August 27, 2013

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When Abby Huntsman announced earlier this summer that she’d be jumping from a host of HuffPost Live to a gig as one of the members of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” she said she’d bring a “dose of rational conservativism” to the show’s polemics. What she didn’t promise to bring was her greenness — she’s 27 — as a combatant in partisan cable television.

She brought both of those qualities to this afternoon’s edition of “The Cycle.” Check out the video above, at the 3:30 mark. Huntsman is riffing on how the United States is no better off in the Middle East than it was more than a decade ago. Let her take it away:

We still have no sense of what our goals are in the Middle East. The next two months are going to be incredibly consequential for the president, as you’ve both pointed out already. Syria’s the huge one, that’s the most immediate. This is not a time for him to be cautious, this is not a time for him to be methodical about his approach.

Fellow “Cyclist” Touré just couldn’t sit still for this fit of nonsense:

Of course this is a time to be cautious. What are you talking about?

Huntsman, reeling:

That’s his nature. That also stops him from, from doing the right thing, I think. And acting as soon as he probably could. That aside, though, Syria — then you have the budget battles….

On most cable-news shows, Huntsman wouldn’t have been allowed an escape into the more safe refuge of Beltway fiscal struggles. But she managed, perhaps because the other roundtable members didn’t want to embarrass her. Before the segment was finished, she wobbled yet again, this time on the topic of whether President Obama or congressional Republicans would be to blame for further Washington gridlock. It was a segment that made S.E. Cupp’s shoes appear size 14.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.