With housing prices in free fall and lending standards tightening, it's been a tough year for real estate professionals. But rather than just busting open the liquor cabinet as a less dignified trade group might have done—I'm looking at you, National Association of Professional Pet Sitters—the National Association of Realtors kicked off its midyear meeting in Washington, D.C., today by offering the healing tonic of laughter.
To entertain the 8 a.m. crowd of real estate pros—mock turtlenecks, aggressive cellphone activity, the works—NAR trucked in CNN's former right/left Crossfire duo Tucker Carlson (the conservative) and Paul Begala (the liberal).
With an act professionally polished on the convention-speakers circuit, Carlson and Begala each began 30-minute talks by sucking up to audience:
[Realtors] are very charming people. I like Realtors because I've moved around the country a lot. I feel like I've singlehandedly kept the industry afloat—thank you very much. I would have to say that certainly some of the most dramatic moments of my life have been buying houses—not being sick or watching a child get married—but for me the highest level of emotional stress in my life so far has been real estate transactions. And you have been there to calm me down and soothe my brow and keep me from flipping out. So thank you. I like Realtors very much.
I am at CNN, Tucker is at MSNBC, which again speaks to the wisdom of the Realtors, because there is nobody here from Fox News.
Tucker Carlson on the American media's purported love of Barack Obama:
There has never been a love affair like the one between the American media and Barack Obama. We love Barack Obama. And I don't just mean love, I mean the kind of love—if you have ever been a ninth-grade boy you know the kind of love...puppy love. We love you, Barack Obama. That's how we feel in the media.
In Washington, which is, of course, the part of the press corps which covers the election, is in even more profound love with Barack Obama because it is a self-reinforcing kind of love. We don't know anyone who doesn't love Barack Obama. If you live in the District of Columbia, you could wake up in the morning, go about your business, go to bed at night, and not meet another human being—not set eyes upon another human being—who doesn't love Barack Obama as much as you do. Because Barack Obama's constituency is African-American voters, college students, and rich white liberals. That describes every person in D.C. except me."
Paul Begala on Bill Clinton:
When I started working for Bill Clinton we had no children. By the end of the second term, we had four. So he inspired me in ways I didn't know.
Tucker Carlson on Hillary Clinton:
I would eat broken glass before voting for Hillary.