The White House was said to be “giddy and gleeful” in the wake of Election Night’s surprisingly strong showing by Democrats. But the administration has nothing on the mood of Bill Maher, as exhibited on Friday’s Real Time.
A week after a downbeat Maher was ready to throw shovels of dirt on America while anticipating its demise at Republican hands, the comedian returned in a jubliant mood. “I haven’t had a text from Joe Biden in three days,” he said in his warmup. “I feel like he’s ghosted me.”
Maher seemed amazed at the turn in fortunes, noting that Pennsylvania may have been the biggest surprise. That’s the state where the polished Dr. Mehmet Oz “lost to a guy who dresses like the airline lost his luggage.”
Noting that ex-President Donald Trump is suffering a backlash, with many now touting the 2024 prospects of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Maher jabbed, “Trump finally knows what it’s like to be traded in for a younger model.”
The talk turned serious with Maher’s first guest, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who comfortably won a second term on Tuesday. Pointing out Polis’s successes with handling the pandemic and other issues, Maher tried to subtly steer Polis into an admission that he’s thinking of running for president in 2024. The veteran politician wouldn’t fall into the trap, saying he’s happy with the job he has.
The panel discussion brought together chief election and campaign correspondent for CBS News and coauthor of Peril, Robert Costa, and Democratic Congressman representing California’s 17th district and author of Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work For All Of Us,” Ro Khanna.
Maher admitted his relief at the top. “The election was like a colonostomy. I was expecting it to be unbearable, and it really wasn’t that bad.”
The panelists were eager to speculate on why that happened. Khanna claimed the closer results were because “it was not like Republicans had a great plan for inflation.”
Costa claimed former President Donald Trump was in “self-destruct mode” at the results. Maher wouldn’t bite, nothing he’s seen a lot of horror movies. “I’ve seen Jason come back from the grave too many times.”
Both panelists refused to concede that DeSantis was impressive with his huge Florida victory. Maher tried to reason with them. “The reason why I think DeSantis is strong – he can do the performance art to the base – but he can be a normal governor.”
Khanna wasn’t buying it. “What he did with Disney was dangerous.” He added that any Republican plans to go after the Biden family or otherwise pay back the Democrats for their persecution of Trump on Russia or Jan. 6th would be wrong. “What people want is for folks to solve their problems.”
Maher tried to get his panelists to admit that most voters saw Biden as a “temp” office holder, a sheriff who came into town and got rid of Black Bart (i.e., Trump), and now should ride into the sunset.
The panelists refused to hear it. “He’s (Biden) doing it out of real patriotism.” Costa insisted that Biden would have “a clear path” if he decided to run again in 2024, something Maher scoffed at.
In his “New Rules” editorial, Maher wondered why we know so much about Donald Trump’s love life in his pre-presidential days, but nothing since, despite the hundreds of tell-all books that have emerged.
Dismissing Trump’s wife, Melania, Maher wondered out loud that we know so much about his issues, down to the shape of his penis. Yet no word on infidelity.
Could it be that he’s unable to perform, Maher asked?
I feel for you if that’s the case, Maher said. But he noted, “I know you’re thinking about running again. No one wants a limp dick in the White House.”