The Unfortunate Return Of Dick Morris

After several years in the wilderness, Dick Morris has returned as a Fox News analyst and, bizarrely, adviser to several Republican candidates for Congress.

Alex Isenstadt at Politico takes note of one of the more interesting developments of this election cycle, the odd rehabilitation of Dick Morris:

Dick Morris, the former Bill Clinton consultant and confidant-turned conservative commentator, is trying on a new hat: Republican campaign surrogate.

Over the long arc of a career that has twice landed him on the cover of Time magazine, Morris has worked for prominent clients in both parties, ranging from Ed Koch to Jesse Helms. He’s authored books, appeared regularly as a television commentator and served as a key political adviser to Clinton both in Arkansas and in the White House, all the while amassing a reputation as a brilliant, if cold-blooded, strategist.

But in his latest iteration, Morris has become something of a principal himself, headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates. He’s formally endorsed some of the party’s top prospects, raised money for a slate of GOP House candidates including David McKinley in West Virginia, and Bob Gibbs and Tom Ganley in Ohio, and even blasted out a message to his e-mail list subscribers heaping praise on David Harmer, a challenger for a northern California-based seat.

House candidates who haven’t received material political benefits from Morris also report having informally discussed their races with the consultant and current FoxNews commentator at conservative events.

“He’s found his place, and he’s become important again. He’s found his place on the right,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who has known Morris for decades and who credits Morris with helping him land a job in the Clinton White House. “He’s emerged as a major exponent of the conservative Republican argument.”

One can’t help but sense no small degree of opportunism here on the part of Morris. After all, this is a guy who, up until about ten years ago, worked almost exclusively for Democrats, Republicans or anyone who would write him a check, including the one Democrat that, until November 2008, Republicans despised the most. After retreating from public life in a wake of a bizarre sex scandal, Morris started maxing a comeback as a political prognosticator/pundit on Fox News Channel, where he became well known during the 2008 campaign as an “expert” on all things Hillary Clinton. More often than not, Morris’s predictions about the 2008 campaign and his “guesses” about Hillary turned out to be wildly wrong, and his political hackery became something that Jon Stewart famously mocked in a September 2008 piece on The Daily Show:

After showing video of Dick Morris complaining about the rampant sexism in the media coverage of Sarah Palin, Stewart unveiled a clip of Morris saying that Hillary hides behind the sexism defense, and that anytime “the big boys” pick on Hillary, “she retreats behind the apron strings.”

“In Dick Morris’ defense,” Stewart said, “he is a lying sack of sh*t.”

And yet, here Morris is again, spinning tales that the audience of Fox News loves to hear, making predictions that nobody bothers to call him on when they turn out wrong, and, now, advising Republican candidates for office.

Nice work if you can get it, I suppose. I’m just not sure why anyone is still listening to him.

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FILED UNDER: Media, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. floyd says:

    And yet, here Morris is again, spinning tales that the audience of Fox News loves to hear, making predictions that nobody bothers to call him on when they turn out wrong, and, now, advising Republican candidates for office.

     Now substitute “Axelrod” for “Morris”…..”Democrat” for “Republican”and  “the left” for “the audience of Fox News”

    The only difference is that Axelrod has malicious intent and the power to do real damage.

  2. andrew says:

    I’m not a fan of Dick Morris, although he’s no worse than any of the other jokers on cable news, but how exactly is he “lying” like Jon Stewart says? In his opinion the coverage of Palin was sexist and Hillary Clinton plays the sexism card when convenient. You may agree or disagree, but how does one contradict the other?

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Lefty bloggers like Doug have to attack the messenger because they cannot attack the message.  It is right out of Alinsky’s book.  Mataconis claims to be more conservative than liberal yet he seldom if ever writes anything negative about those on the left.  Any other place Doug would be a troll.  Here he is a blogger.  He will have some off the wall defense of his positions yet if you read the body of his work there is no defense.  Intellectual honesty is not a strong suit here.  Morris did an excellent job for Clinton.  He would have remained on that side had Hillary won the nomination but it was stolen from her by thieves who no occupy the White House.  A political scientist would know Obama targeted states where caucuses decide primaries.  Hillary won the popular vote.  Morris’ accuracy is a matter of record.  Attack the messenger Doug, cause thats all you’ve got.

