I can’t believe I actually bothered to watch last night’s Democratic presidential debate. Not because of the candidates, but because of Tim Russert.

Remember this?

in 1974, when President Nixon, who was beleaguered by Watergate, he called on CBS’s Dan Rather at a conference with an audience of media executives. Rather was greeted with some booing and cheering. Nixon said to him, “Are you running for something?”

And Rather answered: “No, Mr. President. Are you?”

I do. I remember when we had aggressive journalists who questioned power – not pundit gasbags with myopia and no memory.

Tim Russert is like Dan Rather without the actual journalism – and only if you drop the IQ by 100 points and puff up the ego by the same amount.

As Timmeh! inserted himself into the debate – I asked myself, “Is he running for something?”  

Blogtopia (yes, we’re aware that skippy coined the phrase!) speaks:

Because He’s Profoundly Stupid

Obviously one can sense where Timmeh’s tribal sympathies lie and which voices are yapping in his ear, but more than that he’s a fundamentally stupid man. Because he seems to be at the top of the political press pyramid, everyone below him kisses his ass.

Our discourse is so stupid, and its king nitwit is Tim Russert.

Don’t take my word for it – read the nitwit’s:

…SEN. CLINTON: I have said that I will renegotiate NAFTA, so obviously, you’d have to say to Canada and Mexico that that’s exactly what we’re going to do. But you know, in fairness —

MR. RUSSERT: Just because — maybe Clinton —

SEN. CLINTON: Yes, I am serious.

MR. RUSSERT: You will get out. You will notify Mexico and Canada, NAFTA is gone in six months.

SEN. CLINTON: No, I will say we will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate it, and we renegotiate on terms that are favorable to all of America.

But let’s be fair here, Tim. There are lots of parts of New York that have benefitted, just like there are lots of parts of Texas that have benefitted. The problem is in places like upstate New York, places like Youngstown, Toledo, and others throughout Ohio that have not benefitted. And if you look at what I have been saying, it has been consistent.

You know, Senator Obama told the farmers of Illinois a couple of years ago that he wanted more trade agreements. I — right now —

MR. RUSSERT: We’re going to get — we’re going to get to Senator Obama, but I want to stay on your terms —

SEN. CLINTON: Well, but that — but that is important —

MR. RUSSERT: — because this was something that you wrote about as a real success for your husband. You said it was good on balance for New York and America in 2004, and now you’re in Ohio and your words are much different, Senator. The record is very clear.

SEN. CLINTON: Well, I — I — you don’t have all the record because you can go back and look at what I’ve said consistently. And I haven’t just said things; I have actually voted to toughen trade agreements, to try to put more teeth into our enforcement mechanisms. And I will continue to do so….

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, on the issue of jobs, I watched you the other day with your economic blueprint in Wisconsin saying, this is my plan; hold me accountable. And I’ve had a chance to read it very carefully. It does say that you pledge to create 5 million new jobs over 10 years.

And I was reminded of your campaign in 2000 in Buffalo, my hometown, just three hours down Route 90, where you pledged 200,000 new jobs for upstate New York. There’s been a net loss of 30,000 jobs. And when you were asked about your pledge, your commitment, you told The Buffalo News, “I might have been a little exuberant.” Tonight will you say that the pledge of 5 million jobs might be a little exuberant?

SEN. CLINTON: No, Tim, because what happened in 2000 is that I thought Al Gore was going to be president. And when I made the pledge I was counting on having a Democratic White House, a Democratic president who shared my values about what we needed to do to make the economy work for everyone and to create shared prosperity.

And as you know, despite the difficulties of the Bush administration and a Republican Congress for six years of my first term I have worked very hard to create jobs but obviously as president I will have a lot more tools at my disposal. And the reason why we can create at least 5 million new jobs — I mean, this is not a big leap. Twenty-two point seven million new jobs were created during the eight years of the Clinton administration under my husband. We can create at least 5 million new jobs….

Uh, Timmeh! Who’s been president for the last seven years or so? Nitwit.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, if the Iraqis said I’m sorry, we’re not happy with this arrangement; if you’re not going to stay in total and defend us, get out completely; they are a sovereign nation, you would listen?

SEN. CLINTON: Absolutely. And I believe that there is no military solution that the Americans who have been valiant in doing everything they were asked to do can really achieve in the absence of full cooperation from the Iraqi government. And —

MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask — let me ask you this, Senator. I want to ask you —

SEN. CLINTON: And they need to take responsibility for themselves. And —

MR. RUSSERT: I want to ask both of you this question, then. If we — if this scenario plays out and the Americans get out in total and al Qaeda resurges and Iraq goes to hell, do you hold the right, in your mind as American president, to re-invade, to go back into Iraq to stabilize it?

SEN. CLINTON: You know, Tim, you ask a lot of hypotheticals. And I believe that what’s —

MR. RUSSERT: But this is reality.

SEN. CLINTON: No — well, it isn’t reality. You’re — you’re — you’re making lots of different hypothetical assessments.

I believe that it is in America’s interests and in the interests of the Iraqis for us to have an orderly withdrawal. I’ve been saying for many months that the administration has to do more to plan, and I’ve been pushing them to actually do it. I’ve also said that I would begin to withdraw within 60 days based on a plan that I asked begun to be put together as soon as I became president.

And I think we can take out one to two brigades a month. I’ve also been a leader in trying to prevent President Bush from getting us committed to staying in Iraq regardless for as long as Senator McCain and others have said it might be, 50 to a hundred years.

So, when you talk about what we need to do in Iraq, we have to make judgments about what is in the best interest of America. And I believe this is in the best interest….

And, of course, the stoopidest assertion of all from Timmeh! was targeted at Barack Obama.

I wonder if we can expect softball questions on lobbyists from Timmeh! when he next grills Saint John McCain of the Campaign Bus Buffet.

Clinton Rules are fast becoming “Democratic Candidate Rules”.