NBC's Todd: 'Clean White Suit' Obama a Victim of High Expectations for His Goodness

ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday night all aired stories on President Barack Obama hobnobbing with the wealthy during a recession, at Manhattan fundraisers to be attended by the very Wall Street players he's condemned. But only NBC's Chuck Todd served as a mouthpiece for self-serving rationale which painted Obama as a victim of an image of perfection susceptible to “any speck of mud,” as Todd relayed from outside a Manhattan hotel:
One Democratic strategist said that part of the President's problem is simply his own expectations. Some of the rhetoric he said on the campaign trail made it seem as if he was coming into office in a clean white suit. So now any speck of mud -- like raising money from Wall Street donors -- shows up a lot clearer than if he came in just as another politician wearing just another gray suit. [Audio: MP3 clip, video below jump]
(Didn't Joe Biden get in trouble back in 2007 for describing Obama as “clean”?)

Minutes after Todd, NBC Nightly News viewers learned Obama is also quite an expert on women since he's supposedly “perhaps the man who knows the most about what it's like to live in a women's nation, work in a women's nation, and get elected by a women's nation,” liberal activist Maria Shriver touted in plugging an interview with Obama for her “A Woman's Nation” series:
Perhaps the man who knows the most about what it's like to live in a women's nation, work in a women's nation, and get elected by a women's nation is, of course, President Barack Obama. And he'll be doing an interview on this subject here on Nightly News tomorrow. So it will be interesting what he says.
I doubt it.

Most of the report from NBC's chief White House correspondent on the Tuesday, October 20 NBC Nightly News:
CHUCK TODD: ....The lion's share of the President's trip is about raising campaign cash, something he's been doing more of as election day 2009 draws closer. The President is coming under some criticism for tonight's big-ticket events because they are taking place just a stone's throw away from Wall Street, a place where as many as a third of tonight's donors work and the appearance is somewhat awkward for the President, given his tough talk last month on reining in Wall Street.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses.

TODD: Still, the picture of the President with donors who paid upwards of $30,000 to see him may not sit well with the public.

BOB EDGAR, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ADVOCATE: There are so many people unemployed today and when they see the President going to a fundraiser where people are paying thousands of dollars to get their picture with the President, it's just unseemly.

TODD: ....Experts know presidential fundraising is nothing new, but today's economic realities make for a tougher backdrop.

CHARLIE COOK, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Unfortunately for Barack Obama, he's having to raise money at a time when, you know, we're either in or just coming out of a recession and times are tough for people.

TODD: Brian, one Democratic strategist said that part of the President's problem is simply his own expectations. Some of the rhetoric he said on the campaign trail made it seem as if he was coming into office in a clean white suit. So now any speck of mud -- like raising money from Wall Street donors -- shows up a lot clearer than if he came in just as another politician wearing just another gray suit. 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