As Schieffer Talks of Inspirational Tears, David Axelrod Says He'll Now Help 'Young Journalists'

As part of the victory lap on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer asked Obama campaign manager David Axelrod how it felt to watch the president brush away a tear in front of the volunteers. "We don't see that much emotion from the President. What was it like to be there?"

He also asked Axelrod what he'll do next, and he said he wants to help "inspire some young people to get into this arena as candidates, as strategists, as journalists." Or to follow today's media model, become a Democratic strategist, and then become a network TV journalist. But Axelrod brushed away tears alongside the president at the idealism of the Obama Youth:

DAVID AXELROD: Oh, my. I was standing ten feet away and I was brushing tears away myself as were many of those young people. And so when he looked at those young kids and their sense of idealism and all the sacrifices they had made, not just for him but for the kind of country that they believe in, he really was overcome. And the President went around after that speech and he-- and he met with every single kid in the headquarters, gave them a hug and a handshake and a thanks and I think that hug and handshake and thanks has sent them off in a direction where they're going to make great contributions in the future, and it really was a wonderful coda on a-- on a great campaign.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And what about you? What do you do next?

AXELROD: Well, I'm going down-- in keeping with that-- I'm going to spend part of my time starting an institute of politics at the University of Chicago. My feeling is if I can help inspire some young people to get into this arena as candidates, as strategists, as journalists, then that would be a great contribution to make.

Before that, Schieffer asked Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham if he would vote to confirm UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be Secretary of State should she be nominated. Graham seemed to say no pretty loudly and clearly:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you're on record as having said that the administration either deliberately misled people about what led to the deaths of the ambassador and those three other Americans or it was just gross incompetence.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right.

SCHIEFFER: Now, Susan Rice, who is the U.N. ambassador at this point, was pretty much the point person on this for the administration. She went out on the Sunday shows and first said that it was not a-- a planned terrorist attack, but was result of a spontaneous demonstration. She is now being mentioned as one of those being considered for Secretary of State. Do you think what she said during the early days of this investigation? Should that factor in any way on whether she should be considered as Secretary of State?

GRAHAM: Absolutely, without a doubt. I generally defer to presidential selections for cabinets and judges. I voted for both Supreme Court judges, not because I would have chose them, because the President has a lot leeway, and if they're qualified people, I-- I tend to support presidential picks. However, I do reserve until myself and other members of Congress the ability to say no when justified. I cannot imagine promoting anybody associated with Benghazi at this point. It's not just what she said after, how did the place become a death trap for months? Why did we keep it open or not reinforce it? There are too many questions to be answered. I don't quite frankly trust her rendition of Benghazi. So, I think Susan Rice would have an incredibly difficult time getting through the Senate. I would not vote for her unless there's a tremendous opening up of information explaining herself in a way she has not yet done.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, would you try to lead a move to-- to block her from getting the nomination if, in fact, she is nominated?

GRAHAM: I'm not-- I'm not entertaining, promoting anybody that I think was involved with the Benghazi debacle. We need to get to the bottom of it. The President has a lot of leeway with me and others when it comes to making appointments, but I'm not going to promote somebody who I think has misled the country or is either incompetent. That's my view of Susan Rice. There are other people out there. I don't want to fight with the President over something like this but there has to be an accountability. You just can't let this happen and act as if there are no consequences. And one of the consequences to me is that Susan Price needs-- Susan Rice needs to be held accountable
 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis