CBS's King Goes Gaga Over Obama Family; No Questions About Lavish Expenses
Gayle King made it clear that she is in the tank for the Obama campaign on Thursday's CBS This Morning, specifically vouching that Michelle Obama apparently is "passionate," and that the First Lady is "looking forward to returning for another four years. They're going to work very hard to make that happen."
King continued tossing softballs at her admitted friend, at one point gushing, "Do you ever just sort of marvel at your life?" She completely omitted asking her guest about controversial aspects of her time in the White House, such as Mrs. Obama's travel expenses, or how the First Lady wore $540 designer sneakers as she fed the poor in Washington, DC in 2009.
After the seven-minute segment from their interview aired at the bottom of the 8 am Eastern hour, the CBS anchor discussed it with co-anchors Charlie Rose and Erica Hill. Rose asked King, "What do you want us to take away about Michelle Obama?" The new morning show personality immediately went for the superlatives about her friend:
KING: I want you to take away that Michelle Obama is loving, she's kind, she's passionate, and, more than anything, she loves being First Lady of the United States. This isn't just idle chatter for her. She takes it very, very seriously, and she's looking forward to returning for another four years. They're going to work very hard to make that happen.
The previous morning, King made a very similar gushing statement to Rose after they played the second segment of the twelve-plus minutes of footage from the interview:
ROSE: Where are her vulnerabilities? What does she worry about? What is her sort of fear?
KING: You know she worries about keeping the family normal. She's very protective of her girls, and she works very hard to make sure that they have a normal life. She worries sometimes that the message isn't getting across, and she's very excited about hitting the campaign trail to do that. You know make- and make no mistake, they do not want to or intend to be a one-term presidency. You know, she spent over an hour with us. She was very gracious and, you know, spent a lot of time answering everything that we wanted to discuss. But, you know, what keeps her up at night? I don't think too much. She's very- but she knows they have work to do. She knows they have work to do.
Earlier in the hour on Thursday, the CBS anchor teased the interview segment by playing a clip where the First Lady talked about how her children take care of their dog, Bo and the most unappealing part of owning a canine:
MICHELLE OBAMA: After dinner, so they have to take him on his last walk.
KING: They have to clean up pootie?
OBAMA: Yeah, but Bo- you know, see this- you know, he goes in the ivy. He doesn't go out-
KING: On the grass?
OBAMA: He doesn't. He's- ever since he was a puppy-
KING: Kind of hard to clean up pootie in the ivy.
OBAMA: That's what I'm saying. So don't walk in the ivy on the South Lawn, is what I'm saying.
KING (live): Now, you know. I don't care who you are, nobody likes pootie duty. I did that for years- First Lady Michelle Obama on some of the less glamorous realities of living in the White House.
During the beginning of the actual segment, King cooed over the many family photographs that lined a hallway in the White House East Wing. This is where she asked Mrs. Obama her "marvel" question:
KING (from pre-recorded interview): Can I just say, I love this picture. (Mrs. Obama laughs) You know what? What is it like for you when you walk down the hall? Really? I love this picture.
OBAMA: It's actually- well, this is like- this is the East Wing. This is my office. It's family, so you-
KING: So it's all family photos?
OBAMA: Well, it's- well, this is family. My staff is family. So it's like sharing some of your best moments with your crew. This was at the World Series -Jill [Biden] and I.
KING: I remember that-
OBAMA: We were there with a wounded warrior and his daughter, who is so adorable. I can't remember where we were, but this is typical Barack and something he shouldn't- this is after one of the Christmas parties, so you see me taking off my shoes. That was probably after like a 300-person photo line, and the first thing I do after those is take my shoes off-
KING: Me too- take your shoes off-
OBAMA: So he was just carrying my shoes upstairs-
KING: Do you ever walk down and look at the pictures that are around the White House and go, that's me! That's us?
OBAMA: Sometimes- yeah, yeah.
KING: Do you ever just sort of marvel at your life?
OBAMA: Yeah, yeah-
KING: That you live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and you're about to start another campaign?
OBAMA: Yes, yes! And it's so cool! So yes, I have a lot of fun in this job. You can look down the hall and see fun.
KING: I know. Really, your life is sort of documented, really- and the girls', too.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, the CBS anchor tossed softballs at Obama, sympathized with the First Lady over how many supposedly see her, and let her guest drop a racially-tinged charge. Between the two segments on Wednesday and the segment on Thursday, the morning show devoted nearly 19 minutes to King's beyond sympathetic interview of her friend, the First Lady, along with her glowing words for Mrs. Obama after each part. This, of course, is just as the presidential campaign is starting to heat up.