Hear This, Hillary: Obama 'OK' With Losing, Stresses Health Care
Is Barack Obama really running for president, or is he not-so-subtly positioning himself to be Hillary's running mate? I seemed to sense that 'subliminable' message on 'Today' this morning. At about 7:10 am EDT, the NBC show kicked off its "Today on the Trail" series, which will join the leading presidential contenders out on the campaign trail, with a feature on Obama. Meredith Vieira spent time with Obama in New Hampshire over the weekend.
Most of the exchanges were predictable: Obama countered suggestions of a lack of experience by positioning himself as an outside-the-beltway candidate. He claimed that "retail" politicking -- talking with voters one-on-one -- was the most enjoyable aspect of the campaign. He let people at one campaign stop know that in deciding whether to run, he "prayed on it," then asked his wife.
But there was one moment that deviated from the typical script of someone considered to have a realistic shot at winning a nomination.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA [D-IL]: It may be at the end of this thing people conclude 'you know, it's not Barack,' and that's OK.
NBC CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: That would be OK?
OBAMA: I think that's why we have elections.
View video here.
Vieira's surprise at Obama's indifference to defeat was manifest in her raised-eyebrow expression, displayed here. There was an immediate transition to Obama's proposal to provide universal health care coverage by the end of his first term.
Compare and contrast Obama being "OK" with losing to Hillary's oft-repeated "I'm in it to win it." Couple that with Obama's emphasis on health care, an issue near and dear to Hillary's heart, and it's not hard to imagine Obama's performance as an audition for the Veep slot.
ASIDE: Back in March, ABC's "Good Morning America" announced it was kicking off a series of "townhall" meetings with a variety of candidates. It began with Hillary, but if GMA has staged a "townhall" for any other candidate, I've missed it. In contrast, "Today" announced that Matt Lauer would be hitting the trail tomorrow with Mitt Romney.
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org