As the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the nomination of William Barr, MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace worried about diminished expectations during the Donald Trump administration.
While she now refers to herself as a "non-practicing Republican," prior to her career in journalism, Wallace served as White House communications director during the George W. Bush administration.
"Elise, I have this feeling we're looking at everything on this sort of sliding scale," Wallace said to MSNBC political analyst Elise Jordan.
"We're grading everybody on a curve and he's so benefited by the fact that Matt Whitaker is thought of by most conservative legal scholars as a boob," Wallace reported. "So the DOJ is now led by a boob."
"So everyone looks at Barr and it's like the scene in "American President" when you're so hungry for leadership, you're going to crawl through the sand and when you realize it's a mirage, you're going to drink the sand," Wallace reminded.
"People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty... they drink the sand because they don't know the difference," President Andrew Shepherd, portrayed by Michael Douglas, explained in the movie.
"Is there drinking of sand going on with Barr?" Wallace asked.
"I do think that he's definitely being graded on a curve, just because look at some of Donald Trump's disastrous appointees and we're going from, you know, a toilet salesman -- all of the fraud that Whitaker is accused of -- to someone who seems like a steady establishment pick," Jordan said.