CBS This Morning Fawns Over Obama's Oratory Skills, Wonders If Kennedys Are 'Magic'

September 6th, 2012 4:45 PM

Immediately following Bill Plante's declaration on Thursday that Barack Obama is "one of the greatest orators of his generation," CBS This Morning co-anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell conducted an interview with Caroline Kennedy. Instead of discussing her upcoming speech at the Democratic National Convention, they excessively flattered her family and party affiliation.

While reminiscing about the last presidential campaign season, O'Donnell spoke of the transference of "Kennedy magic" to Obama when he received an official endorsement from the former president's daughter and her more recently deceased uncle in 2008.  [See video below.  MP3 audio here.]

I was there in 2008 when you and Senator Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama. I believe it was at American University. And there was this talk about this transfer of magic in many ways. The ‘Kennedy magic’ endorsing Barack Obama in some ways. And there's been a lot of talk this election that the same inspiration and magic isn't there for Obama, less enthusiasm. Do you think that's true?

Caroline's responses seemed to convey an enduring blind trust in the President, almost as if the last three and a half years never happened. She refused to admit that enthusiasm levels were dramatically lower than they were four years ago, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. The economic downturn and feeble recovery certainly hasn't been Obama’s fault either, according to her. 

The late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) starred in a convention tribute on Tuesday night. In it, he was portrayed as a champion of the people he represented. A considerable amount of time was spent mocking Mitt Romney, but nary a mention was made of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident. CBS didn't dare bring it up either.

Rose quickly segued from there into a question about Romney's inability to connect with female voters, something that has been discussed at length by the national media. He asked what issues have made the gender gap so "pronounced." To which she replied, "pretty much everything," specifically bringing up liberal talking points like access to reproductive health care, education, and economic fairness.

The light hearted interview ended on a humorous note, with Rose asking her what Taylor Swift songs she'd been listening to. Her son Conor has been dating the singer for a few months now. "Uh, Romeo,” she replied. “When I think about Mitt Romney.” This in reference to an earlier question from Rose that was phrased awkwardly (see video).

Concerning Plante's statement about Obama's "extraordinary oratory skills," speech writers and Teleprompters are invaluable tools but as we've all come to find out, empty rhetoric doesn't fix what ails the country.  

Relevant Transcript Below (Emphasis Mine):



September 6, 2012

8:01 a.m. EDT

BILL PLANTE: Good morning, Charlie and Norah. So here's the question. Does the president have to take his game up a notch when he speaks tonight? This is so close a race, does he have to top his previous best oratory as he talks here, heads out on to the campaign trail for the final weeks of his last campaign... President Obama is known as one of the greatest orators of his generation. Eight years ago, his speech-making first catapulted him to national prominence…

[Fast Forward]

ROSE: Bill Plante, thank you. This is the first Democratic Convention in more than half a century without the late Senator Ted Kennedy. 

O'DONNELL: I know. Certainly he was missed with his tribute that they played the other night, Charlie. 

ROSE: The convention also had a tribute and also we're joined by his niece, Caroline Kennedy. She'll speak to the delegates about President Obama and the family legacy. Welcome. 

CAROLINE KENNEDY: Thank you, nice to see you. 

ROSE: Its clearly part of political wisdom that your support and Ted Kennedy's support for Barack Obama helped him get the nomination. We remembered this tribute, you had the tribute on -- what would he say if he was addressing this convention do you think? 

KENNEDY: Well, I think he would say some of the same things that President Clinton said. But he would probably say them louder.  [Laughter] and shorter. 

ROSE: And shorter. 

KENNEDY: But I think he would be tremendously proud of what President Obama has accomplished. And I think he really saw in him a leader that could take the country into the 21st century. A new kind of leadership, and a new generation getting involved. That was so important to him, that young people and people who have been out of the process got involved and giving back to our country. So I think he would be you know thrilled. He would be thrilled to be here. He loved conventions. And I think he would be so proud of the president and all he's accomplished. 

ROSE: And what do you say? 

KENNEDY: Well, you know -- 

O'DONNELL: Give us the scoop. 

KENNEDY: It's really about the kind of leadership that President Obama has shown, and the importance of this election. The choice, the special importance to women and children, I think. Because I think that they really have the most on the line.

ROSE: What is it about the president -- I mean Governor Romney's position on women's issues that seems to have this gender gap so pronounced? 

KENNEDY: Well, I think pretty much everything. But obviously, the whole issues of access to health care, access to reproductive health care and then we get into education and economic fairness. So I think it's a range of issues. But certainly the health care and reproductive issues have dominated the debate. 

O'DONNELL: What do you think about Mitt Romney?

KENNEDY: I don't think that much about Mitt Romney. I think about President Obama. I really do. 

ROSE: You've never had thoughts about him, you don't think much about him? 

KENNEDY: Charlie, I don't know really where we're going now. 


O'DONNELL: I want to ask you. I was there in 2008 when you and Senator Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama. I believe it was at American University. And there was this talk about this transfer of magic in many ways. The Kennedy magic endorsing Barack Obama in some ways. And there's been a lot of talk this election that the same inspiration and magic isn't there for Obama, less enthusiasm. Do you think that's true? 

KENNEDY: Well, I think this convention is really showing that that's not true. I think that this has been a completely different kind of year. First of all, obviously the last four years have been difficult economically as President Clinton laid out last night. He inherited an economy that was in terrible shape. Obviously, that's going to change the mood of the country and the campaign. We've had an exciting primary process, where lots of people got involved last time. It was a just a whole different rhythm of the election. But I think that this convention, you're seeing tremendous enthusiasm and I think coming out of it, that will continue throughout the fall. 

ROSE: You flirted with the idea of getting into politics.

KENNEDY: Why does everybody say flirt? [Laughter] I was so not flirting.

ROSE: You choose the word.

KENNEDY: Thoughtfully considered. 

ROSE: And will you thoughtfully consider it again you think? 

KENNEDY: I have no plans to do that. 

ROSE: Sounds like a politician right there. 

KENNEDY: Well we're here at a convention. Obviously, you know, I think that public service and serving in politics is a tremendously wonderful thing to do. 

ROSE: And we love you at the Kennedy Center Honors on television. So are you listing to any Taylor Swift songs these days? 

KENNEDY: Uh Romeo. Romeo. When I think about Mitt Romney  

[ Laughter ]

ROSE: Nice to see her smiling isn't it?

O'DONNELL: Well, we're looking forward to your speech tonight. 

KENNEDY: Well, thank you. Me too. 

O'DONNELL: It was a lot for the Democrats here that your uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy was not here. It was one of the first conventions.

KENNEDY: But he was. Given that it was Teddy, he managed to you know -- 

O'DONNELL: Have his presence felt. 

KENNEDY: Exactly, that was nice. 

ROSE: Thank you so much. Great to see you. 

KENNEDY: You too. Nice to see you too