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Sunday Study Guide: Granholm, McDonnell, Castellanos, Reed, Brokaw, Colbert

The Final Countdown of the Campaign: Granholm, McDonnell, Castellanos, Reed, and Brokaw

  • Fmr. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) served as head of the state of Michigan for two terms, from 2003-2011. Granholm served as the stand-in for Fmr. Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) during preparations for the 2008 vice presidential debate. She said of Vice President Biden’s performance in this week’s debate, “He clearly has a heart for real people. He has passion, he was relatable. I think he did what he had to do” and it “stopped the Romney momentum.” Granholm and her husband, Dan Mulhern, co-wrote “A Governor’s Story.” She also hosts The War Room with Jennifer Granholm. Watch her most recent appearance on Meet the Press.
  • Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) is in his first term as governor and is chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He has been stumping for Mitt Romney across the country, and throughout his own state of Virginia. While campaigning in Wisconsin earlier this week before the debate, McDonnell said he anticipated “a lot of bluster and a defense of the Obama record by Joe Biden, but I expect a lot of facts and figures and passion for the American dream by Paul Ryan” and it will present a choice between “a vision of America that is forward looking, Reaganesque and free-market-oriented vs. a plan for the last four years that hasn't worked, no matter how Joe Biden sugarcoats it." Watch his latest appearance on the show. 
  • Republican strategist Alex Castellanos wrote pre-first debate that “the ultimate undecided voter is in the White House. He wrote that “uncertainty of what [President Obama] stands for is mounting,” citing the president’s changed stances on ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, closing Guantanamo, and the Bush tax cuts, among others. Castellanos has served as a strategist for the Romney campaign, as well as on John McCain’s 2008 campaign and the Bush-Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2008. Watch his latest appearance on the show here.
  • Democratic Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been in office since 2010 and is currently the chairman of the Transportation and Communications Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. On his last appearance on Meet the Press, Reed said of Mitt Romney’s missteps on the campaign trail, “[I]t shows basically is Republicans have a candidate that’s defective, and it shouldn’t be surprising to them. He has made these mistakes repeatedly.” Watch the mayor’s latest Meet the Press appearance here.
  • NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who moderated the town hall debate between Obama and Sen. John McCain (D-AZ) in 2008, said last week’s debate was “a kick-start to this presidential campaign” because “[i]f it had been Romney performing like the president last night, it would have been over.” The debate was good for the country though because “it will engage the country. There were big ideas” they talked about in the debate. Brokaw said, “Some of [these big ideas were] imperfectly articulated and certainly not well defended in some instances, but they are talking about the issues on the minds of a lot of American people.” Here is his most recent Meet the Press appearance.

Stephen Colbert

  • Stephen Colbert is the host of the Colbert Report, a political satire show he hosts in character. His character, he said, is “based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news.” Colbert is also a writer and executive producer for the show, which won a Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting in 2008 and two Emmys for itswriting. He was previously a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
  • Colbert also takes his satirical character beyond his show.  Last year, he formed a Super PAC, the Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, parodying the surge of the Super PAC since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. He later transferred control of the Super PAC to fellow political satirist Jon Stewart in order to form an exploratory committee about entering the South Carolina GOP primary race in January. He previously attempted a South Carolina Democratic primary run in 2007. Colbert has also testified in character during a Congressional hearing in 2010 regarding farm labor and immigration after spending a day as a farm worker.
  • Colbert is the author of “America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t.” With the country’s current economic issues, he says there is now a “sense that you mustn't criticize America because it's perfect. But then again America is in the toilet, and we have to fix it.” This book covers “that dichotomy, that sort of paradoxical statement that our greatest days are ahead of us, and we've got the greatest history in the history of history, but right now […] we've got to save America from disaster.”
  • Here is Colbert’s previous Meet the Press appearance in 2007.

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