NBC's 'Today' Fawns Over 'Tearful' and 'Emotional' Obama Thanking Supporters

Throughout Friday's NBC Today, hosts and reporters gushed over a video released by the Obama campaign of the President tearing up as he talked to supporters at a Chicago campaign office. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thanking the team. President Obama gets tearful in a speech to young campaign staffers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Moments later, fill-in co-host Willie Geist declared: "You know, the President known for his cool, some say aloof demeanor, but now we've seen tears twice in the span of about a week." In a report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd noted: "In a video released by the Obama campaign, a tearful President thanks his campaign workers." The headline on screen read: "Tears for Four More Years; Emotional President Obama Thanks Campaign Workers."

The video kept coming up on the morning show. After Todd's report, author Jon Meacham observed: "I think part of the President crying, which we have not often seen, a man who has even compared himself to Mr. Spock from time to time, being that emotional. People get tired."

Early in the 9 a.m. et hour, the Today crew discussed Obama's crying at length, with Geist telling viewers: "And maybe you saw this video this morning. The Obama campaign released it. President Obama talking to his staff and his volunteers in Chicago the day after the election." He added: "17 months of campaigning....It's gonna come pouring out at the end, win or lose."

Guthrie remarked: "I think what's rare is just that we have seen it, now we see the video." News reader Natalie Morales interjected: "And this is the second time in like two weeks that we've seen him tearing up."

That in reference to Obama's final campaign stop in Iowa the day before the election, which reporter Kristen Welker described as "An emotional night, even for a president known for keeping his cool."


Here is a transcript of the number of times the President's crying was mentioned on the November 9 program:

7:00AM ET TEASE:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Thanking the team. President Obama gets tearful in a speech to young campaign staffers.

BARACK OBAMA: I'm really proud of all of you. And a-

GUTHRIE: But with the campaign behind the President now, he gets set to deliver his first post-election remarks to the nation today.

7:01AM ET TEASE:

WILLIE GEIST: You know, the President known for his cool, some say aloof demeanor, but now we've seen tears twice in the span of about a week, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, I think a reflection of the fact that this campaign was draining on both candidates. But guess what? The really hard work begins now. President Obama set to speak from the White House this afternoon about the economy and what it will take to stave off the fiscal cliff. We're gonna have a live report from the White House straight ahead.

7:07AM ET SEGMENT:

(...)

BARACK OBAMA: I'm really proud of all of you, and what you-

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Tears for Four More Years; Emotional President Obama Thanks Campaign Workers]

CHUCK TODD: In a video released by the Obama campaign, a tearful President thanks his campaign workers.

OBAMA: What you guys – what you guys accomplished will go on in the annals of history and people will read about it and they'll marvel about it, but the most important thing you need to know is that your journey's just beginning.

(...)

7:11AM ET SEGMENT:

(...)

JON MEACHAM: The only thing worse than winning a second term is not winning a second term. It's hard because people get tired. I think part of the President crying, which we have not often seen, a man who has even compared himself to Mr. Spock from time to time, being that emotional. People get tired. People start to move on quickly in the sense of who's going to be the next president yet again.

(...)

9:08AM ET SEGMENT:

GEIST: Today's Take 3, we'll give you our take on some stories that have caught our attention. And maybe you saw this video this morning. The Obama campaign released it. President Obama talking to his staff and his volunteers in Chicago the day after the election.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Take 1; Presidential Tears]

OBAMA: I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle. Because what you guys have done means that the work that I'm doing is important.

GEIST: You know, these campaigns are so long. Savannah, you covered one last time around. Mitt Romney declared his candidacy in June of 2011. So 17 months of campaigning. Same goes for the President. It's gonna come pouring out at the end, win or lose.

NATALIE MORALES: So the emotion, all of that. The tears.

GUTHRIE: I think what's rare is just that we have seen it, now we see the video. But I think-

AL ROKER: We see it.

MORALES: And this is the second time in like two weeks that we've seen him tearing up.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, but both of these candidates, no matter what your political persuasion, they put their hearts into these campaigns, as do the people that work on them and the reporters who cover them.

ROKER: And fervently believe in them.

GUTHRIE: They believe it and they care about this country and it's not – I think that we can all sympathize with that, having gone through it and then kind of having that emotional release. And I'm sure both sides are feeling that and the people that work with them.

ROKER: There was a story about that in The New York Times with Mitt Romney, that the next morning he had a breakfast and he broke down, too. And you can understand why. I mean, it's just – you put so much of your life and effort and so much of your capital of your family into this as well.

MORALES: Well, and seeing how many people, the volunteers and the staffers who, who really take on the cause. And I think, you know, it's – it's good to see that emotion. I guess the question is...

ROKER: I think it's fine.

MORALES: ...you know, if it becomes an occurrence that we see over and over again...

ROKER: You mean like John Boehner?

MORALES: ...like John Boehner, the House Speaker, you know, then people may say-

GUTHRIE: Well, I'm a cryer myself.

MORALES: Yeah, so am I.

GUTHRIE: I cry at work, you know, at least once a week.

MORALES: We like to put in the girl movies and just cry.

GUTHRIE: I enjoy a good cry.

ROKER: And the thing is, he can embrace it too. He makes fun of it.

MORALES: It was refreshing.

ROKER: Yeah, kind of like cry creep.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, exactly, nice to shed a tear from time to time.

(...)

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