Remnick did a double-take, asking them to explain the theory. “He’s got this obsession with positioning her,” Brzezinski said. “You can pull up her Instagram and she’s got these carefully composed sizzle reels, ,,, She’s going to all of the companies–” Scarborough interjected, “Giving speeches in front of the presidential seal.” He added, “When her advisors announced that she was giving up her businesses and they were asked if that meant she could run for office and they wouldn’t answer. They all just laughed.”
Later in the nearly two-hour conversation, Scarborough offered another potential rationale for Donald Trump not running for re-election. “He has early signs of dementia,” he said. “His father had it and now he has it.”
As could be expected, the conversation at the SVA Theatre on 23rd Street covered a wide range of topics, from Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the mid-term elections to the origins of their MSNBC show.
The first 15 minutes were devoted to the roiling debate over Kavanaugh’s high-court process, which is expected to conclude this weekend.
“I think this will make Brett Kavanaugh a more hardened conservative,” Scarborough said, citing the example of Clarence Thomas. He said Kavanaugh’s emotional Senate testimony defied the usual expectation of someone sitting on any bench, let alone that of the highest court of the land. “If you’re a cable news host, you can act like a jackass, and I have. But if you’re a federal judge you have to have a different standard.”
As much of a country-dividing earthquake as it may be, the Kavanaugh episode may end up galvanizing Democratic voters in a month’s time at the mid-term elections. “Thirty-two days from now, in the Trump age, this will be a distant memory,” Scarborough said.
Brzezinski ruefully noted the handling of the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. “I think we may have gotten in the way of this a bit,” she said, meaning the media. Before all of the facts were out about the allegations, “Everybody was taking that leap. Democrats did it and the media did it. And that’s damaging.”
The early days of the show, which Scarborough created as a quick solution to the network’s overnight problem: how to replace the three-hour morning block occupied by Don Imus. After making racist comments in 2006, Imus was fired and the concept for Morning Joe soon got a tryout.
The freeform, roundtable feel of the show threw some guests who were booked to talk about one topic and then had to call an audible. Remnick recalled suddenly being asked for his take about tabloid reports that golfer Tiger Woods had, in his words, “was playing more than golf.”
Hearing Remnick describe feeling daunted by the prospects of having to do improv, Scarborough said, “I didn’t realize that was intimidating to people because for us, we just talk.” When one guest started complaining about not knowing what topic she would be asked on air to address, he recalled, “Mika walked over and dropped a stack of newspapers on the table during a break and said, ‘We’re talking about this.'”