MSNBC’s Shuster: Obama Burger Order Can Explain Foreign Policy

David Schuster, MSNBC On Monday, MSNBC anchor David Shuster saw something profound in President Obama ordering a hamburger: "How does he approach a hamburger, I suppose some people might think well, that might also help explain some things about how he approaches foreign policy?"

Shuster was discussing comedian Bill Maher’s criticism that Barack Obama was becoming overexposed in the media with conservative talk radio hosts Martha Zoller and liberal talker Lionel. Shuster began by asking Zoller: "Martha, do you think it's a problem to have the President out there talking about all the issues that people care about?" Zoller replied: "I think that he is a little over exposed and he doesn't have to take the press with him everywhere he goes."

Even Lionel agreed with Maher: "I get the impression, though, that he gets – he's trying to show us, like, ‘hey this is pretty cool, I'm president. Hey, Joe, want a burger?’ Poor Biden’s saying, ‘I want a what?’" At that point, Shuster observed: "Given that we have all the issues, the health care, the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, why shouldn't the American people see Obama dealing with regular things so they get an idea of what type of person, what type of president he is? How he thinks? How does he approach a hamburger, I suppose some people might think well, that might also help explain some things about how he approaches foreign policy?"

A puzzled Lionel responded: "Who says that? Who says that?" Shuster tried to laughingly defend his absurd statement: "Everybody says that. The more – Lionel, the more I learn about you about getting a hamburger, the more I can predict with how you’re going to deal with something on your radio show."

Here is the full transcript of the exchange:

4:46PM SEGMENT:

TAMRON HALL: It's time for today's ‘Face-Off’ and some criticism of President Obama from unexpected quarters.

DAVID SHUSTER: Comedian Bill Maher, who admits he's a fan of President Obama, is pleading with the President to get off the airwaves and get to work to bring real change. On his HBO show Friday night, Maher said that Mr. Obama is so overexposed these days he's comparing Obama to Lindsay Lohan. Yes, Lindsay Lohan. Here’s part of the Maher shtick.

BILL MAHER: New rule, just because the press is willing to make a fuss about every aspect of your life doesn't mean you have to take them up on it. You don't have to be on television every minute of every day. You're the president, not a re-run of ‘Law & Order.’

SHUSTER: Martha Zoller is a conservative radio talk show host and nationally syndicated talk show host Lionel also joins us. Martha, do you think it's a problem to have the President out there talking about all the issues that people care about?

MARTHA ZOLLER: Well, no, I think if he's talking about the issues people care about that’s fine, but I got to – I never agree with Bill Maher, but I think that he is a little over exposed and he doesn't have to take the press with him everywhere he goes. It's a historic presidency, but I agree with Bill, he needs to look like he's working a little harder.

SHUSTER: Lionel, do you think that he's not working very hard?

LIONEL: Well, I want to remind the country and the world, it's been five months. This poor guy’s gone through economic collapse, banking – he had, ready for this, swine flu. He woke up one morning and they said, ‘guess what, pirates.’ What's next? Pestilence. Look, I agree with Bill Maher. I get the impression, though, that he gets – he's trying to show us, like, ‘hey this is pretty cool, I'm president. Hey, Joe, want a burger?’ Poor Biden’s saying, ‘I want a what?’ The Brian Williams piece, NBC-

ZOLLER: Lionel, did you and I just agree?

LIONEL: You know, I just changed my mind. I must be doing something wrong.

SHUSTER: Well here’s the thing, why shouldn’t – given that we have all these issues, Martha. Given that we have all the issues, the health care, the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, why shouldn't the American people see Obama dealing with regular things so they get an idea of what type of person, what type of president he is? How he thinks? How does he approach a hamburger, I suppose some people might think well, that might also help explain some things about how he approaches foreign policy?

LIONEL: Who says that? Who says that?

SHUSTER: Everybody says that. The more – Lionel, the more I learn about you about getting a hamburger, the more I can predict with how you’re going to deal with something on your radio show.

LIONEL: You have a point there, Shuster. You got a point

ZOLLER: There's a difference – there’s a difference between what we want and what we need. We don't need to-

LIONEL: you're telling me.

ZOLLER: -see the President 24/7. He doesn't need to be out there 24/7. And, look, I'm – I’m one of these people that disagree with him vehemently on a number of issues, but I have – I have faith that I don't need to see him every day to know that he's going to work.

SHUSTER: Lionel, is it our fault or is it the President's fault?

LIONEL: Look, I don't blame him.

ZOLLER: It’s our fault.

LIONEL: I was going to say, the Brian Williams piece was fantastic. What he was showing, ‘Hey, Brian, look at this. Do you know what this is? This is called a nuclear football. Push this. You just blew up Bermuda.’ He's enjoying himself. I think it's great. Jackie Kennedy walked us around, though not as exciting as Brian Williams. Then again, who is for that matter?

ZOLLER: Jackie Kennedy wasn't the president.

LIONEL: You know, you're right. You're right about that.

ZOLLER: No, she wasn't the president.

HALL: Okay, we're going-

LIONEL: What difference does that make? The point is she showed us this place. Bush hid for eight years. Every now and then when he was running for election, he'd pop out of his hole. We'd see him. This is the exact opposite. It's not critical. Maher had to come up with something different for God's sake. He doesn’t want to look like a sycophant all the time.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC