Schiff Fails to Impress the Press

Roll Call (subscription required, unfortunately) has a scathing piece about reporter Stu Rothenberg’s meeting with potential U.S. Senate candidate Peter Schiff in today’s edition:

But rarely do I have a meeting like the one that I had recently with Peter Schiff, the well-known investment guru who takes credit for predicting the bankruptcies of the auto companies, the problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing bubble and the recession (which he says actually is a depression — and will get worse). If you are looking for modesty or humility, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

And Rothenberg’s bottom line assessment of Mr. Schiff’s quality as a candidate?

Schiff may or may not be right about what ails America. That’s not the issue. But I saw no evidence that he understands how to talk to voters who have the kinds of problems that average Americans in Connecticut face each and every day, no evidence that he’d be effective in the Senate and no evidence that he has even the vaguest idea how to put together a campaign.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Source: Rothenberg, Stu “A Candidate Meeting That I’ll Never Forget – Even if I’d Like to” Roll Call, June 15, 2009, Retrieved at (subscription required) on June 15, 2009.


11 responses to “Schiff Fails to Impress the Press

  1. CrankyYankee71

    I do not have a subscription to Roll Call. Was there anything about substance in the article?

    The sections quoted here seem to be about process and packaging.

    If the only substantive comment is that there is

    no evidence that he’d be effective in the Senate

    then, perhaps, the writer does not share the substantive view that anyone who challenges the out-of-control tax and spend philosophy of most legislators can be effective, even if he is a lone wolf trying to bring attention to that position.

    If he predicted the current mess, then maybe he will have some credibility when he says “no” to all the ridiculous taxing (and borrowing) and spending going on now in Washington and what it will ultimately do to future generations.

  2. I don’t know much about Schiff. However, while he hasn’t done any campaigning before, I’m sure he could find some smart people who’d tell him what it does entail, then he could decide if wanted to do it.

    I think that he’s probably not terribly connected to the average voter: did he grow up middle class, or did he grow up wealthy?

    I did see him on the Daily Show, he looked pretty good, and he’s been on TV a lot. He can argue, and while he may be arrogant, it seems like he’s at least earned the right to be… In a TV debate with Dodd, I think he could hold his own. As far as effectiveness in the Senate, he can figure that out I guess.

    My worry about Schiff is really more that he comes out for proposals that the general public sees as way out of the mainstream, like the gold standard. Some politicians who’ve worked their way up (like Jack Kemp) can talk about the gold standard and not seem way out of the mainstream because they’ve worked within the existing system. But for a newbie like Schiff, it just seems like he wants to go there and make such fundamental changes to the economy that the voters get scared off.

    Schiff’s got no track record, and he hasn’t campaigned before. He’s participated in a lot of CNN and CNBC shouting matches, but what you say there really doesn’t matter. I’m sure if runs, opposition researchers are going to study every second of those tapes for something crazy he said, and if anything comes off as looney, that’ll be played over and over.

    It’s also somewhat weird that he never has voted before. I’m not sure which of the Republicans I’ll support for the nomination, and I definitely haven’t ruled this guy out. But does he have any shot at really winning?

  3. AndersonScooper

    Peter Schiff — Kookier than Ron Paul?

    Look, the guy could probably play in California, but in the Land of Steady Habits?

    And that debate with Dodd could never happen, as Schiff has less of a chance of capturing the GOP nomination than even Caligiuri.

    Maybe Dodd gets lucky and Schiff runs as an Independent? And I wouldn’t put it past Schiff, as his disdain for the Republican Party is readily apparent. (Not to mention his ego!)

  4. I don’t see Schiff winning a GOP primary. I’ve got money on Sammy taking it… he’s doing what he needs to do… remember… low turnout elections (a primary) don’t need to be high profile.

    If Schiff won the nomination… (and I think there is an outside chance… if he quickly builds a strong organization… and he almost certainly would have the money for it) then he’d have a shot at being a US Senator because the election will be about Dodd. If the economy stinks, Dodd could conceivably get spanked by Simmons, Caligiuri or Schiff.

    But that’s a result of Dodd’s work and the economy. It has little to do with whomever his opponent is.

  5. Those without a subscription can read the article here:

    I have mixed feelings about Schiff.

    Although he is right on economics, I do not think he has taken the steps necessary to prepare himself for a race or prove that he is ready for prime time.

    If I recall correctly, you need to get (I believe) at least 15% of the votes at the convention in order to run in a primary.

