CBS ‘Early Show’ Celebrates The Obamas' First Year in the White House

On Friday’s CBS Early Show, People magazine editor Betsy Gleick discussed the latest issue, featuring an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama on their one-year anniversary in the White House, declaring: “I think the headline is that they are feeling optimistic that the country is back on track, and that they do feel that there are still some, obviously, huge challenges ahead.”  

Co-host Harry Smith added his own insight into President Obama: “...sometimes when you’re not talking to him, in particular, about the news events of the day, he says a lot about himself and what his experience has been like and he talked a lot about being in the bubble.” Gleick agreed: “Absolutely. I mean, one of the most touching parts of the interview is that he just talked about the loneliness of the job and some of the loneliness he embraces, he realizes that he has big decisions that he alone needs to make. But he misses being out among regular people.”

Smith was also in awe of new photos of the first couple: “These pictures also that accompany the piece are just stunning... these may be among the best pictures, I think, we’ve seen of the two of them.” Gleick replied: “They’re beautiful, I agree.”

As photos of the Obamas appeared on screen, Smith wondered: “What do you think the pictures say about what they’re like?” Gleick gushed: “Well, they really are genuinely affectionate with one another....They’re comfortable. They have sort of taken to life in the White House.” Smith added: “Starting to wear it a little bit more.”

At the top of the segment, Smith noted that “First Lady Michelle Obama’s 46th birthday is Sunday” and near the end of the discussion with Gleick he pointed out a few of her favorite things that he had in studio: “We know she likes french fries. This is a real life, honest to goodness, deep dish pizza from Chicago, from UNO’s on Ohio Street. And a copy of ‘Do The Right Thing,’ Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing,’ which was the movie they saw on their first date, I guess.”

Smith concluded: “We’ll look forward to seeing the piece in People magazine.”

While the Early Show made room for President Obama’s one year anniversary and the First Lady’s favorite foods, the broadcast completely ignored the tightening Massachusetts Senate race for the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. A Suffolk University poll released on Friday had Republican Scott Brown leading Democrat Martha Coakley 50% to 46%.  

Here is a full transcript of the Obama story:
8:38AM

HARRY SMITH: First Lady Michelle Obama’s 46th birthday is Sunday, just a few days before President Obama marks the first anniversary of his inauguration, and People magazine sat down with the first couple to talk about the past year. And People’s executive editor, Betsy Gleick, is here to tell us all about it. Good morning.

BETSY GLEICK: Hi, Harry.

SMITH: What a revelatory interview. If there’s a headline from this, what do you feel it would be?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: A Year In The White House; Obamas On Personal Life & First Lady’s B-Day]

GLEICK: I think the headline is that they are feeling optimistic that the country is back on track, and that they do feel that there are still some, obviously, huge challenges ahead.

SMITH: Yeah, what’s interesting to me, because sometimes when you’re not talking to him, in particular, about the news events of the day, he says a lot about himself and what his experience has been like and he talked a lot about being in the bubble.

GLEICK: Absolutely. I mean, one of the most touching parts of the interview is that he just talked about the loneliness of the job and some of the loneliness he embraces, he realizes that he has big decisions that he alone needs to make. But he misses being out among regular people.

SMITH: Yeah. These pictures also that accompany the piece are just stunning. I’m looking at them now. And these may be among the best pictures, I think, we’ve seen of the two of them.

GLEICK: They’re beautiful, I agree.

SMITH: Yeah. What do you think the pictures say about what they’re like?

GLEICK: Well, they really are genuinely affectionate with one another. And I think the pictures show that. They’re comfortable. They have sort of taken to life in the White House. Their children have taken to life in the White House. And they are – they are relaxing into the job. Not relaxing. I mean, it’s a difficult job, but they are comfortable.

SMITH: Starting to wear it a little bit more.

GLEICK: Absolutely.

SMITH: The part of the interview were they’re talking about the kids and observing the kids when they got to meet the Pope and them trying as best they can to make life as normal as possible. But it’s not.

GLEICK: That’s right. They’re adorable anecdotes about Sasha and Malia and just the fact that the girls are starting to feel like it’s home.

SMITH: And how is the garden?

GLEICK: The garden has produced pounds and pounds of food.

SMITH: Thousands of pounds, it turns out.

GLEICK: Yes, yes.        

SMITH: And it seems to me that if there is one takeaway about Michelle Obama from this first year, it really is this thing about eating better and – and about being able to sustain yourself in some ways.

GLEICK: That’s right. And she tells us we’re going to be hearing a lot more this year from her about childhood obesity and healthy eating for families.

SMITH: Yeah. We have some things out here, it’s Michelle’s birthday this weekend. We know she likes french fries. This is a real life, honest to goodness, deep dish pizza from Chicago, from UNO’s on Ohio Street. And a copy of ‘Do The Right Thing,’ Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing,’ which was the movie they saw on their first date, I guess.

GLEICK: That’s right, yes.

SMITH: There you go. Betsy Gleick, thanks for stopping by this morning.

GLEICK: Absolutely.

SMITH: We’ll look forward to seeing the piece in People magazine.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC