With Fox News Channel hosting a GOP Presidential debate tomorrow night (9pm ET), we pose “5 Questions” to Carl Cameron. FNC’s chief political correspondent joined the network in 1996 from WMUR-TV in his native New Hampshire. He returns home to cover Wednesday’s forum at the University of New Hampshire.
1. TVNewser: The most interesting aspect of the 2008 Presidential race:
Cameron: This is the greatest power struggle we’ve seen in decades. There’s no way to identify a single “most interesting aspect.” Having said that, on the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton has built the largest and most effective primary and caucus organization the nation has ever seen. Much can still happen to change things but on the current trajectory there may soon come a point at which Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards are both at risk of being damned with the feint praise that they have made a solid contribution to their party by acting as good sparring partners for Clinton and thereby helping her prepare for the battle against Republicans in the general.
On the Republican side, the question is who will take on GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. Mitt Romney is ahead in the lead off states of NH and Iowa. That makes him a serious contender. Romney has surrounded himself with a top flight team of seasoned political advisers, many of whom have a flare for political combat.
Fred Thompson was supposed to be the GOP’s conservative charismatic phenom this year, and may yet be. But with less than four months before the first votes are cast he has yet to raise any significant money, he has hired and fired an alarming number of staffers, and has no discernible message or rationale for his candidacy.
2. TVNewser: Press coverage of the Bush presidency has been…
Cameron: Predictable. For decades the hallmarks of second presidential terms have been investigations, scandals, resignations, firings and lame duck rhetoric. Go back to the 2000 recount, add in Iraq, then the 2004 campaign against John Kerry, and wrap it up with Democrats taking both congressional majorities in 2006. When I switched back from Chief White House Correspondent to Chief Political Correspondent, several White House staffers joked privately that “Campaign Carl’s” departure marked the beginning of the real lame duck period.
That was in January of last year!
3. TVNewser: The best part about New England life:
Cameron: The-first-in-the-nation-NH-Primary (all one word), chowder, steamers, lobster, Big Green Monster, Parquet floor, Fall Foliage, The White Mountains, the Lakes Region, Acadia, The Cape… I could fill pages.
4. TVNewser: The most interesting letter I’ve received from a viewer:
Cameron: I’ve gotten everything from death threats to romantic propositions. Liberals think I’m a conservative, conservatives think I’m a liberal. To me it’s all just subject-matter. Whether it’s politics or a house fire, I try not to say if the flames are good or bad. I try to report how they started, what’s being done, and what it means for the future.
5. TVNewser: Patriots or Redskins?
Cameron: Oh C’mon, It’s Labor Day and you’re asking about the Pats??? This is Red Sox season! PLEASE! After the Red Sox win, the Pats will have their chance and will surely dominate too. Brady vs. Campbell is a no brainer, and the Brady-Moss hookup is devastating. Clinton Portis is still recovering from last year’s injuries, Lawrence Maroney has been healthy as a horse throughout his career. Plus let’s be real… New England has three of the last five rings.