The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Just Think of MSNBC’s Headaches if Ed Schultz Runs


A quick excerpt from the Thursday edition of Morning Jolt:

The Fox Caught the Newt, Then Let Him Go

You knew the fact that five potential Republican presidential candidates — Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and John Bolton — were under contract to Fox News Channel was going to be an issue sooner or later. If any of the commentators announced they were running, continued appearances would run afoul of the Equal Time rule. (You remember the brouhaha when Arnold Schwarzenegger first ran for governor and some complained showing his movies constituted free advertising; there was some grumbling about this issue regarding Fred Thompson’s Law & Order reruns.) As long as they weren’t announced candidates, Fox News Channel was in the clear with the FCC, but there was still the awkward appearance; the All-Stars on Special Report would be speculating about whether or not Palin would run, while she would be appearing later on the prime time shows and O’Reilly or Hannity or Van Sustren could just ask her. Heck, if they were talking about Huckabee, they could just go down the hall and ask him . . .

At Conservatives4Palin, Ian Lazaran writes, “While it’s certainly fair to infer from this news that Mike Huckabee has absolutely no intention to run for the presidency, I don’t think you can draw very many conclusions as to whether Governor Palin will run and when she will make an announcement. She has stated in the past in interviews she isn’t very likely to set up an exploratory committee. If she does run, she’d probably just formally jump into the race. That a Fox News executive believes she hasn’t shown a serious intention to form such a committee doesn’t tell us very much about her intentions because she wasn’t very likely to form one in the event she did decide to run for the presidency. As for timing, she wouldn’t need sixty days notice to let Fox News know that she has decided to run for the presidency. She could just let Fox News know about her plans tomorrow or at any time and her contractual relationship with Fox would end. I actually think this news explains why Newt Gingrich got some cold feet yesterday about announcing that he was forming an exploratory committee. He may not have wanted to forgo the income he received at Fox News by formally establishing an exploratory committee.”

Tags: John Bolton , Mike Huckabee , Newt Gingrich , Rick Santorum , Sarah Palin


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