ABC's Shipman: Obama the 'It' Democratic Candidate for '08

On the heels of last week’s glowing reports on NBC’s ‘Today’ and CNN’s ‘American Morning,’ ABC couldn’t resist jumping on the Obama-for-president bandwagon. During the 7am half hour of Monday’s ‘Good Morning America,’ correspondent Claire Shipman reported on comments from Democratic Senator Barack Obama in which he expressed interest in pursing his party’s nomination for president in 2008. In her introduction to Shipman’s piece, GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts referred to the "red hot buzz" (generated by the mainstream media) surrounding Obama as proof that the senator is "already a major political player." Shipman promoted Obama as the new "it" candidate among Democrats. She also highlighted flattering statements from talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who described Obama as her "favorite senator," and political analyst Larry Sabato, who predicted that Obama has the "charisma to skyrocket" to become the preferred Democratic candidate for president:

Claire Shipman: "Barack Obama has become, in a matter of weeks, the new 'it' candidate for the Democrats...A recent ‘Time’ magazine poll shows [Hillary] Clinton well ahead of Obama in a potential presidential race, 43 percent to 30. But the comparatively unknown Obama has shown this week, if he decides to run, he can generate a lot of buzz in a hurry."

Larry Sabato: "Obama has the charisma to skyrocket right to the head of the pack."

The full transcript of Shipman’s report is behind the cut:

Robin Roberts: "Now to the red hot buzz about Senator Barack Obama. On Sunday, he instantly changed the presidential equation for 2008, saying that a run for the White House is not out of the question. That's a complete turnaround from earlier statements, and more proof that in just his first Senate term, this Democrat is already a major political player. Senior national correspondent Claire Shipman joins us from Washington and Claire, you can't pick up a paper this morning without reading about Barack Obama."

Claire Shipman: "You're right, Robin. It is extraordinary. I mean, the midterm elections are just two weeks away, but all of the talk is about Obama and this potential change to the political landscape for 2008. And you can bet there's another senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who's reading those headlines very closely. High profile magazine covers, a star turn on Oprah--"

Oprah Winfrey [on The Oprah Winfrey Show]: "This is my senator, my favorite senator --"

Shipman: "And the public mash note from conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks urging him to run. And then this admission on Meet the Press."

Tim Russert: "But it's fair to say you're thinking about running for president in 2008?"

Senator Barack Obama: "It's fair, yes."

Russert: "And so, it sounds as if the door has opened a bit."

Obama: "A bit."

Shipman: "Barack Obama has become, in a matter of weeks, the new 'it' candidate for the Democrats."

Larry Sabato, UVA Center for Politics, Director: "It's a big surprise that he's this prominent this fast, but it's obvious to see why. He's as charismatic as anybody on the national scene in either party."

Shipman: "That much was obvious at Obama's keynote speech at the Democratic convention two years ago."

Obama: "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America."

Shipman: "Still, conventional wisdom had been a presidential run in 2008 for this freshman senator would just be too early. A few years ago, after all, Obama was a little-known Illinois state legislator. The Obama flames are no doubt being fanned by some Democrats searching for alternatives to Hillary Clinton, the presumed front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Although Senator Clinton, campaigning for her Senate re-election over the weekend, has also been cagey about her White House intentions."

Senator Hillary Clinton: "I can't make a decision now. I have made no decision, but if that concerns any voter, they should factor that into the vote they make."

Shipman: "A recent ‘Time’ magazine poll shows Clinton well ahead of Obama in a potential presidential race, 43 percent to 30. But the comparatively unknown Obama has shown this week, if he decides to run, he can generate a lot of buzz in a hurry."

Sabato: "Obama has the charisma to skyrocket right to the head of the pack."

Shipman: "And one plus of Obama's limited Senate experience, he didn't have to cast that awkward vote on the Iraq war, like so many of his colleagues. On the other hand, Robin, if he decides to run, as you know, his limited experience, limited political experience will certainly come under heavy scrutiny."

Roberts: "Yeah, the Republicans may play to that. But let me ask you, why do you think he's changed his mind and is apparently now considering a run for the White House?"

Shipman: "It is interesting. It's so different from what he said just a year ago. He and his, his advisors were saying he would not seek to run for president so early. But what's happened is, is he's campaigned around the country for other Democrats. Since he's been on his book tours, he's received such an extraordinary reaction that prominent Democrats are urging him to consider a run now, to strike while the iron is hot, Robin."