Are you ready for ‘Red, White and View‘?
That was the name of the hour as – for the first time together – the President and First Lady appeared on the morning talk show today as part of the President’s re-election campaign. Barbara Walters led the wide-ranging discussion, telling them that they were going to start easy and ask progressively harder questions as the show continued.
The first segment was all fluff, where the President and First Lady discussed their upcoming 20th anniversary, falling — horrible timing! — on the date of the first televised debate (Oct. 3). The First Lady then talked about a plaque set in their honor outside a
Ben & Jerry’s Baskin-Robbins in Chicago marking the spot they had their first kiss. During this segment, and throughout the show, both the President and First Lady were extremely likable, joking around with each other and often holding hands. When talking about their marriage, she declared, “He’s funny, I’m funnier!” to audience applause.
After returning from the first commercial break, a rather nervous-seeming Elisabeth Hasselbeck spoke to the cameras, saying that she wanted to say how much she personally liked both the President and the First Lady. Like anyone ever, it’s obviously much harder to criticize someone to their face – and, probably disappointingly to her fans, she kind of whimpered out, really only asking one question about the economy that she started by saying, “Some would say…” and not asking follow-ups.
In an odder moment, Walters then announced she was taking on the role of “Elisabeth” and asked, “What would be so bad about Gov. Romney being elected?” She was trying to remain impartial, but instead, the phrasing of the question read as her supporting the President. He replied, “I think America is so strong, and we’ve got so much going for us that we can survive a lot. But the American people don’t want to just survive, we want everyone to thrive. We want folks to have a shot at success, and so the question then just becomes, whose policies are more likely to lead us to where we want to go?” During these more substantive questions, The First Lady remained silent while the President was giving his explanations, but Mrs. Obama was there ready to lighten the mood — after a few of his serious answers she would add in, “I’m voting for him!” with a grin, which the audience seemed to enjoy.
When they briefly touched on their daughters (Breaking news: Obama will probably be coaching Sasha’s basketball team once again!), the President told a cute story about being backstage at the DNC, right before he was about to go onstage, and the girls informing him that this was “Just like the Hannah Montana movie” when Hannah goes out to perform. He said they saw themselves in the Billy Ray Cyrus role, cheering him on. It’s easy to roll your eyes, but it was seriously adorable.
The First Couple also talked about Libya, freedom of speech, tolerance, and giving others access to opportunity. Much like his recent appearance on 60 Minutes, if you liked Obama before, you probably thought he did a great job on the show, and if you didn’t, you still don’t.