CBS ‘Early Show’ Fawns Over Obamas’ Royal Welcome in Britain

Julie Chen and Bill Plante, CBS Thursday’s CBS Early Show offered non-stop gushing over Barack and Michelle Obama in Britain as co-host Julie Chen spoke with royal watcher Ingrid Seward: "Well, what is the buzz so far about Michelle Obama, and is she overshadowing her husband's presence over there?" Seward replied: "No, she's not overshadowing her husband. I think we all find him very charismatic, very handsome, and almost with the responsibility of being a savior on his shoulders...And people are excited to see him, very excited to see him." Chen added: "As they should be."

Later, Chen asked about the Obamas’ gift to Queen Elizabeth, an ipod loaded with show tunes: "Now, what are people saying about the First Lady and President Obama's gift of an ipod to the Queen?" Seward declared: "Actually, an ipod is a perfect gift for the Queen because in the cellars of Buckingham Palace, she has so many unwanted gifts, sort of trophies and unattractive pieces of jewelry. I mean, she couldn't be more thrilled with something useful like an ipod."

Prior to Chen’s fawning, correspondent Bill Plante reported on Michelle Obama’s breech of protocol when meeting the Queen: "There were gasps in some quarters at the sight of Michelle Obama's hand on the Queen. Protocol says you don't touch the Queen...the normally reserved monarch was not so reserved in her first meeting with Michelle Obama. The pictures tell the story. Beyond the usual protocol, there was warmth as First Lady Michelle Obama and the Queen got to know each other during their meeting at Buckingham Palace. So much so, that the British press is reporting that the Queen told the First Lady, ‘now that we've met, we must keep in touch.’"

Plante went to describe how the First Lady seemed to impress everyone she met: "The good feeling was equally evident at a dinner for the spouses and some celebrity guests at the Prime Minister's residence. The First Lady sat next to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Olympic gold medalist Kelly Holmes." A clip was played of Holmes: "She's a beautiful lady, but really warm, open, and honest. I remember when we were sitting at that dinner, you know, we had great conversation." Plante observed: "And that feeling about Michelle Obama is echoed on the streets of London." An unidentified female London resident declared: "I don't know, I love her, though, I don't know her, but she's lovely and I'm just so proud."

At the top of the show, co-host Harry Smith spoke with Evening News anchor Katie Couric about the Obamas wowing the royal family: "...here's the more important question. The President and Michelle Obama with the Queen yesterday." Couric exclaimed: "Despite a head cold, the President was very energetic and relaxed. He presented the Queen with a video ipod, something she actually requested, loaded with classic show tunes like ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Camelot’...when Mrs. Obama, as you mentioned earlier, placed her arm around Queen Elizabeth, who responded in kind. Now, touching, I guess, initiating touching's a no-no, but Her Majesty seemed to welcome Mrs. Obama's overture. So people here are just eating it up."

Following that segment with Couric, co-host Maggie Rodriguez discussed the visit with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: "I want to ask you about the ipod that the President gave the Queen, loaded with Broadway tunes. How did that go over?" Unsurprisingly, Gibbs remarked: "I think it went over well. He was excited to give it to her. We've been talking about it for a few days. And hopefully she will enjoy it. I know he had a great time meeting her."

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