NBC Champions Obama's 'Power Duo' Women

President George W. Bush had a female First Lady and a woman as Secretary of State, but NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday night hailed, as the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's promise of “change,” how he has a “power duo” in a woman First Lady and a female Secretary of State. Williams cooed, with “Women of Distinction” as the on-screen heading:
President Obama won the presidency promising change. There was more evidence of that in Washington today. His wife, now First Lady, Michelle Obama, and his former rival, now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady herself, joining arms, joining forces. A study in style, substance and power, really.

Pegging her story to Michelle Obama's visit to the State Department, reporter Andrea Mitchell touted “two strong women coming together of after a tough campaign” and how “two of the world's most powerful women” are now “both role models.”

After contending Mrs. Obama's “style” is “totally modern when it comes to fashion and being fit,” while “in other ways she chooses to be more traditional,” Mitchell showcased an assessment from Obama family friend Valerie Jarrett, hardly an independent observer: “Already people look up to her, they see her as somebody who grew up with humble means and yet worked hard, received a good education, and then devoted her life to giving back to the community. “

Neither the CBS Evening News nor ABC's World News considered the State Department visit newsworthy.

Williams teased at the top of the Wednesday, March 11 NBC Nightly News:

Leading ladies. A power duo in Washington today teaming up to honor women of courage around the world.
The subsequent story:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: President Obama won the presidency promising change. There was more evidence of that in Washington today. His wife, now First Lady, Michelle Obama, and his former rival, now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady herself, joining arms, joining forces. A study in style, substance and power, really. More on the gathering from our own Andrea Mitchell.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Two of the world's most powerful women.

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

MITCHELL: The new First Lady continuing her tour of government agencies.

MICHELLE OBAMA, AT STATE DEPT: And let me thank Secretary Clinton -- I love saying that -- for that kind introduction.

MITCHELL: And a former First Lady, who now visits the Oval Office as Secretary of State. Two strong women coming together of after a tough campaign.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have to say that in a very short time, she has, through her grace and her wisdom, become an inspiration to women and girls not only in the United States, but around the world.

MITCHELL: Still, they approach their jobs in very different ways. When Bill Clinton was President, Hillary took on health care. When Barack Obama tackled the same issue last week, Michelle was serving up food at a soup kitchen across town.

MICHELLE OBAMA: I want to make sure that our guests here and across this country are eating nutritious items.

MITCHELL: Her style, totally modern when it comes to fashion and being fit. In other ways she chooses to be more traditional.

MICHELLE OBAMA: To get things that are really, really fresh.

VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: Already people look up to her, they see her as somebody who grew up with humble means and yet worked hard, received a good education, and then devoted her life to giving back to the community.

MITCHELL: Now they are both role models. Today, jointly honoring women from around the world for their courage on human rights. Tomorrow, Michelle Obama takes on another of her top priorities -- traveling to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to learn more about the challenges facing military families. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, at the State Department.
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