CNN's Soledad O'Brien Suggests Obama's a Hero Like the Hudson River Pilot
CNN’s Saturday filled with following Barack Obama’s train trip to the Inauguration was also filled with Obama praise. At one juncture, CNN couldn’t help but metaphorically merge Barack Obama with the exhilarating news of the US Airways pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River without losing a single passenger.
A few minutes after 2 pm Eastern time, anchorman Wolf Blitzer recalled "Soledad [O’Brien] and I were talking about this earlier and she was saying metaphorically in some ways, the pilot of that airplane is very much like Barack Obama -- that he got the plane down safely, but everybody else had to join together to get out of the plane and pull together to get through that adversity. I thought that was an interesting metaphor.
Since Democratic heroes were the primary topic, Blitzer also described how he skipped school to go see Robert F. Kennedy speak in Buffalo. Here’s how the pilot metaphor emerged:
BLITZER: But we've been going through a number of years now where people were starting to lose faith in the country. They were starting to lose faith in the future. They thought our best days were behind us. That's very, very -- that's a big break from our tradition. We've always been optimistic people. Well people are starting to lose confidence. And he has come along and rekindled that confidence.
I think that airplane that went down, the US Air flight and the pilot -- and Soledad and I were talking about this earlier and she was saying metaphorically in some ways, the pilot of that airplane is very much like Barack Obama -- that he got the plane down safely, but everybody else had to join together to get out of the plane and pull together to get through that adversity. I thought that was an interesting metaphor.
O'BRIEN: And it's a metaphor that Barack Obama keeps emphasizing, which is it is not about me. And there's a host of reasons to do that. Number one, you can't turn the economy around by yourself. That's not going to happen. So push that back on people.
O’Brien later turned around and suggested that President Bush did a bad job of inspiring young people after 9/11 to offer themselves in public service, unlike Obama. She constructed a straw man Bush that only told young people to go shop:
ANDERSON COOPER: Clearly the inauguration in this is the first step in that. They've wanted to make this the most inclusive inauguration. They've said repeatedly that's part of the reason behind the train journey, allowing more people to play a role in this. And this day of service which we talked about on Monday, the day before the inauguration.
O'BRIEN: They have to give them a real role. When you look back to Martin Luther King days, a lot of these young people, you saw the pictures of the children in busses hauled off to jail. Their parents had jobs and their parents could not lose those jobs.
So who was volunteering to be part of that? The kids were. The 16-year-olds were. So you have to give them a real opportunity, not a, ‘go shop’ or ‘go do something that doesn't matter.’ Be part of a movement, of a campaign. I agree, in New York, after 9/11, people were so touched. You'd get on the subway and people wouldn't speak. It was jam-packed and just so quiet, but no one knew what to do.
Then came the part where Wolf Blitzer talked about skipping school to see the liberal heroes speak:
BLITZER: All of us, I'm sure, remember -- we can go around. All of us can remember a moment when we were teenagers or something, we saw a major political figure. I remember growing up in Buffalo, Robert F. Kennedy. I saw him when he was running for the U.S. Senate with a good friend of mine, Carl Vizzi (ph). We sort of skipped school and we went to see Bobby Kennedy. It was a pretty amazing moment. I still remember it. Anderson is freaking out.
COOPER: You can admit that you skipped school now. You have to hedge it. The truant officer is no longer --
BLITZER: I was a good student, but once in a while you wanted to see Bobby Kennedy.
[Hat tip: Dan Gainor]