On Monday morning, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz gave an interview to L.A. radio host Doug McIntyre of 790 KABC. The subject was Wasserman-Schultz’s selection of L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take charge of the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
McIntyre is not a big fan of Villaraigosa. Wasserman-Schultz is noted for a unique level of stubborn cluelessness. That’s probably all the setup you need to enjoy what transpired.
Courtesy of the Washington Free Beacon, here’s a snippet of the transcript, as Wasserman-Schultz responds to McIntyre’s initial criticism of Villaraigosa:
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What are you talking about? The mayor is a fantastic choice. I mean, he’s a national leader, he’s about to assume the highest leadership position for the National Association of Mayors, he’s a visionary—someone who’s focused on making sure we have a strong education system, making sure the economy continues to come back here in California, and he’s a national Hispanic leader as well.
MCINTYRE: Congresswoman, here’s the problem. We live here. We’ve lived with this for years and years and years. We’ve talked to him a thousand times. We’ve lived with the experience. We’re running a sidewalk contest—Los Angeles can’t even pave its sidewalks. There might be a vision. The vision that Antonio Villaraigosa has is desperate vision of getting out of office before the bankruptcy of Los Angeles kicks in 2013. He’s hoping like hell that Obama wins, so he can be appointed Asst. Sec. of anything, so he doesn’t have to sit here and deal with the damage that he did to the city. I mean, come on. You can sell that in North Carolina; you can’t sell that in Los Angeles.
DWS: With all due respect, I find your comments disappointing and borderline offensive.
MCINTYRE: What’s borderline offensive? Los Angeles Magazine dubbed him a failure. On the cover of Los Angeles Magazine. Los Angeles Weekly, the progressive newspaper in this city, dubbed him the 11 percent mayor. He’s never here! City Hall should be at Los Angeles International Airport.
Here’s the cover McIntyre referred to. Ouch.
The really fun part of the interview came when Wasserman-Schultz, clearly unprepared for this line of questioning, tried to explain what she likes about Villaraigosa:
DWS: I beg to differ. You’re entitled to your own opinion. I believe that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as do the rest of the mayors of the rest of the cities in the National Association of Mayors, is a strong leader and will be a strong voice for, when it comes to drawing the contrast between the Republicans who want to make sure that we continue to return to the failed policies of the past, stand up for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and embrace extremism in cultural issues, Mayor Villaraigosa who will be the permanent general chairman of the convention will help make sure that we can the president’s message and his record of accomplishments to spread across the country.
That’s an awful lot of meaningless hot air, and very typical of the substance-free spin you’ll be getting from the Democrat leadership throughout the 2012 election. Somehow, Wasserman-Schultz thinks she can effectively respond to McIntyre’s substantive criticism, born from long experience with the Villaraigosa administration, by simply repeating buzz phrases like “strong voice,” “failed policies of the past,” and of course, “millionaires and billionaires.” That’s not an argument… it’s an incantation.
McIntyre’s response was devastating enough to make Wasserman-Schultz decide it was time to move on to other topics, ASAP:
MCINTYRE: The mayor of Los Angeles was hit with the largest ethics violations in the 200 year history of the city, three of his campaign bundlers are doing the perp walk, and if it wasn’t for millionaires and billionaires, there wouldn’t have been a shovel stuck in the ground in Los Angeles in the last five years. He makes backroom deals with big billionaire developers, while pretending to care about the 99 percent—please, we know the man’s record, we’ve lived with it.
That’s what 2012 is all about, isn’t it? The Democrat strategy is to turn Barack Obama back into a beautiful cipher, by completely erasing his actual record. Don’t dwell on what he’s actually done, or the world you can see outside your window. Listen to the promises he reads from his teleprompter, not the ones he transmits to Vladimir when he forgets the microphone is hot.
This is going to be a fun year for those who doggedly insist on paying attention to the man behind the curtain, no matter what Oz the Great and Powerful commands.