In politics there are advantages to taking stances that are principled and not simply partisan. Sometimes one has to pick their battles and give the other side credit where it's due. What's gained is credibility, not wasting capital on "petty" fights.
This was illustrated when Bernie Goldberg diverged from Sean Hannity on how much credit President Obama deserves for the handling of the Captain rescue from Somali Pirates. Bernie is a self styled expert on media Bias, having written 'Bias' and 'A Slobbering Love Affair'. Bernie Goldberg like Laura Ingraham previously demonstrates how one can compliment a political rival whilst still asserting their opposition. Bernie managed to get his digs in by saying "I'm just not gonna be like left was with George Bush".
Guest Bernie Goldberg with Sean Hannity, April 13 2009
BERNIE GOLDBERG: First of all I think it was smart for the President not to say anything while the hostage was being held, if God forbid something would have happened to the captain that would have lessened the stature of the President...
But there is another issue that troubles me Sean and it troubles me a lot. You remember liberals wouldn't give George Bush credit for anything. If he came up with the cure for cancer they wouldn't have given him credit on that. I'm sorry Sean but I see that on the right now. It's like I don't want to put Barack Obama on Mt Rushmore for simply being Commander-in-chief but we have to stop going out of our way to find fault in every single thing he does. I think I've got a little bit of credibility on this issue...
Bernie also takes a slight shot at Sean Hannity
BERNIE GOLDBERG: If you wanna use the word credit I'll use that word
SEAN HANNITY: They're grabbing credit
GOLDBERG: He gets the credit because he was the Commander-in-chief. It happened on his watch, that's the way it goes in the real world of politics. If something bad had happened here and thank God it didn't
HANNITY: Thank God
GOLDBERG: But if something bad happened here. I guarantee you-- I tell you who would have been leading the crusade against hi. You! and you may have been right... but it didn't.
The ever persistent Sean keeps trying until he finds a point of agreement with Bernie Goldberg. Even if a little strained. Judge for yourself:
SEAN HANNITY: Bernie you're entitled to your opinion, the only thing I'm saying here is way the captain handled the credit by saying "I'm a byline, the Navy SEALS saved my life". I think it was classier than racing to the cameras, you know and your PR people trying to convince the world you were responsible for something you may not have even had the option is a big difference.
BERNIE GOLDBERG: One was a captain the other was a politician
SEAN HANNITY: Good answer. So I won you over
Bernie Goldberg is momentarily silent -- then laughs.