Dana Milbank Live

Mar 16, 2012

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.

Follow @PostLive on Twitter

Good afternoon. 


Dana, could you describe a realistic scenario where Romney does not win the nomination (other than by medical emergency or by some unexpected news about Romney's past)? I can't see it, but the media still seems awful hung up on the delegate race.

I cannot think of a realistic scenario.    It is a theoretical possibility, so my colleagues in the media are not technically wrong to keep the race going.  But I think it's quite unfair to Romney that on Wednesday morning he had won the most delegates the night before and he was universally panned as the loser.  

The main reason I can't think of a non-Romney scenario is less about Romney (let's face it: a dreadful candidate), than about Santorum (obviously a far worse candidate).


Dana. You talked again with Chris Mathews about Mitt's 'dog on the roof of the car' problem, but as a strategy, isn't it wise for the democratic side to keep this story alive for to tie up the canine owner vote?

It is a sense of ruff justice that Seamus is now getting his revenge on his master.

Thirty-seven percent of American households have dogs, and a larger percentage has had dogs.   I don't think Obama has to do anything to keep this one alive.  It has legs. Four of 'em.



While I'm usually snarky on these chats, I wanted to thank you for your piece on Section 60 at Arlington. I made sure to bring my two sons (13 and 11) and one of their friends to see Section 60 on a trip to DC to see that what they see on TV in the news or play in combat video games is not just an image or a game. There is a real and tragic cost to war. I also pointed out that the men and women buried in Section 60 were alot closer in age to them than they were to me. I believe your premise wholehardedly that politicians and pundits calling for U.S. military action should visit Section 60 first (or Normandy or read "All Quiet on the Western Front"). Thank you for reminding us and them.

Very much appreciate that comment.  The column got far less notice than I had hoped.   I think it was the most important thing I had written in some time.   I'm glad to know you visited Section 60.    I think every American should walk those rows; they'll learn a lot more than they will touring the Lincoln memorial or the White House or the Smithsonian.  



Cillizza just said that he sees Obama-Romney as a toss up come November. I see a Republican base that has dragged their nominee into a bunch of untenable positions he isn't going to be able to come back from with independents and lose by about 8 or 9 points. I realize GOP hatred of Obama will get the base out, but their extreme positions are going to scare the independents and Democrats into showing up as well. They would have had a much better choice if Romney had run towards universal health care, taking away Obama's biggest legislative grab and played to take away the middle from Obama. A moderate Romney with an anti-Obama base would have lead to a win, but this just looks like a loss waiting to happen.

Tell me where unemployment, the S&P 500 and gas prices are the last week of October and I'll tell you who wins the election.  The rest is just noise.

Have you heard about the "mystery stench" over our area as Channel 5's Will Thomas put it this morning? is that from Republicans or Democrats? Maybe Harry Reid was right and it's from the tourists in to see the cherry blossoms.

I blame the British delegation. 

If Romney becomes the nominee, which is still likely possibility, how does this race end for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich? Does Santorum or Gingrich's money eventually dry up, does it go to the convention, or what?

Newt Gingrich is led off in straitjacket.  Santorum is carried to heaven in a flaming chariot.

It's the main story my non politicized siblings talk about. As a political junkie it never really moved me but i can attest that it breaks through to the non political folks.

My dog is up in paws about it.

Took her to the NBC studio yesterday in hopes they'd have her on the air during the Seamus segment.  Instead she watched from the control room, where, I'm told, she obeyed the producers' commands.

Why did your colleagues go along with the White House and say that Wednesday was a "State Dinner" when the Queen wasn't there? What's wrong with the accurate term "Official Dinner"? You still get the gowns and the tuxes, the flags and the pagentry, and The Clooney.

As we know from Sarah Palin, the queen is the head of government in Britain, which must mean that the prime minister is the head of state. 

As the story in the Post this week pointed out, the dog kept running away from home to "see his doggie pals" according to the Romneys--running away so much that they finally gave him to Mitt's sister in California. If dogs truly bond to their owners (male or female) they see the owner as the "alpha"--the pack leader. Obviously, Mitt failed to achieve this bond. Extrapolate that to the American electorate and much becomes clear.

I hate to follow the pack on this one.

He's called on Puerto Rico to pass English as its Official Language. What do you think he will say to screw up his chances in Illinois? In Louisiana?

I suspect he will tell the Cajuns that they, too, need to speak English.

