CBS’s Tough Look at Obama: Loves Scrabble, Doesn’t Like Ice Cream

Still Shot of Julie Chen and Jeff Glor, June 18 On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on Barack Obama: "...during the long primary season, we all learned a lot about Barack Obama. He is a Senator. He's a Harvard grad. He's a husband. And he is a father. But this morning, you're going to learn five things you probably don't know about Barack Obama." Later, in David Letterman style, correspondent Jeff Glor introduced the story: "...here are the top five things you likely don't know about Barack Obama."

Among those things, were important facts such as "Number four -- in addition to enjoying basketball and cycling during down time, Obama loves to play Scrabble." In addition to the top five, Glor later added: "Now one more thing we learned that didn't quite make our list, Julie. Obama's job as a teenager was at a Baskin Robbins and to this day he does not like ice cream." Chen responded: "So rocky road is like his Kyrptonite?" While Glor and Chen focused on Obama trivia, earlier in the show, co-host Russ Mitchell offered a mere one sentence news brief on the Illinois Senator’s opposition to a Republican plan to allow offshore oil drilling.

In his report, Glor also described how: "...many people know Obama made history at Harvard by becoming the first African-American president of the Law Review. But did you know it was the conservative students who gave him the victory?" Glor then played a clip of Obama’s communications director, Robert Gibbs, explaining that: "I think it would be a surprise for some people today that the conservative faction, along with another group, threw its support to Barack Obama because he believed they'd give him -- he'd give everyone a fair shake."

Glor even commented on Obama’s fashion sense: "Number two -- if you're wondering about that GQ look, don't expect stories about fancy custom tailoring." Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times elaborated: "I interviewed him. I said where do you get your suits? And he says he bought them off the rack at Nordstrom's and Bloomingdale's." Just like most average Americans who shop at high-end clothing stores.

Finally, the one glimmer of substance in the story was number one: "...for the man who wants to usher in a new era of politics, he first won office as a state senator by using some old-school Chicago tactics." Sweet was again quoted: "He simply knocked his main competitor off the ballot. He challenged her nominating petitions. Her 'I's weren't dotted, her 'T's weren't crossed. He challenged her signatures. She was knocked off and bingo, that's how he first got into office."

At the end of the segment Chen asked: "Okay, so after doing this story, what's the takeaway?" Glor responded by praising Obama’s tenacity: "I mean, I think one thing that really emerges, this is a man who plays to win. No matter what it is, whether it's the woman wants to date or elected office or board games, there is an ambition there. There is a determination." Chen then added: "Sounds like presidential qualities."

Glor did mention that a similar segment on John McCain would be airing soon.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:30AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: Alright, during the long primary season, we all learned a lot about Barack Obama. He is a Senator. He's a Harvard grad. He's a husband. And he is a father. But this morning, you're going to learn five things you probably don't know about Barack Obama, as we welcome you back to "The Early Show." Even you don't know, I bet.

HARRY SMITH: Well, actually I do know.

CHEN: Because you read the script.

SMITH: This sounds like one of those Julie Chen quizzes.

CHEN: I know, I wish it was.

7:42AM TEASER

SMITH: Up next, five things you probably don't know about Barack Obama. When we come back.

7:45AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: Between now and election day, we're going to hear a lot about Barack Obama and John McCain. But are we going to learn anything about them personally? Today, 'The Five Things You Should Know,' and we begin with Barack. "Early Show" national correspondent Jeff Glor is here. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Good morning Julie. And with all due respect to David Letterman here as well. After a grueling primary campaign that lasted 16 months, you'd think everything has been revealed. But here are the top five things you likely don't know about Barack Obama.

BARACK OBAMA: I'm the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas.

GLOR: Okay. So that one you've probably heard by now. But among the top five things we learned about Barack Obama that you might not know, number five -- no shrinking violet. When he was still a Harvard law student, Obama was dating the boss.

LYNN SWEET: Obama was a summer associate of a Chicago law firm and Michelle Obama, then Michelle Robinson, was a supervisor. That's how they met.

ROBERT GIBBS: She said she couldn't date one of the summer interns, and he said that was fine, he would leave the law firm. She finally agreed to go out with him.

GLOR: It was an early example of brash determination paying off.

SWEET: It has been said that he knows how to use his elbows.

Still Shot of Scrabble board, June 18 GLOR: Number four -- in addition to enjoying basketball and cycling during down time, Obama loves to play Scrabble.

GIBBS: It's his favorite game to play. He'll play with his family and particularly his sister. And the winner gets bragging rights for a long, long time.

SWEET: You go for a word that is just interesting or exotic or do you go for the points?

GLOR: Number three -- many people know Obama made history at Harvard by becoming the first African-American president of the Law Review. But did you know it was the conservative students who gave him the victory?

GIBBS: I think it would be a surprise for some people today that the conservative faction, along with another group, threw its support to Barack Obama because he believed they'd give him -- he'd give everyone a fair shake.

GLOR: Number two -- if you're wondering about that GQ look, don't expect stories about fancy custom tailoring.

OBAMA: I basically buy five of the same suit and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly.

SWEET: I interviewed him. I said where do you get your suits? And he says he bought them off the rack at Nordstrom's and Bloomingdale's.

GLOR: And the number one thing you may not have known about Barack Obama -- for the man who wants to usher in a new era of politics, he first won office as a state senator by using some old-school Chicago tactics.

SWEET: He simply knocked his main competitor off the ballot. He challenged her nominating petitions. Her 'I's weren't dotted, her 'T's weren't crossed. He challenged her signatures. She was knocked off and bingo, that's how he first got into office.

GLOR: Yep, it was a technicality. Now one more thing we learned that didn't quite make our list, Julie. Obama's job as a teenager was at a Baskin Robins and to this day he does not like ice cream.

CHEN: Really?

GLOR: Yeah.

CHEN: So rocky road is like his Kyrptonite?

GLOR: Every once in a while we're told maybe on the campaign trail, but not huge on it.

CHEN: Okay, so after doing this story, what's the takeaway?

GLOR: I mean, I think one thing that really emerges, this is a man who plays to win. No matter what it is, whether it's the woman wants to date or elected office or board games, there is an ambition there. There is a determination.

CHEN: Sounds like presidential qualities.

GLOR: Would make sense, indeed.

CHEN: Alright, so when do we get to learn about the five things we don't know about McCain?

GLOR: John McCain coming up, that's our next segment.

CHEN: Alright.

GLOR: Not today.

CHEN: Not tomorrow?

GLOR: Coming up soon enough.

CHEN: Oh, that's a tease.

GLOR: TBD.

CHEN: Alright, Jeff Glor thanks so much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC