On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen introduced a video montage of memorable moments in the Democratic race that could have been produced by the Democratic National Committee: "Well, the long primary season for the Democrats has been historic, marked by the first woman and the first African-American to be serious contenders for the Oval Office. And it has been filled with many extraordinary moments." [audio available here]
The video, which often had Paul Simon’s song "America" playing in the background featured clips of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton making inspirational speeches to cheering crowds. It also showed their down-to-earth side, Obama bowling and Hillary downing a beer, with the tune "I am everyday people" playing in the background. However, the montage did also include some campaign controversies, like Jeremiah Wright and Hillary’s Bosnia sniper fire story.
Campaign coverage at the top of the show featured Bill Clinton’s latest attack on the pro-Obama media: "Sleazy... It's part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama. It's just a, it's another way of helping Obama." As co-host Maggie Rodriguez described it: "The president's rant. Former President Bill Clinton blasts media coverage of his wife's campaign...We'll talk about what's got him so angry." Later, Chen added: "But what about Bill Clinton, once the media darling, now speaking out against the media, saying some pretty unflattering things about the press."
Co-host Harry Smith got reaction to Clinton’s comments from CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield and Smith remarked that it was "another roadside distraction," and wondered: "This notion that Hillary Clinton would be this presumptive vice presidential candidate but for – "
Greenfield once again brought up Clinton’s questionable finances, which he also mentioned on Monday’s show: "Right. Well, but for Bill Clinton's financial and charitable life, which is extremely complex, controversial in terms of some of the people he's worked with. And when you're a vice presidential nominee your spouse gets, in these days, extensively vetted."
Greenfield then commented on another part of Clinton’s "rant" in which the former president claimed: "They had all these people standing up in his [Barack Obama’s] church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist and he didn't do anything about it the first day." Greenfield explained that "... the idea that the Obama people were pleased by Father Pfleger's appearance in Trinity United Church, as opposed to being severely wounded by that, that's probably a little sign of how strong Bill Clinton feels about all this."
Here are the full transcripts of both segments:
JULIE CHEN: Well up next, as the long primary season for the Democratic candidates winds down, we'll look back at some of the memorable moments.
JULE CHEN: Well, the long primary season for the Democrats has been historic, marked by the first woman and the first African-American to be serious contenders for the Oval Office. And it has been filled with many extraordinary moments.
[Paul Simon’s song "America" playing]
BARACK OBAMA: I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.
HILLARY CLINTON: I'm not just starting a campaign, though. I am beginning a conversation.
OBAMA: Tonight, we are one step closer to that vision of America because of what you did here in Iowa.
CLINTON: Some people think elections are a game. They think it's like who's up and who's down. It's about our country. It's about our kids' futures...I want especially to thank New Hampshire.
BILL CLINTON: Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice in '84 and in '88 and he ran a good campaign. And Senator Obama's run a good campaign here.
TED KENNEDY: It is time now for Barack Obama.
[Song "I am everyday people" playing]
HILLARY CLINTON: The campaign is going very well, very, very well. Why? What have you heard?
AMY POEHLER: Nothing.
[Prince’s song "Controversy" playing]
JEREMIAH WRIGHT: Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people!
OBAMA: I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.
CLINTON: We landed in one of those corkscrew landings and ran out because they said there might be sniper fire...I made a mistake in describing it.
OBAMA: The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago.
[Paul Simon again]
OBAMA: The sooner that we can bring the party together, the sooner we can start focusing on beating John McCain and taking the White House.
CLINTON: The president has to make the toughest decisions in the world. I am ready and prepared to do that.
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: The president's rant. Former President Bill Clinton blasts media coverage of his wife's campaign.
BILL CLINTON: All these people standing up in his church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist. And he didn't do anything about it.
RODRIGUEZ: We'll talk about what's got him so angry. It's D-day for the Democrats. The last two primaries are today. Barack Obama needs just 43 delegates, Clinton 205, will the Democrats finally have their candidate?
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: And This is the last Tuesday, can you believe it, that I'll be able to say the primaries are today.
JULIE CHEN: Incredible. But what about Bill Clinton, once the media darling, now speaking out against the media, saying some pretty unflattering things about the press.
HARRY SMITH: Here's what happened. Todd Purdum, who of course wrote for the New York Times for a long time, covered Bill Clinton in the White House, has written an exhaustive piece for "Vanity Fair." Bill Clinton was asked to react to it on a rope line. What Bill Clinton probably didn't know was that it was being recorded. Listen to this.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Mr. President, what do you think about that hatchet job somebody did on you in "Vanity Fair" at the end of the race?
