Any day must be a bad day if you are Pat Buchanan’s sister, but I imagine yesterday was a particularly bad day for Bay Buchanan as she took on the task of defending Chimpy’s decision to shun Cindy Sheehan (somewhat reluctantly by the look on her face) on Paula Zahn Now.
Zahn began with a resonable question that must be on every observer’s lips.
ZAHN: Bay, I know that the president met with Cindy Sheehan back in June of last year, shortly after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. What would be the harm in the president meeting her now as she is literally camped outside one of the entrances to his Crawford ranch?
BAY BUCHANAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, the question is, what would he gain at this stage? She’s become an activist, an antiwar activist. She’s down there with a number of other activists. This is a basically a professional campaign that she’s got…
ZAHN: But Bay, I asked the question — the question I asked was how would the president be harmed by this?
BUCHANAN: Well, he wouldn’t gain anything. What he would do is he’d meet with her. She’s not going to be satisfied with a meeting. She’s going to come in there. She’s on a bus. It’s called the Impeachment Bus or the Impeachment Tour. And so, she’s clearly got an agenda here. He sends his national security adviser to listen to her. That’s an extremely senior person. If he meets with her, she’s just going to have another couple days on television bashing the president.
Unsatisfied with Buchanan’s refusal to answer a simple question Zahn went for the jugular and accused Chimpy of “wimping out” and appearing “craven”. Unfortunately the one thousand monkeys assigned to type transcripts at CNN thought she said “whipping out”, but that’s to be expected as on the index page to Paula Zahn Now transcripts they refer to Cindy Sheehan as “Shaheen”.
Now, back to the fun part.
ZAHN: According to the latest CNN/”USA Today”/Gallup Poll, 54 percent of all Americans think it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq. So what is the message this president is sending Americans when there is a perception that he’s whipping [sic] out by not meeting her.
BUCHANAN: Well, you know, the key here is, you know, the media has decided to make use of this woman, an antiwar movement. They’re all down there. They’re exploiting her.
ZAHN: We didn’t put her there, Bay.
BUCHANAN: She’s willingly participating in this. If he meets with her, I ask you, Paula, how many more are going to be there next week, the week after, in front of the White House, meet with me, will you meet with me? He has met with these families. There are — her own family, it does not feel that she should be down there and making this statement. So there’s people on both sides of this very, very sensitive issue in this country.
ZAHN: But Bay, does he risk looking like he’s out of touch or that he’s craven?
BUCHANAN: No, I don’t think at all he does. He cannot win with this woman. She’s very angry. She’s a tragic figure. My compassion is with her. But she has now become a part of the antiwar movement and she’s going to do the best she can to really — to try to make — embarrass the president.