Roberts Lets Rahm Run Wild

Rahm Emanuel missed his calling in life. Rather than heading the Dem congressional campaign committee, he should have become a professional in the sport of freediving - holding your breath and diving without any breathing apparatus. Judging by his performance on today's Good Morning America, there's no doubt Rahm would have been a world champion.

In the closely-controlled world of the first half-hour [really 22 minutes] of the morning news shows, hosts keep a tight rein on their guests. Even notorious gabbers like Joe Biden are lucky to get in 15 seconds in before being cut short. Katie Couric, for all her liberal leanings, was a master of the technique.

That's what made Emanuel's spiel so stunning. Host Robin Roberts actually asked an excellent question. When Rahm claimed we need a new policy on Iraq, Roberts responded: "But what is that new policy? Oftentimes the Democrats have criticized the president and Republicans but we haven't heard a definitive plan."

Rahm then launched into a seemless soliloquy that would have put Hamlet to shame. You sensed he was expecting Robin to cut him off at various junctures, but the "halt!" never came, so Emanuel just plunged ahead. Finally, a stunning 77 seconds later, his monologue ended. I have never seen the likes on morning TV.

For the record, despite promising to be "very specific" in describing Dem plans, his filibuster amounted to nothing but one more condemnation of Bush policy - proving Roberts' very point. And though Robin didn't rein him in, she did wryly note in response: "some people still aren't clear if they heard a specific plan." Bada-bing!

Later, responding to a question about Karl Rove's preternatural optimism in the face of the polls, Robin let Rahm get off another uninterrupted burst lasting 65 seconds.

With her background as a college basketball star and ESPN announcer, Robin surely knows well the irrepressible Dick Vitale. Robin, couldn't you hear Dicky 'V' yelling in your ear? "Get a time-out baby, get a TO!"

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.