WATCH: Michael Nutter Criticizes Bernie Sanders on CNN
This is Mike Nutter, TV pundit: Provocative words, sleep-inducing tone.
Nutter went on CNN Tuesday night to discuss the New Hampshire primary results — CNN commentator being one of the growing list of new jobs he’s taken on since ending his eight-year mayorship last month. Two things became apparent during his commentary.
First: He’s clearly a Hillary Clinton partisan. (Duh. He’d already endorsed her while mayor.) Nutter spent his airtime suggesting that Bernie Sanders doesn’t much like President Obama — and insinuated that Sanders’ rhetoric was racially insensitive.
“Almost every time I’ve heard him talk about African-Americans and Latinos, it has been with regard to either jail or criminal justice, and I find that slightly offensive,” Nutter said of Sanders, who won New Hampshire.
Second: He was kind of boring TV.
There’s always been two Nutters — Charismatic Mike and Phlegmatic Mike. Charismatic Mike is the guy who can perform “Rapper’s Delight” and drop the mic; more substantively, he’s also the guy who can angrily rail about “idiots and assholes” who damage the city and its image. You’ve got to think CNN was hoping for a little bit of that fire — minus, of course, the profanity — when they hired him.
Phlegmatic Mike is Nutter in professorial mode — quiet, bloodless, and kind of boring to listen to. Maybe that’s a calculated decision: If you’re going to suggest racial insensitivity on the part of a candidate who participated in the 1963 March on Washington, you want to sound really reasonable doing so.
It’s a long election season, though, and Nutter has long been popular on the Sunday morning TV punditry circuit, so we expect to see him warm up a little bit. That’ll change. The critiques of Sanders? Those will probably continue.