If it’s a weeknight, it’s Piers Morgan expressing delight at the performance, and perhaps just the mere existence of President Obama. On Tuesday night, he brought on disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather and asked if he was “impressed” by Obama’s foreign policy, and Rather gave Obama an “A” on the subject. Morgan fussed it was "slightly churlish" for anyone to criticize Obama for taking too much credit.
Rather also admitted he never thought there’d be a black president considering how backwards America was, but he has to admit he was wrong. “Amazing, and great they you were,” Morgan replied:
MORGAN: When you covered the Civil Rights Movement, did you ever imagine in your lifetime there would be a black president?
RATHER: Not only did I not imagine it, we used to sit around in the shank of the evening over an adult beverage talking about civil rights. I remember very clearly saying in my lifetime, there may be an African-American elected mayor of Atlanta, but there'll never be an African-American congressman from the state of Georgia.
And somebody said what about president? I said maybe my great grandson's time. And even more recently, as recently as the 1990s, even the early 2000s, when someone would suggest we might have a person of color as president, I said to myself I don't think you know the country very well. I'd have to say that I was wrong about it.
MORGAN: Amazing, and great that you were.
Here’s the exchange about Obama earning the “A” on foreign policy:
MORGAN: When you look at President Obama's foreign policies since he became president, are you impressed by the way that he has conducted it?
RATHER: I am, I am personally impressed. And furthermore, I think most of the American people, a majority, are impressed. He hasn't done it perfectly, but let's face it. He's ended one war. The Iraq war. He got -- he didn't get, U.S. military people got -- but on his watch, he got Osama bin Laden.
We've also made rather great strides in trying to stabilize the situation of China. It hangs in the balance right now. But I think he gets an A on foreign policy. However, one must note, American elections are very rarely decided on foreign policy. It's about the economy and jobs. That would be the determining factor.
I think President Obama may be helped by what he's done in foreign policy particularly the getting of Obama [sic] on his watch. Again -- always wants to emphasize he didn't do it, the troops did it.
MORGAN: I mean that is true, and I would be the first to salute the troops. My -- half my family are in the armed forces. They've toured in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, I do feel it slightly churlish for people to criticize President Obama simply reminding people that actually he did take that order because had it gone wrong, as I said earlier, all hell would have broken loose.
RATHER: Absolutely, as president.
MORGAN: I mean the Republicans would have made his life totally untenable.
RATHER: Well, I don't consider it a partisan political statement to say that many of the same people who are now saying don't smack the ball on the end zone, don't moonwalk in the end zone, are the same people who were applauding President Bush when he went aboard an aircraft carrier far prematurely to declare victory in Iraq.
But look, it's going to be part and parcel of the presidential campaign. But I do think that President Obama, whether you agree with him or not, whether you intend to vote for him or not, you have to give him credit.
Morgan is wrong if he's arguing that the political risk Obama took should insulate him from endzone-dancing charges. George W. Bush took a great political risk in invading Iraq, and Rather and all his chums relentlessly pounded on "Mission Accomplished." Journalists didnt' give him credit for taking a risk. They only accused him of stupidity and mendacity.
Morgan preposterously suggested "we've all kicked President Obama." ?When has Piers Morgan kicked Obama? (He has mocked other people as suckups, believe it or not!)
He told Rather: "See, I think kick the presidents when they get it wrong, and my goodness, we've all kicked President Obama. But isn't it just weird that in the modern political world with the rhetoric as it is that he can't even get credit for something so straightforward?"