Mike Barnicle, come on up here and accept this morning's Lanny Davis Award for shameless defense of the indefensible. You've earned it. Not merely did the Morning Joe panelist excuse Barack Obama's nasty jab at Nancy Reagan, he actually claimed that we need more of those kind of "jokes" from our presidents.
Joe Scarborough began the discussion by asserting that whereas mayors, governors and other lesser officials can get away with what Obama said about the former First Lady, it is unbecoming in the mouth of a president. The Morning Joe host also suggested that had George W. Bush made a comparable crack about a beloved Dem First Lady, the New York Times would have taken him harshly to task. Leaping to Obama's defense, the former Boston Globe columnist didn't merely don the wetsuit: Barnicle went full bathysphere.
MIKE BARNICLE: I don't think the Times would have done anything about it. I think your theory about mayors and governors making jokes like this, presidents don't: I think it's about time presidents started making jokes like this again. Lighten up, America.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, making fun of elderly ladies. Yeah, that's where we want to go.
Mika Brzezinski dug Scarborough's chivalry.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I can't believe you're rising above the crowd here, but I like it. You're a gentleman.
Dispatch From Department of Strange Coincidences
How's this for serendipity? Speaking of bathyspheres, Today— Morning Joe's companion show over on NBC—opened with a shot of . . . a deep-sea submarine, teasing an upcoming segment about Ann Curry's undersea adventures. Check the time of my item: 6:55 AM, before Today came on. And no, I hadn't read anything about the show's subject matter before writing my bathysphere line. Pure coincidence. Spooky! Anyhow, perhaps NBC can make the sub available to Barnicle next time he feels the urge to take a plunge for the president-elect.