Monday, January 28, 2013

Obama and Hillary on 60 Minutes

I think it is safe to say that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.  As part of repayment for assisting his re-election using her popular husband and for saving him from being called before Congress to testify about Benghazi, President Obama sat for a joint interview with Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes Sunday night.  He has not done that with any other member of his cabinet.  Frankly, the only other joint interviews he does is the occasional one with is wife.

It was a slobbering love fest.  No questions of worth were asked of the outgoing Secretary of State.  Nothing about how this administration has failed on the world stage, nothing about the continuing Arab unrest, nothing about digging deeper into the Benghazi tragedy, just nothing.  It was all about how does she feel and how is her health and the like.  It was a big ole campaign hug for Hillary 2016.

Can you imagine that kind of interview with a Republican, any Republican at all? No, of course not.  

THIS is a good list of pros and cons for Hillary's 2016 run.

Republicans and conservatives and Independents continue to make Fox News Network the most watched on cable television for a reason.  After decades of only one point of view - the liberal world vision - it was a breath of fresh air to hear both sides of political arguments.  Barack Obama, however, has renewed his objection to Fox News and to conservative talk radio. He would like to demand only his ideas to be in the public square but can't really officially demand that of television viewers, so he whines.  

It is normal for a president to voice despair with the media and reporters.  It is not normal for a president to call for a boycott of a news organization simply for allowing more than one point of view to emerge on its airwaves.  Remember during the 2008 campaign when Team Obama decided to shut out Fox News from their press plane and gave no interviews to the network reporters? Yeah.  Like that. 

This 60 Minutes interview was an embarrassment.  Some even on the left call it dangerously close to something a state run media would run. You may remember Ms. Powers from the Clinton administration as she was in the State Department and a big supporter of both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The New Republic, a liberal online publication, has re-launched and lo and behold, the cover story is on President Obama and a main point is how displeased he is with FOX News and conservative talk radio. The publisher and editor in chief is Chris Hughes, a dot com millionaire and a major Obama donor.  He pledged non-biased reporting but the very first issue violates that promise. On working with the other party, Obama expects the media and reporters to carry his water and tout his agenda.

And I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don't think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground.One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it.
It's that uncooperative Fox News, I tell you.

Washington Post political columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer said that Obama's scowl towards FOX News should be accepted with pride:

I love to hear the president whine about FOX News and talk radio. I think we ought to be proud of the fact that we annoy him so much. If you look at the line-up on one side, the liberal media, you start with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, the elite newspapers, the one remaining news magazine, the universities, Hollywood -- it doesn't stop anywhere. And on the other side, talk radio, FOX News. And they can't stand the fact that they no longer have a monopoly. 
So, I think it ought to be taken as a compliment. What I've always said about Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, their genius was understanding and locating a niche audience in broadcast cable news, which is half the American people. The half that have suffered for decades by the fact you get the news presented from a single perspective over and over again. 
In Barack Obama's world, it is never his inability to govern or to work with Republicans or socialize with those in Congress to establish working relationships.  No, it is any variance of the mainstream, liberal media and press.

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