    I think that this is a crucial fact for Foley to Schiff to keep in mind, as both of them intend to get the nomination by blowing millions on TV commercials in the 1-2 months before a primary. However, TV does not create impressions. It only can amplify or accelerate them. And without, 15% at a convention, they are locked out of the primary.

    You can’t buy a Senate seat in Connecticut. Certainly if Ned Lamont couldn’t buy a Senate seat, neither of these guys have a chance of doing so. Politics, especially at the state and local levels is a business of relationships. Neither Foley nor Schiff is building the relationships necessary to launch a Senate campaign.

    Planning to rely exclusively on out-of-state supporters and out-of-state cash is not good if you can’t get 15% at a convention. Airing such a plan in public simply p¡$$µ$ off the convention electors, because it shows a complete lack of respect for their role in the political process.

  6. There’s a significant difference between Lamont and all Dodd challengers.

    Lieberman was largely disliked by the third of the people called Dems. Dodd is largely disliked by the two thirds of the people called Rs or Us.

  7. Weicker Liker

    Peter Schiff can bypass the Senate Convention next year and get 2% of the total number of Republicans via the Direct Primary process.

    Would have about three to four weeks to gather signatures,

    That number is somewhere in the ballpark of 15,000. I

  8. I was wondering if anyone else saw a recent Dodd advertisement on TV.

    I am thinking of the one that ( basically) shows a woman lamenting the fact that she missed her credit card payment by 2 days. As a result according to her, then her credit card company hiked her rate from 4 % to over 20% and she had to cash in her IRA savings to pay it off, and I guess save herself from financial ruin.

    FirstI wonder, if she had the money (outside of her IRA) to pay off her credit card bill two days earlier but for some reason missed that payment why would she then need to cash in her IRA to pay it off the same bill just two days latter?

    Somehow in all this she manages to find some reason to give Chris Dodd a two thumbs up. By time she got that far I must admit I was lost as to why.

    OK I know I maybe missing something, but I guess I wonder after seeing this add. Is there any requirement that these sort of political adds are factual, or is it perfectly all right to just make this stuff up? I am not trying to say this in fact never happened, but I must admit it does seem to me to be a bit hard to believe.

    I also think it worth mentioning that on the few occasions over the years that I have been late with a credit card payment I have found that with just a simple phone call to my company I have found them to be very reasonable to deal with.

  9. OK I know I maybe missing something, but I guess I wonder after seeing this add.

    Yes, you definitely missed something.

    If the woman barely had the cash to pay her monthly vig at 4% but missed mailing her check in time, then when they raised the interest rate on her entire balance to 20%, she needed MORE money to simply meet the minimum payment at the new rate. If she was several thousand in credit debt (like many people unfortunately do) then she needed to cough up a lot more dough to make the payment that two days earlier was only tagged at the 4% rate.

    Hope that clears it up for ya.

  10. Odd to call this journalistic bullet in the brain an “interview.” Where’s the interview? As as result of this partisan preening, does any one really know what Schiff’s view is on any important issue of the day? Shouldn’t this exercise in self relevation been called Rothenbergview?

  11. “Hope that clears it up for ya.”

    Bob, thanks for the response. I do understand your point of course.

    First, let me start by saying that I totally agree that the idea that a ( one time) late payment ( of two days) should give a green light to any credit card company to not just charge a late fee, but also jack up the interest rate on the entire balance is a practice that needs to be stopped. I have no issue with the late fee, but a big one with the change in interest rate on the existing balance at the same time.

    Beyond that I guess I wonder where was she getting a rate of 4% in the first place? Was that just one of those teaser rates that got so many people in over their heads like those unrealistically low mortgage rates couple of years ago? I mean did she think she was going to be getting 4% as long as she made her min payment on time each month?

    Lastly, like I said, the few times I have missed a payment by a few days, I found a simple call to my credit card company to be well worth my time. I was able to over the phone make the payment, and they not only removed the late fee, but the interest charge as well. If this woman who we are lead to believe has been until this occasion a good customer to this credit card company, and historically making her monthly payments on time, I have to believe a call on her part to her company would have been more effective for her than waiting for Chris Dodd to do, well, whatever it is that Chris Dodd does.

    Thankfully, after 28 or 29 years in the senate Chris Dodd is getting around to concerning himself with issues like this. Let’s all hope that by time we send him off to Ireland (or Iowa if he prefers) and into retirement next year he manages to get some reasonable reform made here. I would hate to see her need to cash in her bingo savings the next time she is late with a payment. 🙂

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