At a Wednesday lunch gathering to celebrate his 35 years of covering politics, Fox News anchor Brit Hume acknowledged he had lost some of his enthusiasm for the game. But that didn’t stop him from wishing for a little excitement in the remaining weeks before Election Day—and his impending retirment. And he offered some candid remarks about the Republican ticket’s chances for victory.
Hume recalled Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 1984 U.S. Senate run against popular Democratic incumbent Sen. Dee Huddleston, who was ahead by 40 points with 90 days to go before Election Day. Ailes was the mastermind behind a series of television ads that featured bloodhounds on the hunt for Sen. Huddleston, who had missed many Senate votes including one in order to give a speech for which he was being paid. McConnell won by less than half a percentage point.
“I wish I could tell you, just because it would make it so much more exciting, that John McCain could pull off something like that and rally,” said Hume. “But I think that the conditions so deeply favor the Democratic nominee this year that it is going to be very difficult if not impossible for McCain to overcome that.”
However, Hume said, McCain could still eek out a victory because of a lingering resistance to Barack Obama, which Hume chalked up to “the who-is-this-guy factor.”
“Obama, whom I find to be an utterly charming and totally appealing character—he’s genial, he has this incandescent smile, he’s articulate, he’s unfailingly pleasant he’s dignified—nonetheless has some weaknesses," Hume said. "He ought to be farther ahead than he is. His background seems a little indistinct and it seems a little incongruous …with the man we see before us.”
Hume was not as effusive in his praise of Sarah Palin’s natural abilities. Her interview with Katie Couric, he said, “was awkward and uncomfortable to watch because she was uncomfortable. She was nervous and froze a little bit and it’s painful to watch that.”
But he does not think the media has been fair in its assessment of Palin and that that “imbalance” was inevitable.
“If you were trying to design a person who would not particularly appeal to the mainstream media you could not do better than Sarah Palin,” he said. “I mean she’s just culturally and politically out of phase with the views of a lot of people in the media. And so she was always going to lay an egg with those people.”