BILL CLINTON: Sleazy... It's part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama. It's just a, it's another way of helping Obama. They had all these people standing up in his church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist and he didn't do anything about it the first day. He said ' ah, well.' But that's what they do; he gets other people to slime her. It's all about divisive media for Obama. Don't think anything about it. But I'm telling you, all it's doing is driving her supporters further and further away because they know exactly what it is.
SMITH: Joining us is CBS News senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield. Another roadside distraction, as it were. Here we are in the final day of voting. This comes out, but it also rubs against something I heard you talking about on the "Evening News" with Katie Couric last night. This notion that Hillary Clinton would be this presumptive vice presidential candidate but for --
JEFF GREENFIELD: Right. Well, but for Bill Clinton's financial and charitable life, which is extremely complex, controversial in terms of some of the people he's worked with. And when you're a vice presidential nominee your spouse gets, in these days ,extensively vetted. The other thing to note about that particular soundbite, a lot of Clinton people believe that she's been treated very unfairly by the media. But the idea that the Obama people were pleased by Father Pfleger's appearance in Trinity United Church, as opposed to being severely wounded by that, that's probably a little sign of how strong Bill Clinton feels about all this.
SMITH: He's been so omnipresent in this campaign for -- for good and for bad, as -- in terms of Hillary Clinton is concerned.
SMITH: Does this also talk a little bit about why on this last date of voting when there's an anticipation of so many superdelegates going to Barack Obama, why she's not getting them?
GREENFIELD: Yeah I, well I think so. I think one of the more -- there are a couple of things worth pointing out. One is -- had to be the Clinton campaign believed this campaign was going to be over February 5th. They were going to win enough of the primaries to win the delegates. And once Super Tuesday happened and basically had a split in the delegates because of how they're counted -- they were left without financial resources and without plan B. The other thing is how many superdelegates that you thought would have thought gone to Clinton because she's the more experienced, they know her better, went for Obama, after he lost New Hampshire. All these red state Democrats, including a lot of women, like Governor Napolitano, Claire McCaskill, went for Obama. I think that -- to me, that was one of the most surprising things that happened in this entire campaign. And part of the reason is a number of Democrats, A, fear Hillary Clinton at the top of a ticket in the red states and second, have some lingering resentments about how the Clintons behaved toward the Democratic Party when he was president.
SMITH: Right. And she was talking about change, hard to change when Bill Clinton is sitting right next to you --
GREENFIELD: Yeah. She -- people say she should have talked about change. She did, it was her first slogan, 'ready for change, ready to lead.' But she's a Clinton and it didn't work this time.
SMITH: Jeff Greenfield, as always thanks very much. Stay right there. Hard to believe, ladies and gentleman, but actual voting takes place today. We're going to check in with Jim Axelrod right now and get the latest on that. Good morning Jim.
JIM AXELROD: Well, good morning Harry. Today is a huge day for Democrats, and not just because they wrap up the season of nominating contests. By the end of the day, Barack Obama could certainly be over the delegate threshold and be the Democrats' presumptive nominee. And if not today, then tomorrow. At this point it's when Obama accrues the 2,118 delegates needed to become the Democrats' nominee, not if he will.
BARACK OBAMA: We've got a good chance of getting the number that we need to achieve the nomination.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: 17 million Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton, more than for any primary candidate in history.
AXELROD: Hillary Clinton's been running ads in South Dakota, which make her debatable argument to superdelegates that she's the leader in total votes cast, looking past the fact that it's the number of delegates that actually decides things.
HILLARY CLINTON: I am slightly behind in delegates, but we're going to make our case to all of the delegates as to who would be the best president.
AXELROD: Her husband, however, seemed a bit more resigned to the inevitable.
BILL CLINTON: This may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind.
AXELROD: Expect more and more superdelegates to come out today for Obama. He'd like to have enough to wrap it up tonight. But he seems content, poised on the brink, to appear relaxed and that he's taking nothing for granted.
OBAMA: We've still got two more contests to go. And I'm sure that there will be further conversations after -- after Tuesday.
AXELROD: Obama's expected to win in Montana. South Dakota may be a little closer, but at this point it really doesn't matter. It's the flood of superdelegates that's going to put him over the top. Harry.
SMITH: Jim Axelrod in New York where Hillary Clinton is expected to speak a little bit later on tonight, thanks so much. Coming up in a few minutes, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer explains what the superdelegates are likely to do now that the primaries are finally ending.