Sunday, December 7, 2008

Obama on Meet the Press

Posting while Obama's on Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw this morning; all quotes are paraphrased as best as I can remember them whilst watching live:

-Starting off with the economy. Who'da thunk?

-All Obama's talk of helping states and telling Brokaw that "Governors have projects that are shovel-ready" and just need funding gives him a tremendous amount of political capital. He's basically telling 50 state leaders "come along with me and I'll make you look good to your consituents"

-He's better than any politician of my adult life at explaining both sides of an issue, stressing both the need to help the Big Three automakers and the need for them to restructure.

-He actually seems to think that if we give Ford/GM/Chrysler billions of dollars, they won't come back for more. Maybe he is hopelessly naive.

-Just did a great job deflecting Brokaw's suggestion of a new gas tax, since gas is so "cheap" now, by pointing out the other ways people are worse off economically. Good policy, but even better politics. "I feel your pain", in quite a few more words.

-Interesting thought about the "moral hazard" problem of bailing out homeowners who took bad mortgages, thereby "punishing" responsible homeowners by making them pay their whole mortgage and pay taxes to bail out their neighbor. "If my neighbor's house is on fire, even if they were smoking in their bedroom, I want to keep the fire from spreading to my house."

-Commercial break. I don't know if you ever watch these Sunday morning shows, but there are some weird freakin' ads all the time. Companies like Boeing and Archer-Daniels-Midland, the huge agricultural business, advertise a lot, even though 99.999% of people never buy anything from these companies, those big-time corporate "decision-makers" do watch these shows, so it's worth it to advertise to that tiny but powerful faction.

-He's really talking like his presidency is going to be a complete refutation of the Reagan Revolution. Greed is not good. Help everyone to help the economy, don't just help the rich and wait for benefits to trickle-down.

-When do you suppose Obama actually offered the Secretary of State job to Hillary Clinton? In November? During the general election? My money's on toward the end of primary season.

-Nothing earth-shattering so far. But really, there never is with Obama. Part of his appeal, I suppose.

-Ostensibly talking about farmers in Afghanistan, he says that the country needs things like infrastructure improvements and increased aid from the Afghan national government. Nice, subtle effort to further bolster support of such help to the American little guy, too.

-Would have been better if he had said it at some point during the campaign without prompting from Brokaw, but Obama's answer extolling the virtues of the Presidential "bully pulpit" being used for wider purposes than just government, such as culture, parenting, art, etc.

-Obama won't say that he's quit smoking but does say that he's done a great job, "under the circumstances", to make himself healthier. Meaning every now and then, brotha needs a smoke.

-And we end with "news" about the future of Meet the Press, with David Gregory replacing Tom Brokaw. Good riddance! I've never liked Brokaw. He completely lost me when he came out with all those books about "The Greatest Generation". I mean, sure, they did a lot of great things, but his completely positive portrayal of them struck me as a blatant attempt to make money off of nostalgia. Tim Russert tried the same thing with "Big Russ and Me". So watch for the next book to offer a collective blow job to the people who gave us Nixon and Reagan, from new MtP host David Gregory!

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