanator is simply some malicious lie promulgated by the Washington elites.

If that's even possible, but as I look at the results of the elections in Arizona, Ohio and Maine where Republicans faced setbacks, do you think if the Tea Part had not exacted its influence over the last two years, an intelligent, seasoned and experienced politician like Jon Huntsman might be leading the polls right now?

Now wait a second. Are you saying Newt isn't intelligent, seasoned and experienced?

If only a Huntsman could be in the lead.  But I think the Tea Party was inevitable.  If it wasn't called that it would have some other name.  There would inevitably have been a backlash because of the economy.


I am used to hearing that EPA is first to go, but what's with Education, Commerce and Energy?

Yeah, and why not the Fed and the labor department?   Commerce is particularly puzzling because that's where so many of the corporate goodies come from, and you'd think Perry's backers would want to keep those.  Although I guess after this week he does not have any backers anyway.

Hi Dana, Now that Governor Perry has clearly shown himself to be much better material for you than the Herminator will you be switching your enormous support to the Perry campaign?

May I just state for the record that on the eve of Perry's entrance into the race, I was on Lawrence O'Donnell's show and said that I thought he would quickly be seen as "goofy" and a lightweight?   But I can't crow about this too much, because it was in the context of me saying why Michele Bachmann had real staying power...

Do you think you might ever use the third person in one of your columns as Mr. Cain has done to elevate your views to your readers...("The Great and Powerful Milbank has spoken!")?

I believe in letting Milbank be Milbank, and Milbank does not favor referring to himself in the third person.  When I worked at the Wall Street Journal we had a gimmick of referring to ourselves in print as "this reporter," or "a reporter."    And by "we" in that case I am using the royal we.

Why didn't he respond no when Herman Cain asked him if he had ever been accused of sexual harassment? That's the real story here.

Here's the video for those who haven't seen it.

I think JMart could not honestly answer "no" because of certain comments he has made about my legs in fishnet stockings.

Do you believe Universal's release of the movie "Snow White and the Huntsman" during the Presidential campaign will boost the Huntsman campaign?

You have discovered John Weaver's secret plan!

Was that filmed in New Hampshire?

Which Pennsylvanian will get more votes in the New Hampshire Primary: former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum or current Pennsylvania Senator Stewart Greenleaf?

Because of my successful prediction of Perry's fall, I think you should take seriously my forecast that Santorum is overdue for a spike in the polls.

Wouldn't this be the appropriate day for Cain to modify his 9-9-9 plan to 11-11-11?

Now that you mention it, I'm thinking this is one of those days when the world is supposed to end.  Thank you for warning me in time to take precautions.

and in hearing 9-9-9 it sounds like "nein nein nein" (no no no), thus making the dog even more like a Herman Cain-type who believe that 'no means yes' especially when it comes to women.

This is the point in the chat when I pause to express my awe of the participants.

Let's just get rid of them all. Then we won't have to remember any of the agency names! - Perry

True dat.   I'm not for abolishing cabinet departments but I'm definitely for abolishing cabinet officers.  With the exception of the big four -- DOD DOJ, State and Treasury -- they are entirely irrelevant and mere functionaries directed by kids in the White House.

Give the guy a break. He never claimed to be Mensa material and is he really any less articulate than his fellow Texas governor who was recently President? Rick would be the Republican candidate I'd want to have a beer with! (not wanting to have cream soda with Mitt)

Cream Soda with Mitt sounds like an excellent campaign promotion.

So what would Newt drink?   Santorum?  Bachmann? 

Herman is a man of the cloth, people! He would never do anything wrong.


I just need to note how wonderful his statement was earlier this week:

"I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period."

I thought about whether I could make a similar claim, and there are indeed times when I can say "I have not acted inappropriately in the last hour."  But having made that remark about Jonathan Martin and the fishnets, this is not one of those times.


The holidays are coming and your chatters are looking for gift ideas for you...

I have not acted inappropriately in the last 30 seconds or so and would like to keep it that way.

Perry's time lapse in the debate this week diverted public scorn from Cain's lackluster performance and the Penn State debacle completely submerged the harassment charges story.

Well, based on the question queue, I don't know if I'd go with "completely submerged." 

a bitter...


eye of newt?


root beer with her hubby and 2 straws


last time you suggested a drink for a female political figure you got in a litte trouble...

who asked you?

a Stout of course, cause he is so full of himself...

Now this gives me an opening to detail my weight-loss strategy, which I understand came up in somebody else's chat this week.   It works like this:  Whenever I feel hungry, I picture Newt.  The craving goes away.  Works brilliantly.

Newt--double malt aged Scotch. Santorum--holy water. Bachmann--passion fruit smoothie.

Honorable mention.

I didn't expect just how provincial Rick Perry would be. When he is asked a question about a subject relating to his service as governor of Texas, he can be pretty coherent. For example, he has talked frankly about the realities of immigration in a border state. But when he gets to national or international issues -- yikes!

Yes, it's not as if he just crawled out from under an epithet-inscribed rock.

any thoughts on the passing of a fellow satirist/writer?

I won't flatter myself to say "fellow" anything.  He was a giant.

Newt: a straight-up cocktail of bitter herbs and battery acid. Hold the olive. Santorum: Lemonade Bachmann: Kool-Aide

I'm getting thirsty.  Good think we start this chat at noon.

I love how the Cain fiasco went from a Perry plot to a Romney reach around to a Axelrod ambush in two weeks. Ann (adam's apple) Coulter has a hilarious column laying out the Ax man's mo.

Yes, linked to it in my column online today.  Something terrific about how one of the accusers lives in the same apartment building where Axelrod once lived. 

St. Pauli.

See, now you're trying to get me in trouble.  The opinions of the comment-makers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the chatter.

She and hubby sharing a frou-frou drink with an umbrella in it.

I think Marcus has his own umbrella drink.

Newt-Champange, duh Bachman-4 Loko Cain-One of those red wines with a racy label Perry-I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Shiner Bock Huntman-Hahah, nope Roment-See above Paul-I have no idea...umm...? Santorum-Jesus juice

Maybe they could have the next debate in a bar. 

My favorite part of the Perry meltdown was his desperate look to Ron Paul for help. I remember the first debate where Perry went over and tried to punk Paul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

While at a breakfast with Dr. Paul a while back, I thought about what it would be like to be in some grisly accident and be wheeled into the O.R. and find out the doctor who is going to operate on you is Ron Paul.

Perry has accomplished the impossible. He's made George W. Bush appear prepared and articulate.

And a sparkling debater.

Not a dirty martini?

Noted without comment.

Communion wine, of course!

He had better be very thirsty.

If you think about it, Mr. Cain is 65 years old. He worked for the Natl rest assoc for 3 years. And all complaints are coming from those three years. We have yet to find one person complaining about his behavior anywhere else he has ever been. Odd?

More evidence that bad things happen when people come to Washington.

did your stockings require a garter belt? we could send along some old hockey garter belts with the holiday stocking gift...

And that's the signal that it is time for this chat to end. Thank you for bellying up to the bar and participating.  Speak again next week.

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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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