George Stephanopoulos and Barbara Walters on Tuesday fawned over the "fun," loving marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters appeared on Good Morning America to promote the President's appearance on The View.
Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, hyped Walters' "lighter stuff." He gushed, "The President seemed to mix politics and fun, when he talked about coaching his daughter's basketball team." Walters was positively impressed with the couple: "He's funny. She says she's funnier. But he's very relaxed with her." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos marveled, "The President seemed, I have to say, in much better humor than if you watch the 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night."
The two journalists giddily recounted the birthday gifts Obama gave the View host. Walters gossiped, "He brought me a whole basket full. Real napkins. M&Ms."
Many news outlets have highlighted anger over the fact that Obama skipped one-on-one diplomatic meetings while at the United Nations in New York. (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has complained about this.)
Instead, the President found time for The View. Stephanopoulos and Walters skipped this awkward point.
Walters is notorious for fawning over the President. On December 23, 2011, she actually asked him this question: "If you were a superhero and you could have one super power, what would it be?"
A transcript of the September 25 GMA segment follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm here with Barbara Walters for more on The View appearance by the President and First Lady. Taped yesterday. Airs later.
BARBARA WALTERS: At 11:00 o'clock today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: At 11:00 o'clock today. And Jake was just talking about Ambassador Stevens, the killing of ambassador Stevens in Libya.
WALTERS: We did. We, you know, asked fun questions because the two of them were together. And that's rare. But then, we did. We asked about Libya.
BARACK OBAMA: We're still doing an investigation. There's no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn't just a mob action. Now, we don't have all of the information yet. And so, we're still gathering it. But what's clear is, that around the world, you know, there's still a lot of threats out there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the President, you know, he said you had lighter stuff, as well. The President seemed to mix politics and fun, when he talked about coaching his daughter's basketball team.
BARACK OBAMA: The girls, they play like a team. So, Congress could take some lessons from the Vipers. They pass the ball off. They high-five each other. But they're doing great.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, I see him sitting next to the First Lady. The President seemed, I have to say, in much better humor than if you watch the 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night.
WALTERS: Well, he's different with her. I mean, this is the first time they've been on The View separately. They've been on separately. He's funny. She says she's funnier. But he's very relaxed with her. They held hands throughout the interview. And, you know, he asks, answers the serious questions. He's a little long-winded, George. And she will say, "I'll vote for you." In other words,
"Keep it shorter, honey."
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they told you they had to reschedule their 20th anniversary celebration.
WALTERS: Because it's the same night, October 3rd, as the debate. So, you know, in the middle of the debates, he can't say-
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hard to break away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also have a big celebration, as well. Happy birthday, Barbara.
WALTERS: Oh, I'm trying to ignore it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No, no. Happy birthday! And of course, the President found out about it. And we heard he brought you some stuff.
WALTERS: Thank you! Thank you! You make it easier. He did. He brought me a present. You can see it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, a whole basket full.
WALTERS: This is the story. When I have-- on the occasions when I've been at the White House, I sometimes take a few things. Like the paper napkin.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We all do. Like the M&Ms.
WALTERS: Like the paper towels. He brought me a whole basket full. Real napkins. M&Ms. Beer. Do you know- The White House has beer. And a golf ball. I don't know- You want the golf ball?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll take the golf ball.
WALTERS: There you go.