I understand that Romney's dog taking a ride in a wind-proof carrier strapped to the roof of his car is a non-issue for many people and maybe it's irrelevant. I keep thinking, though, that if Obama had done such a thing it would really change the way I thought about him. If Obama had done that I would think, "Well, gee that doesn't sound right, because Obama is such a reasonable guy, and that's just a nutty thing to do." Somehow Romney doing such a thing is easier to understand, because I just kind of shrug and think, "Eh, Romney wears mom jeans and says 'goodness gracious' -- he's weird."

Goodness gracious.  Y'all have sunk your teeth into this.  The Seamus comments are coming fast and fur-ious.

The Santorum folks are claiming they've unearthed clips of Romney advocating a health insurance mandate for the country. If true how can that be squared with Romney's repeated claim in debates that only if Obama had called him he would have told not to do a national mandate? If Santorum can drive that message home, won't it disqualify Romney?

Sorry, that dog won't hunt.

Everybody knows Romney changes his position all the time.   This completely inoculates him against any further evidence of him changing position.


He's having to go to Prison in Colorado! Where will he get his Brats & Deep-Dish Pizza?

And will he have to cut that hair?

Is the fact that Mitt Romney pulled out of the Oregon Debate a sign that the "Dog on the Roof" issue is gaining traction?

Whatever have I unleashed?

Loved "Tears of a Clown" about Glenn Beck, and I'm wondering what you'd title a book about Limbaugh... "A Blast of Hot Air"? How about "Cigars and Insanity"? The whole world wonders....

I think the junior senator from Minnesota took care of that.  I am still waiting to see whether my biography of Beck catapults me into the Senate.  Presumably I will have to move out of Washington first.

I've noticed since the week of "Nascar Owners" and "A Couple of Cadillacs" that Romney has said essentially nothing (except Obama = bad). Is this what we have to look forward to for eight months?

Um, cheesy grits, y'all?

Pete Singer had an article in Project Syndicate suggesting that people pay for airline tickets according to the combination of body weight and luggage weight. What do you think about that Dana?

I think I'm going to the gym and then buying a linen suit.

President Obama called the republican party members of the Flat Earth Society and Newt Gingrich shot back that the president is part of the Flat Earth Sierra Club Society. Can you see a back and forth coming on? (Flat Earth Drill Baby Drill Party, Flat Earth Tree Hugging Party, Flat Earth Keystone Cops Party, etc.)?

I'm coming around to this.

First off, Woody was stellar. Did Palin really go to such great lengths to give a concession speech?

He's no Steve Schmidt, but he was okay.   They gilded the lily with Palin generally, but even on election night (I was there in Phoenix at the Biltmore that night) there was chatter about her trying to speak and being shut down.

Hi Dana, So close to St. Patrick 's Day do you think Romney will lose any Irish supporters he might have had because of his dog on roof problem? Seamus, an Irish setter, not allowed in the car reminds us all of those bad old days when places had signs "No Dogs, No Irish".

(Low growling sound.)

To the folks who think that Mitt Romney's indifference to his own dog's suffering won't matter at all, just ask Howard Dean about nonsense issues. Howard Dean's national political career sank over a scream!

There is a potential way out for Romney, and that is to claim that the Irish setter was in country illegally and he was deporting the animal across the Canadian border.

I have found Mr. Romney's response to his dog's story not satisfying. Also...how far did he go? Not just down the street...to Canada! For Seamus, it was a "Long and Runny Road" Who gets a pet and then does that?


I am reminded of the scene in Vacation when the cop shows Chevy Chase the no-longer occupied leash attached to his bumper, then this: 

Lasky: Has your father ever killed anyone?
Rusty: Just a dog. Oh and my Aunt Edna.
Clark: Hey you can't prove that Russ.


Santorum just declared war on porn, I kid you not: Link

I clicked on that link with great trepidation.   (It's okay, people, just ABC News.)   I was unaware that we are experiencing a porn epidemic, although there has been a stomach flu and a head-cold circulating.

Goldman Sachs executives privately refer to their clients they are ripping off as "muppets". This begs the question of what Republican leaders and billionaire Super PAC funders refer to poor and middle class Republican voters who they fool into voting against their economic interests. Any suggestions?

Real Americans.

Okay, dawgs.

I'm getting worried about them charging for airline tickets according to weight, so I'm going to head over to the gym early.  Will be on vaca the next two Fridays but look forward to resuming chats after that. 

Thanks for tuning in.



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
Milbank Q&As
Recent Chats
  • Next: