Entries from Jan 2017
Incompetence v. Ideology

“What we have here is a series of virtual stun grenades called executive orders,” said Morning Joe’s veteran columnist Mike Barnicle about President Donald Trump’s actions in his first week in office, specifically talking about his POTUS’s controversial travel ban for seven countries. “We’re going to have another one tonight in order to distract people: The announcement of a Supreme Court Justice. But in speaking with several people in Washington with expertise in fighting terror in this country, they raise the issue over and over again of incompetence versus ideology. Incompetence– the incompetence in drawing up of the executive order executive order on immigration. And they asked me specifically: `Where was Pakistan of this list? Where was Afghanistan? Where was Kenya?’ Tune in to hear more of the conversation between Barnicle and Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Day 4

During the Morning Joe discussion of President Donald Trump on just his fourth day in office, veteran columnist Mike Barnicle recounts how busy POTUS has been already: “Here’s a list from yesterday. The Keystone pipeline. Mexico – going to build a wall. It’s going to effect immigration. It’s going to affect attention facilities. TPP – that involves China obviously. New settlements in Israel. Chicago – he is going to send the Feds into Chicago to take care of killings. He mentioned the Supreme Court – he is going to have a nominee for the Supreme Court within the next couple of weeks. Theresa May is coming from Great Britain. He threw out voter fraud again – 3 to 5 million more people voted for him and that’s why he didn’t win the popular vote. How about taking nap?,” suggests Barnicle. Listen to more of the discussion here.

How I Got Here

The latest episode of How I Got Here features award-winning journalist and Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle talking to the show’s creators, his son Tim Barnicle and Harry Hill, sharing stories from his youth in Fitchburg to his days in Washington D.C., his years as a celebrated newspaper columnist for The Boston Globe and much more. Hear Mike’s inspiring interview, as well as fascinating interviews with Tom Brokaw, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ken Burns and Maria Shriver on PodcastOne.

How I Got Here


Trump’s journey to the presidency

Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnicle examine what it was about then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump that led to him becoming today President of the United States. Says Barnicle:
“You have this big egotistical, headline-grabbing, sprawling guy coming out of Queens with a huge chip on his shoulder, and he came very quickly because of how he behaved and what he said to represent the hopes, and the anger, and the dreams, and a whole jumble of emotions among so many people; but all of that was basically New Haven. It was taking the play and tryouts in New Haven. This is the real deal today.” Hear more of the conversation and discussion of what Trump was able to tap into that resonated with many voters.

How the media has covered President Donald Trump

As the Morning Joe panel discusses how the media has covered President Donald Trump as a candidate, president elect and now as President of the United States, veteran columnist Mike Barnicle has this suggestion: “We have to cover the country rather than cover the candidate himself or now the president. We didn’t do a good job of covering the country.” Listen in on the the animated conversation among Barnicle, and hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough about how the media can best do its job going forward.

For the Daily Beast: The Dead Patriots a...

In his latest column for The Daily Beast, Mike Barnicle paints a haunting picture of the harsh, cold reality of war for fallen soldiers and their families – buried in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery — to heed a message to President Donald Trump about the significance and responsibility that now rests upon his shoulders as he fulfills the role of Commander-in-Chief. “Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office and become the 45th president of the United States. Then, for the first time, he might well realize that his most important obligation is to be aware of the fact that only he can add to the names carved on war memorials and cemetery headstones because he now carries the burden, the weight and responsibility of being commander in chief. That is his duty, to honor the dead by never forgetting their sacrifice or the failed politics that sent them to die.” Read the entire column here.

The Dead Patriots and the Commander in Chief


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle and Council on Foreign Affairs President Richard Haass discuss whether the Trump Administration should make immediate changes in how government departments are organized with Barnicle suggesting it might be time to streamline and Haass taking an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” position. Hear their conversation here. Only on MSNBC.

Betsy DeVos’s underwhelming – if not embarrassing – performance

Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Mike Barnicle analyze President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos’s underwhelming – if not embarrassing – performance at her confirmation hearing where she was questioned by Republican and Democrat Senators alike. “You had Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – very intense, very ideologically-driven grilling of Betsy DeVos. Then you had Chris Murphy from Connecticut ask the question – the sidewalk question: Guns in schools, which stunned everyone watching – her response.” Watch the Morning Joe conversation here.

Joe Biden’s Home Depot mentality

“One of the Vice President’s gifts is that he has a Home Depot mentality,” said Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle about Vice President Joe Biden and his concern during the presidential race of 2016 that Republican candidate Donald Trump could win the election. “He goes home every weekend to Wilmington, Delaware, and he will go to Home Depot himself to pick up a hammer or something like that. He’s got that instinct – that sidewalk level, gut instinct. And he was deeply bothered and cognizant of the fact prior to the election that, that thing was going south.” Tune in to hear more of the conversation about prominent Democrats who may have warned early that the election was not going their way.

President Obama’s role as the outgoing commander in chief

During the Morning Joe discussion of President Barack Obama’s final news conference and handling of the transition, senior contributor Mike Barnicle said: “There was a particular moment in that press conference when he went on for two or three minutes with rhetoric that if (Democratic presidential nominee) Hillary Clinton had used the same rhetoric during the course of her campaign it may have had a different result. The election may have had a different result because he addressed those left behind and lost in the system who feel that their children have been neglected and won’t do as well as they have done in this country. He was talking to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin.” Tune in to listen to hear the conversation among the Morning Joe panel: host Joe Scarborough, The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters and Barnicle about President Obama’s role as the outgoing commander in chief.

Mike Barnicle on President Barack Obama’s final news conference

“That was quite a display yesterday from the outgoing President of the United States,” said Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle about President Barack Obama’s final news conference. “It encapsulated so much about who that man is. You had a combination of eloquence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and most importantly respect for the office; and an understanding and a communicative ability to tell people the weight of the office, including to the incoming administration. Quite a display.” Hear more from Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and the panel here.

Washington’s Hair Club for Men

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough got the show going this morning by renaming it “Washington’s Hair Club for Men,” comparing and contrasting New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters’ well-coiffed hair with that of the other male panelists. Said senior contributor Mike Barnicle: “I was one of the original members of the club.” Listen in to the conversation and co-host Mika Brzezinski’s ribbing of Scarborough and his own well-styled hairdo.

President Barack Obama’s legacy

As Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, the show’s senior contributor Mike Barnicle and Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin discuss President Barack Obama’s legacy — from high marks on the economic side to hits on foreign policy — Barnicle says: “When history is written… saving the economy is going to be a huge, huge story. Much bigger than it is right now.” Tune in for the conversation here.

President Obama shortens Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence

“It seems there is more than a bit of irony here in a commutation for Chelsea Manning from a president who has presided over an administration that has been fierce in its going after leakers – fierce,” says Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle to BBC News Washington D.C. correspondent Katty Kay during a conversation about President Barack Obama’s decision to shorten the prison sentence of former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years in jail for giving classified info to WikiLeaks. Barnicle suggests the timing was intentional, as President Obama is holding his final press briefing today, during which he is sure to be asked about it.

Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations underperforming at their Senate hearings

“Some of these nominees, the lack of preparation, really good preparation, prior to their appearance at these hearings is kind of surprising. Who would not have guessed that Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut would ask a question about guns in schools…and you don’t have an adequate answer for that? I mean, that’s surprising,” said Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle during a discussion about how President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations have underperformed at their Senate hearings, particularly Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos. Tune in to hear Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin add their opinions to the mix.

The Briefing

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, during a panel discussion about Mike Allen’s interview with President-elect Donald Trump for the newly launched Axios AM newsletter, says: “It reminds me of something that Mike Barnicle said …before Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. He said: At some point everybody gets the briefing and when they get the briefing it changes them.” Listen in on more of the conversation here about Trump’s “unusually subdued” nature and “somber tone” during Allen’s interview, which Morning Joe senior contributor Barnicle calls out as “among the more encouraging reports.”

Mike Barnicle on the Trump Cabinet confirmation hearings

“The ripples of relief began in Washington and extend around the globe – specifically to Europe with the testimony of General (James) Mattis, General (John) Kelly, and Congressman (Mike) Pompeo. Each three in their own ways in the testimony, in the questions and answers that they were providing to the committees, looked professional, responsible, not crazy. They weren’t going to do anything off the cuff, and I think they gave a great degree of confidence to the people who are going to be voting on their nominations as well as to our allies overseas – especially Mattis on the Iran Treaty,” said Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle about the Trump Cabinet confirmation hearings happening this week. Hear more of the conversation here.

“Wrong venue, wrong time.”

“Wrong venue, wrong time…Important content, but it basically should’ve been given two years from now as he launches his campaign for president,” said Morning Joe senior correspondent Mike Barnicle during a panel discussion about Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s decision to break precedent by testifying against his Senate colleague Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) nomination for Attorney General, which led many to believe Booker was using his speech in a calculated attempt to launch his bid for the 2020 presidential election. Listen to more on the situation here.

Another Realm Entirely

“Yesterday was a new low…for all of us in this nation. When you have the President-Elect of the United States basically comparing intelligence professionals to Nazis. That has taken this into another realm entirely,” said Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle during a heated discussion with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough about President-elect Donald Trump’s contentious relationship with the intelligence community and the fresh start he will get next week. Hear more of the conversation here.

President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address

Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle says it was “good parenting” to have children watch President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address from Chicago. “That was a spectacular moment. You had the President of the United States going out the door…and the speech was – I thought – spectacular in the sense that it wasn’t a partisan speech. It wasn’t about yesterday. It was more about tomorrow. And it was directional and optimistic for the country.” Listen in on more of the conversation here.