ABC's Claire Shipman Gushes Over Dem Super Spouses

In 2007, ABC reporter Claire Shipman enthused that the race between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was one of "fluid poetry" versus "hot factor." On Tuesday's "Good Morning America, she rhapsodized about the spouses of these two Democratic candidates. According to Shipman, "...I think it says it all that [Michelle Obama's] Secret Service code name is renaissance."

Discussing the campaigning being done by the senator's wife in Indiana and North Carolina, the correspondent enthused, " More, more, more. Michelle Obama's straight style has always been an asset." (Shipman made no mention as to whether Mrs. Obama's claim that the 2008 campaign marked the first time she was proud of America was an example of this "straight style" or if that comment was an asset to the campaign.) As for Bill Clinton, Shipman declared that all had been forgiven for previous verbal gaffes: "And what's most interesting is this campaign has gone on for so long, we've seen one spouse go from asset to liability, to asset again." Marveling at the ex-president's exuberance, she applauded, "No event is too early, no schedule too full, no front porch too small."

Before proclaiming Clinton's events like "old times," Shipman reiterated her seeming happiness over the former commander in chief's ability to (lately) not make an error: "Bitter, finger-pointing Bill has been replaced by a come-back spouse full of rosy remembrances."

A transcript of the May 6 segment, which aired at 7:05am, follows:

ROBIN ROBERTS: That is something to keep an eye on. Jake, thanks so much. The candidates are not the only ones enduring grueling days out there on the campaign trail. Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton have shifted into warp speed to help their spouses. GMA senior national correspondent Claire Shipman has all the details for us. Good morning, Claire.

CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Good morning, Robin, Indeed they have. And what's most interesting is this campaign has gone on for so long, we've seen one spouse go from asset to liability, to asset again. For Bill Clinton, it sure seems like old times.

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: President Bill Clinton!

SHIPMAN: No event is too early, no schedule too full, no front porch too small.

BILL CLINTON: Now, I went to 47 towns in Pennsylvania. 39 in Indiana. And by the time I'm done here, I think I'm going to top 50 in North Carolina.

SHIPMAN: His days a gleeful political endurance test. A 7:30 start Monday in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. And then it's 9:15 in New Bern. 11:15, Jacksonville, 1:30, Smithfield 3:00 Zebulon and on and on and on and on in a dizzying pretzeled race across the state to Raleigh at 11:00pm.

CLINTON: Hello, Raleigh!

SHIPMAN: Nine scheduled campaign events in one day, more than his wife, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama combined. Bitter, finger-pointing Bill has been replaced by a come-back spouse full of rosy remembrances.

CLINTON: It was tough in 1992 and we wound up with the eight best years we've had in modern history.

SHIPMAN: He's finally found his welcoming niche, working-class, small town working America. Crucial turf for Hillary.

CLINTON: I'm the designated rural hit-man in the campaign.

SHIPMAN: The Clinton campaign says robo-Bill is paying off. In Pennsylvania, for example, they say of the 41 districts where he campaigned, his wife won 36. Meanwhile, the spouse strategy in Obamaland? More, more, more. Michelle Obama's straight style has always been an asset. The campaign believes she can appeal to the working class which he needs in a way he can't. And the trump card this weekend --

MICHELLE OBAMA: We're with our little peas.

SHIPMAN: --campaigning as mom. And I think it says it all that her Secret Service code name is renaissance. Her team really views her as an all-around asset. And boy is she being deployed now, Diane.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org