  4. Tano says:

    a guy who, up until about ten years ago, worked almost exclusively for Democrats

     
    This is ridiculously false Doug. Between stints with Clinton in his early governors races, and being called back after the ’94 debacle, Morris worked primarily for Republicans, including Dan Coats, Jesse Helms, and Papa Bush’s presidential campaign.

  5. Tano says:

    He would have remained on that side had Hillary won the nomination

     
    Sorry Zels, but you do not know what you are talking about. Morris broke with the Clintons a long time ago, and has a particular hatred of Hillary. He ever wrote a book in 2005 that tried to refute Hillary’s memoir and to reveal the “real Hillary”. It was not complimentary, to say the least.
     
    Morris is the paradigmatic sleaze.

  6. John Burgess says:

    I wasn’t aware that Morris every left FOX. Maybe he didn’t have his own show, but it sure seems as though he was there bloviating every time I tuned in.

  7. Laura says:

    Hillary is extraordinary and the best leader ever! Hillary is the only one who has suffered a brutal sexism, Not the liberal media or Fox defended her ever, they only attacked her.
    For every attack Palin received from the liberal media, fox sent all its force to defend her,even hired her. So please, let´s be clear, the only attacked has been Hillary.
    HILLARY 2012! We are here for you!

  8. ponce says:

    All it takes to get a slot on Fox News these days is an amoral past and a paranoid theory.

  9. wr says:

    Morris figured out quickly that while scandal could drive him from the Democrats, there is nothing that can prevent a right wing hack from getting work on Fox as long as he parrots the company line. He’s been a faithful voice on the right ever since, always willing to call Hillary a murderous lesbian, or whatever will further his career.

  10. making predictions that nobody bothers to call him on when they turn out wrong

    Like that book-length Hillary v. Condi 2008 contest.

  11. reid says:

    He reminds me of the ratty shape-changer from the Potter movies.

  12. Pug says:

    Morris made his mark at Fox News trashing HIllary Clinton. HIllary hatred has always been welcome at Fox.

    My guess is she could always tell what a sleaze bag he is and probably wanted to run him off even before his little toe sucking problem.

  13. sam says:

    @Zelsdorf

    “Morris did an excellent job for Clinton. He would have remained on that side had Hillary won the nomination but it was stolen from her by thieves who now occupy the White House. ”

    You’re so fvcking stupid. Dick Morris hasn’t worked for the Clintons since 1996. Idiot.

  14. juandos says:

    I guess Morris came back morphed into a Republican because he got tired of hanging with CLUELESS, PARASITIC, LIBTARDS that were both a drag on society and a drag on the economy…

    Morris’ supposed hatred of the HILDAHAG (personally I think its loathing more than hatred) is quite understandable…

    Rose Law firm and her actions in the White House while SLICK WILLIE was defiling the Oval Office should’ve been education enough to know where this Alinsky apostle was coming from…

    What I find especially hilarious is how the CLUELESS LIBTARDS are collectively whining and having their panties in a bunch since Morris went to Fox News instead of one of the LAMESTREAM MEDIA outlets…

    Its called professionalism and one can’t honestly call themselves a professional if they’re working with the likes of a Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, or a Rick Sanchez…

    FACTS are those nasty little details that ALWAYS undercuts the stance of the CLUELESS LIBTARD regardless of what the subject is…

  15. Brummagem Joe says:

    Trying on a new hat. Are you kidding. From the point he got caught toe sucking he’s been peddling junk for the Republicans. This guy is a real slime ball.

    ” juandos says:
    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 08:18″

    Don’t you love some realy intelligent commentary from the objective right?

  16. Tano says:

    I think you stumbled into the wrong thread, Doug…

  17. Yea I did….let me move that…

  18. davod says:

    Laura:

    “Hillary is extraordinary and the best leader ever! Hillary is the only one who has suffered a brutal sexism, Not the liberal media or Fox defended her ever, they only attacked her.”

    Your comment is reasonable as far as the MSM iks concerned. I did see FOX bringing up the liberal sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton a number of times. I can only think you included FOX because leaving the MSM out there alone shows the liberal elitists up for the bigots.

    There is no comparison between what was addressed at Hillary Clinton and the attacks against Sarah Palin.