HH: I’m joined now by the Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn. Hello, Mark Steyn, and what do you think of the election as here we stand ten, eleven days out from it?
MS: I’m envious of you being there right in the thick of it with Jon Voight. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. I think at the moment, you have to just judge the President’s performance, and the President’s team. The nonsense they’re talking about, the way they’re reacting, Joe Biden’s descent into physical comedy, waving binders around, the desperate search for a new distraction after every damp squib goes off like Kim Jung Il’s attempted nuclear launches where, what was it, he was trying to nuke Hawaii or Los Angeles, and it basically cleared the perimeter fence and fell in the Sea of Japan. That’s how it’s been for the Obama campaign with Big Bird, with binders, and all the other nonsense. And bayonets. Bayonets, so they can maybe move on from the B. It’s been Big Bird, binders and bayonets. I think it was a Burt Bacharach song from the 60s, wasn’t it?
HH: (laughing) But now they also have their brand new, highly-slick pictures of President Obama with little children booklet. Have you had a chance to read that? And did it change your mind, Mark Steyn?
MS: (laughing) No, it did not…
MS: But you know the tragedy of that is, I think that approach six months ago might actually have done something, because I think the problem with Obama is he can’t really run as Nixon. Obama is hope and change, or he is nothing. He has to be the guy who is, as one of those idiot journalists said, whatever it was, four years ago, like a god coming down and bestriding the planet. And the minute he starts playing small ball, the minute he starts making these snippy, little remarks and all the rest of it, it’s over for him. There’s not, he can’t be a dark and malevolent and attack ad kind of candidate. He has to be Mr. Sunny, Mr. Hope, Mr. Change. And because he didn’t run on any of that, and he’s basically left it until ten days before the election to resurrect that character, I think was a fatal miscalculation.
HH: You know, he’s trying to rewrite the script. I’ve been talking to Jon Voight about Coming Home, and how he had to rewrite the script as he went along, because it was so bad when he started. But it’s awfully late to be calling for the rewrite desk, Mark Steyn.
MS: (laughing) Well, I love Jon Voight, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll tell you something, there’s a million screenwriters all over the world now rolling their eyes as they listen to that, because actors tend to say that about screenplays.
MS: What I will say is this, that you would be hard put to find a Hollywood screenwriter who has put words into their character’s mouth as disastrous as those put into Obama’s.
MS: I mean, just to go back to that bayonets and horses line, what was fascinating to me was that on MSNBC 20 minutes after the debate, David Axelrod was, I think it was Lawrence O’Donnell who was interviewing David Axelrod. And Lawrence O’Donnell said well, you must have known when you crafted that line that you came up with a winner. And David Axelrod gave a kind of little smirk and said yeah, the boys, you know, were pretty pleased with that. And you can see that’s the tragedy of it, that they all came, it was the line that made them all laugh when they were in the room, you know, two hours before the debate. And that kind of short-sightedness, like a tennis match where you win all the cool rallies, but you somehow wind up losing the match, is basically what’s happened to Obama over debate season.
HH: About that line specifically, Mark Steyn, as marrying into a Navy family and knowing a lot of people in the Navy, I hated that line, because he went snide then about aircraft carriers and submarines. And I thought maybe I’m not the right guy to…but then my email filled up with Navy people from Norfolk and from Portsmouth, and all across the United States. They were deeply resentful of his dismissiveness. And to mix up my military metaphors, I think he went a bridge too far when he kept on with that line.
MS: Yeah, I think he did, too, and I think what’s fascinating is he basically said about two dozen words there, but by the time he was through, he’d managed to offend almost every component of the military vote. Whether you’re talking about ships, or whether you’re talking about fighting men who still have to use bayonets, I posted immediately after the debate a couple of stories, one out of Afghanistan, a guy who, a Scots guy who won the George Cross. He was, he ran out of ammunition, and he charged a machine gun nest and ran this Taliban guy through the chest with his bayonet. So there comes a time, you know, people who are actually in that situation don’t sneer at bayonets. Aside from the fact that he was factually wrong, and the U.S. Army has actually, the U.S. military actually issues three times as many bayonets as it did in 1916.
MS: The fact that submarines are not, that he was saying we have these things called submarines now, these ships that go underwater, as he put it, that again, they had those in 1916. They sank the Lusitania. It was the Kaiser’s determination to wage full submarine warfare in the Atlantic that helped propel the United States into the war. So every time he tries the clever line, the clever line that when you’re all sitting around with the boys in some college town listening to your hair grow at Three in the morning, all the lines that sound cute actually wither and die on the vine as they leave his lips.
HH: Now Mark, earlier today, I was talking with Dan Pierce, who does the morning drive over at WNTK in New London, New Hampshire.
MS: I know, oh, I know, Dan very well.
MS: And in fact, I’ve sat in that studio.
HH: And so I said I can’t really get a read on New Hampshire from Mark Steyn, because he lives up where everyone’s carrying an axe around, and you really don’t want to talk politics with people. But he gave me a read on New Hampshire. Let me match it up with you. What do you think is going on in your home state?
MS: Well, I think New Hampshire is going to go for Romney. I think it was closer than it should have been, but I think I saw Governor Sununu, who’s been a terrific attack dog for Romney these last few months, and he has a much better sense of the southern half of the state than I do. But he thinks New Hampshire’s four electoral votes are going to be tipping back into the correct column. I’m going to be down in Concord, actually, tomorrow at lunchtime to give a speech with Ovide Lamontagne, who’s our gubernatorial candidate.
MS: And we’re hoping, because we’ve got everything else. We’ve got 300 of the 400 House seats, we’ve got 19 of the 24 Senate seats, we’ve got all five members of the Executive Council, so we get the governor and the president, and the whole thing is back on the red state side of the ledger.
HH: Terrific. Now that’s…I’m going to be in Columbus tomorrow with Governor Kasich and Josh Mandel, and of course Jon Voight and the gang talking up…I think Ohio is going to surprise, Mark Steyn, and I’ll close with this, because we’ve got all these UAW people out there messaging, and I think a lot of UAW people, just tell me whether you think I’m nuts here, are talking oh yeah, I’ll vote for the President, but they got theirs, and they know what they got isn’t going to last if we have four more years of this guy, that you know, they got the money out of the bank before the bank collapsed, but the bank’s going to collapse. And it isn’t going to be any good if they can’t sell any cars to anyone because we’re in a depression. What do you think about union-Reagan Democrats coming into the last ten days here?
MS: Yeah, well, there’s a couple of sort of fascinating things going on, which suggest that whatever happens on November the 6th, it’s going to be unusual. The one thing being that you know, Romney has, the more they’ve gone on about binders and all the other nonsense, Romney has eliminated the gender gap on that side. And then similarly, Obama, according to some polls, has eliminated the gender gap on the male side to a certain degree, and I think part of that is because there are a lot of guys who have been hurt by the recession, particularly. It’s essentially what they call a he-cession, that it’s basically good, white-collar, male breadwinners, blue-collar, male breadwinners who have been hurt by this thing, and some of them, obviously, are voting for more food stamps and dependency. But others understand that there is no getting out of this thing, that a flat-line economy, that the national sclerosis, which is what a vote for Obama is for, is in the end, now matter how good your pension is, no matter how good your benefits are, is going to kill everything. Who wants to have a great, you know, be holding a great pension plan in the ruins and rubble of a wasteland? Nobody does.
HH: Yeah, and that’s what we’re looking at. Mark Steyn, thank you for joining us. Good luck tomorrow as you hope around New Hampshire trying to get it to turn all red again.
End of interview.