In Self-Congratulatory Excess Over MTP, NBC Frets Obama's 'Expectations Management'

In the midst of more self-congratulatory excess over David Gregory becoming moderator of Meet the Press, he and anchor Brian Williams cued up Gregory to discuss Obama's “expectations management.” Gregory echoed that Obama must “lower expectations,” though, Gregory soon trumpeted: “He doesn't want to hit the ground running. He wants to hit the ground signing, signing a stimulus bill in the very early days of his administration because the economy cannot wait.” Williams first told Gregory, who appeared from the Meet the Press set: “Congratulations on your great new job so well deserved and what you know is a great honor.” Gregory agreed: “I do know it's a great honor” to host “a treasured platform in the country.”

Williams posed this tortuous question:
David, you also come to this job from your last position as chief White House correspondent. As such, it changes the way you, I'm sure, have looked a this race and the President-elect including as recently as yesterday's interview with Tom Brokaw. Talk about that, especially in the area so important these days of expectations management.
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After talking about how Obama “wants to hit the ground signing,” Gregory touted how Obama “is the one who pitched the idea of a bailout for the big three in Detroit, that we reported on tonight, to the President during their first meeting.” Gregory concluded: “He's very much trying to drive the agenda even before he gets into office.”

From the Monday, December 8 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: As we turn to politics tonight, it's also time to meet the new moderator of Meet the Press and the truth is we all know him very well already. This network announced yesterday morning that our friend David Gregory will be taking over as moderator of the broadcast in its familiar studio in its 62nd year. That's where he joins us from tonight. And David, while you and I spoke several times today, congratulations on your great new job so well deserved and what you know is a great honor.

DAVID GREGORY: Thank you, Brian. I really do appreciate it. I do know it's a great honor and it feels like a great honor and to sit at this desk is also very humbling because of the great man that I succeed, our friend Tim Russert. And I've a lot of work to do and a lot of preparation to do. This is a treasured platform in the country, and I'm going to be working very hard.

WILLIAMS: And David, you also come to this job from your last position as chief White House correspondent. As such, it changes the way you, I'm sure, have looked a the this race and the President-elect including as recently as yesterday's interview with Tom Brokaw. Talk about that, especially in the area so important these days of expectations management.

GREGORY: Well, it's very important because people close to the President-elect say that's his biggest goal right now in the course of this interim period, this transition period, to lower expectations. He said it with Tom Brokaw yesterday. The economy will get worse before it gets better but he also wants to project that he is in charge in some way. He's always said there can't be two Presidents but he's got to be seen as working and working hard. He talked about his economic team working on the stimulus package already. He doesn't want to hit the ground running. He wants to hit the ground signing, signing a stimulus bill in the very early days of his administration because the economy cannot wait.

He is the one who pitched the idea of a bailout for the big three in Detroit, that we reported on tonight, to the President during their first meeting. Now the big three won't get as much as they perhaps asked for and this is going to be an issue that he'll continue to have to work on and you notice in the interview with Tom yesterday, he disagreed with the administration, said the administration should do more to help those homeowners around the country who are facing foreclosure. He's very much trying to drive the agenda even before he gets into office, Brian.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center