The stunning comeback of John McCain, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Last summer, the Arizona senator was dead in the water, his campaign in disarray, his poll numbers as low as single digits. But McCain toughed it out just like he did at the Hanoi Hilton.
Illegal immigration was the primary reason McCain was getting hammered. By allying himself with Ted Kennedy, some Americans perceived him to be soft on illegal immigration. And the quasi-amnesty part of the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill angered many Republicans. But McCain soldiered on, acknowledging that Americans want the border secured before benefits for illegals are considered.
The turning point though for the McCain campaign was the Bhutto assassination in Pakistan. Once again, Americans were reminded that Islamic crazies are a major threat to the world.
Senator McCain is a terror warrior, an Iraq defender. He was widely seen on TV urging aggressive action against Al Qaeda and the other killers. That brought John McCain into focus again. And some voters who were not firmly convinced Rudy Giuliani was the answer crossed over to the senator.
Then Independents in New Hampshire and South Carolina rallied to McCain, giving him big victories in those states. Then Florida Republicans did the same thing. As Rudy lost support, McCain gained it.
Some conservatives still don't like the senator but face a choice. According to most polls, McCain has the best chance of beating Hillary or Obama right now. And I believe some Republicans are taking that into consideration.
One of the great things about America is that you, the folks, make the call. A McCain comeback is a stunning political story, and the media had nothing to do with it. Republican voters in Florida heard it all, and John McCain won. Congratulations to him.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
New England quarterback Tom Brady met the media yesterday and was surprised by a marriage proposal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: To the woman in the wedding dress.
INEZ GOMEZ-MONT, REPORTER, TV AZTECA: I'm in love with you.
BRADY: Are you really?
GOMEZ-MONT: Will you marry me, please? Marry me, please.
BRADY: Wow, I've never had a proposal.
GOMEZ-MONT: Please marry me.
BRADY: What's your name first?
BRADY: Inez. A beautiful name, Inez.
GOMEZ-MONT: Marry me. I'm the real Mrs. Brady.
BRADY: I got a few Ms. Bradys in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
For handling that situation with grace and humor, Brady is a patriot, in more ways than one. Of course, he's a very impressive guy both on and off the field, Tom Brady.
On the pinhead front, the far-left Web site Media Matters is perhaps the most dishonest enterprise in the country. Now the smear factory has put out an article that says FOX News will have a rough year in 2008.
Well, if the January ratings are any indication, Media Matters is once again lying its you-know-what off. FNC has the top six-rated news programs on cable and eight of the top 10.
"The Factor" once again dominates the field. On the nights I was here in the chair in January, we hammered our competition at 8 p.m., beating them all combined. In fact, with about four million viewers for both 8 and 11, we beat a number of entertainment programs on the networks.
Media Matters is run by liars and defamers. They are far worse than pinheads.
By the way, MSNBC's ratings in January, dismal. Its morning program down by 30 percent in key demos, while "FOX & Friends" continues to soar.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads and Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org