Now that all signs point to Hillary Clinton's exit from the presidential race, Tuesday's "Good Morning America" chose to laud both Bill and Hillary Clinton as "iconic" and speculate, yet again, about an Obama/Clinton "dream ticket." Over the span of just ten minutes, various GMA personalities cooed over video of Bill Clinton on a plane gently placing a hand on his wife's face and shoulder.
Co-host Diane Sawyer and reporter Kate Snow each separately lauded this as a "tender moment." In a second segment, Sawyer seemed entranced as she played the video again and haltingly narrated, "When we see that iconic scene on the plane where he's reaching out to her and she's so tired-- She's so clearly tired there." Former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos appeared on the program to shill for the "dream ticket" of Obama/Clinton. Perhaps having some kind of inside information, the "This Week" host asserted he's been "betting" on such a pairing all year. Advocating for the wife of his old boss, Stephanopoulos proclaimed, "I think it's the best ticket for the Democrats. I think if Barack Obama picks her, they have the best chance of winning."
Both Sawyer and Stephanopoulos preemptively trotted out the historic nature of Obama's nomination. Stephanopoulos announced, "It is a moment of history," while Sawyer later concurred "It is a historic day." Undoubtedly, the first African American presidential nominee is historic. But it hasn't happened yet and the ABC reporters just seemed giddy that the nasty Democratic fight will soon be over.
During a preview for the two segments, Sawyer and news anchor Chris Cuomo had an exchange that summarized the tone of the show's reporting. Speaking of Obama, Cuomo enthused, "What an exciting moment for his campaign." Sawyer, referencing the end of the New York senator's presidential bid, reflected sadness: "And also, of course, while [Obama] celebrates, what about the Clintons?" This was one of the many times that GMA proceeded to play the "tender moment" between Bill and Hillary Clinton.
A partial transcript of the first segment, and the complete second segment, which aired at 7:03 and 7:06am on June 3, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: This morning, does a chapter of history close today and a new one begin? Is this Barack Obama's morning?
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: I was looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing.
SAWYER: As the last primary votes are counted, a tender moment as the Clintons head back home and a former president lashes out at the media.
BILL CLINTON: This is the most biased press coverage in modern history. It's just another way of helping Obama.
CHRIS CUOMO: And for the race, it all comes down to this. Barack Obama is now 36.5 delegates from the finish line. What an exciting moment for his campaign. And those delegates are expected to come in today. So, our team will have all of the angles covered for you.
SAWYER: And also, of course, while he celebrates, what about the Clintons? I want to play again that scene that you just saw in our open this morning. [Plane video plays again of Clintons embracing.] There it is. On the plane, on the way home. You see former President Clinton with his hand on her back and she yawns. Who wouldn't yawn? 501 days since this campaign started.
CUOMO: Yeah. We took a look at what happened since the beginning, almost six million babies have been born since this started.
SAWYER: Such a long road to this day. A long road.
CUOMO: But let's begin with the race to '08 and the official end of the Democratic primary season. The question now is, what will Hillary Clinton do and when will she do it? Our Kate Snow traveled back to New York overnight with the Clintons. She's outside their home this morning in Chappaqua. Good morning, Kate.
KATE SNOW: Good morning, Chris. Some very intense discussions under way, behind these white gates, behind me here. This is the Clinton home. She will be trying to figure out today whether she stays in the race, whether she drops out. Whether she suspends her campaign indefinitely. Her top advisers say they don't expect her to concede to Barack Obama tonight, but this race is almost over. Last night on the plane, a tender moment between Bill and Hillary Clinton. The whole family was on stage at her last event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Senator Clinton, speaking wistfully about living the American dream.
DIANE SAWYER: And for the bottom line, let's go now to chief Washington correspondent, host of "This Week," George Stephanopoulos. So, George, is it going to happen? Is Senator Obama going to declare victory in the primaries?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It is going to happen, Diane. He is going to go out, sometime shortly after 10pm eastern time tonight, after those Montana polls close and declare victory. The super delegates are coming his way. Claire is exactly right. They're hoping to be able to say that it's these voters in Montana and South Dakota that have put him over the line but tonight. But the super delegates are going to come in today. He will declare victory tonight. It is a moment of history.
SAWYER: So, If he says, I am the nominee, what is she going to do?
STEPHANOPOULOS: All eyes are going to turn back to Senator Clinton. We see that she's meeting all day today with President Clinton, with her other supporters. She's going to face something of a difficult decision. I imagine that he's going to telling her, take your time. Don't be rushed into anything. You're tired right now. Don't make any decisions under pressure. But she is going to face pressure to say something by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.
SAWYER: When we see that iconic scene on the plane where he's reaching out to her and she's so tired-- She's so clearly tired there. As well as you know them, do you think that this is a scene-- are these people going to suspend the campaign or are they going to end the campaign?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the clear question right now. First of all, he's, I'm sure, saying to her on that whole plane ride, is how proud he is of her for the work she's done over these last 18 months. They probably shared some anger at the media And we saw a little bit of that yesterday as well. But the real debate is going to come down, do you suspend or do you get out? They might try to have it both ways where she formally suspends the campaign but gives a fulsome speech endorsing, endorsing Barack Obama again sometime this week.
SAWYER: And you said that Rahm Emanuel is probably going to be the broker for all of this for the campaign debt. What else?
STEPHANOPOULOS: He's one of the people best placed to be the broker. As you know, he's a very close aide, a former aide to President Clinton, very close friend to Barack Obama. Another possible agent here would be Bob Barnett, the Washington lawyer who was a loyal friend of Hillary Clinton, was also book agent for Obama. What they're going to be talking about are things like how does Obama help retire the campaign debt? What kind of a policy role does Senator Clinton play in the campaign? And then, you know, and this is still on the table, the dream ticket. I mean, and I think one of the things they're going to be talking about today is how hard does she push with her 17 million votes for that place on the ticket?
SAWYER: So, what do you bet?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I've been betting on this all year, Diane.
SAWYER: One more bet for old times sake, here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it's the best ticket for the Democrats. I think if Barack Obama picks her, they have the best chance of winning. I know there's a lot of resistance in the Obama camp. But if she is not going to get it, she is going to have to be very convincing in saying she didn't want it.
SAWYER: And you think she may want it?
SAWYER: In fact, she might be available. All right. Thanks so much, George. And we've heard earlier, what, six million babies have been born since the campaign started.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's a long time, isn't it?
SAWYER: And we thought we would point out a couple other things. The candidates have spent about $200 million each since this started. And here is a map showing you where they've been over the last year and a half. Senator Clinton attending more than a thousand campaign events. Senator Obama attending nearly 800. It is a historic day. Thanks again, George.