Robin Roberts Fawns Over Michelle Obama: Will You Attend Prince William's Wedding?
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts conducted yet another fawning interview with Michelle Obama on Friday, offering 11 minutes and two segments to such important topics as whether the First Lady will attend Prince William's wedding.
Not exactly grilling Mrs. Obama, the co-anchor mused, "We understand that Prince William and Kate, they sent out the save the date kind of notifications. Have you received yours?...Would you like to attend the wedding?"
In comparison, when Roberts interviewed Laura Bush on October 22, 2007, she quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs."
Traveling with the then-first Lady throughout the Middle East, Roberts talked to women who had survived breast cancer: "Does it help with Mrs. Bush and the United States coming here?...Or is it seen as, 'Okay, the Americans are, again, trying to force something on us?"
On Friday, even when discussing serious issues, Roberts mostly skipped challenging questions. Regarding the next presidential election, she gently wondered, "2012 is right around the corner...Are you prepared for another campaign?"
The single question that pressed the First Lady came when Roberts highlighted Let's Move, a presidential campaign for fitness. The ABC host insisted, "How do you respond to those who say, I'm a parent?...I'll make those choices. I don't want the government to do that."
More representative were vague, open-ended questions such as this one: "Do you think about the arc of your life these last few years?"
For more softball interviews from Robin Roberts, go here.
A transcript of the second segment, which aired at 8:01am EST, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: But, let's begin with part two of our exclusive talk with Michelle Obama, the self-described mom in chief. Trying to raise those two daughters in the White House spotlight and what was it like for her to meet with the parents of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, the little girl, of course, killed in the Tucson shootings. I want to talk to you a little about Tucson. The memorial service. Everyone was really moved to see you next to Gabby Giffords' husband as you were clinging and holding his hand. Personally, Mrs. Obama, when you went there for the first time and met with the heroes and met with the victims and met with the families, what was that like for you personally?
MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, spending time with those families and seeing their strength, it gives you hope. It gives you clarity about who we are as a nation. 'Cause sometimes we got lost in the bad stuff that happens and the back and forth. But the truth is, that's who we are. Tucson, that memorial ceremony, is who we are. Even in our deepest pain, our most horrific moment, we come together because that community stepped up and supported Gabby Giffords and all the other families who were injured or lost loved ones. They were there for them. And the spirit of that is something that we, you know, we need to embrace and be reminded, that's who we are as a nation. So, that, that gives me the energy to do the next hard thing because I know who I'm working for. I'm working for my country. It is a privilege, truly a privilege, for me to do that kind of stuff. And my whole view is, if my presence there lends a little more comfort or support, I'll do that all day.
ROBERTS: Couldn't help but notice that your husband, when talking about nine-year-old Christina-
BARACK OBAMA: In Christina, we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic. So full of magic.
ROBERTS: His voice caught just a little bit. And many thought that- you have a nine-year-old, Sasha. And that must run through both of your minds, how fragile life can be.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Well, you don't have to have a nine-year-old to understand just how fragile life is. And just how important it is for you to hold the ones you love just a little bit tighter and value the things that are good in others. Not to take things for granted. You know? That's what times like these teach us.
ROBERTS: And I think about when I first saw you, first interviewed you, was here in South Carolina.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Yeah. That's right!
ROBERTS: At a Baptist church in West Columbia. And to think about the conversation we had then, when you husband was a Senator, to now. Do you think about the arc of your life these last few years?
MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, there are moments. But, you know, things are so busy and so hectic, and with the girls and trying to keep them grounded. You know, I think that that's my natural state, is to just keep moving forward. So, I don't know that I can do it any differently. You know, maybe when it's all really, really over and there's a little breathing time and I look back, I can reflect. But right now, there's just so much in front of us, so much potential, so much opportunity, to make a difference that, you know, my days are filled with that. But one of these days, you know? Reflection will be a good- a good thing.
ROBERTS: We have a few minutes left. This is the fun part. We understand that Prince William and Kate, they sent out the save the date kind of notifications. Have you received yours?
MICHELLE OBAMA: Not that I know about. But I don't get my mail directly. [Laughs.]
ROBERTS: Would you like to attend the wedding?
MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, I think just like any couple, they should invite who they want to invite to their wedding. You know? This is a personal, private thing, you know?. And I wish them the best. Enjoy, love each other, have fun and go on a great honeymoon.
ROBERTS: Then, you don't have to worry about what to wear. And speaking of what to wear, at the recent state dinner for China, the First Lady caused quite a stir for not choosing a gown designed by an American. Does that get old, though? Whether it's- And I know you received some criticism from Oscar De La Renta.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Women, wear what you love. That's all you can say. That's my motto. It's nice to have on a nice suit. But it's nicer to change a generation, in terms of their health. It's a better use of my time to focus on rallying this country around our military families. I mean, there's so much that i hope to do in this role, that makes a difference in people's lives.
ROBERTS: And that's really what she wanted to talk about, the military families and Fort Jackson. That's one of the largest in the Army and the initial training of soldiers. They have weekly graduation ceremonies. And she was there yesterday for that one. And to see the families.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: What kind of reception did she get?
ROBERTS: A great reception. Because she has spent a lot of time, even during the campaign, with the military families. And she has a- this is the great thing that she says. We see the soldiers at the airport. And we greet them. Good job. Say something to the families, too. They're not wearing the uniforms. But they have to go through that as much as the husbands or wives that are coming back.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.