Sunday, February 11, 2007

Barack Obama: 60 Minutes

UPDATE, November 16, 2008: Barack and Michelle Obama on 60 Minutes

"My wife and I are on 60 Minutes. I'm running for president. And I'm not talking about an affair."

That guy... That senator from Illinois, what's his name?

Oh, yes. Barack Obama.

In case you didn't know, Obama has been struggling with a
name recognition problem.

Yeah, right.

Obama must be the most well known unknown in the country.

His weekend long official coming out party was topped off with an interview on
60 Minutes.

Steve Kroft did the segment. He looked positively giddy. He couldn't contain his excitement. So many shots of him nodding in approval and smiling from ear to ear -- it was embarrassing.

Basically, the interview covered the same stuff that we've been hearing from Obama for months now.

Same old, same old.

This piece was a little different in that America met Mrs. Barack Obama and their two little girls. (The only foods Daddy can prepare are tuna fish and chili.)

Obama's wife was articulate and clean. (I mean that as a compliment of course, just like Joe Biden.)

Seriously, she looked attractive and is an accomplished woman. She seemed like a very pleasant person.

The kids were adorable.

The only thing that caught my attention during this interview as something new was what Obama and his wife had to say in regard to race.

There are African-Americans who don't think that you're black enough, who don't think that you have had the required experience," Kroft remarks.

"The truth of the matter is, you know, when I'm walking down the south side of Chicago and, visiting my barbershop, and playing basketball in some of these neighborhoods, those aren't those aren't questions I get asked," Obama says.

"They think you're black," Kroft asks.

"As far as they can tell, yeah. I also notice when I'm catching a cab, nobody's confused about that either," he says.

Are we to believe that Sen. Obama has trouble catching a cab because of his race?

First, how often does he hail a cab?


Second, I don't believe he has a problem. Do you?

Obama's statements about prejudice in America don't jibe with these next remarks:

Obama does think the U.S. is ready for a black president and he doesn't think his race is going to hold him back.

"I think if I don't win this race it will be because of other factors. It's gonna be because I have not shown to the American people a vision for where the country needs to go that they can embrace," he tells Kroft.

So which is it?

Will America judge Obama on his qualifications and vision for the country or will his racial makeup get in the way?

Will America leave him standing at the curb because his father was black?

I guess America is ready for a black president, but not black passengers in cabs.

When Obama's wife Michelle joined the interview, Kroft brought up how Colin Powell's wife didn't want him to run for president because it would be too dangerous. She feared that he would be shot.

Obama had to persuade his wife to let him run. Political campaigns make her feel like a single mother.

Asked if it has put strains on the marriage from time to time, Michelle Obama says, sarcastically, "Oh-nooooo."

"Absolutely it has," he husband adds.

"But, you'd let him go ahead and do this?" Kroft asks Michelle Obama.

"I think if I weren't married to him, I'd want him to be in there," she says. "So, I don't wanna stand in the way of that, because we have to work out a few things. So, we've kind of, you know, we figured out those, we've had those arguments, and…" she says.

"And, I've lost them all," the senator throws in.

"This is a tough question to ask, but a number of years ago Colin Powell was thinking about running for president, and his wife Alma, really did not want him to run. She was worried about some crazy person, with a gun…. Is that something that you think about?" Kroft asks.

"I don't lose sleep over it because the realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know. So, you know, you can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen. We just weren't raised that way," she says.


"[A]s a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know."

What sort of comment is that?

She makes it sound like African-Americans are routinely being shot at gas stations and on American streets simply because of their race.

I think Mrs. Obama is not ready for prime time. That was an extremely poorly phrased remark.

It brings to mind Hillary's 60 Minutes gaffe, "I'm not sitting here as some little woman 'standing by my man' like Tammy Wynette."

It doesn't matter.

As Kroft said, Obama is a rock star.

An "unknown," "underdog" rock star.

Obama, the oxymoron.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Seriouly, she looked attractive and is an accomplished woman. She seemed like a very pleasant person.

She's a seriously impressive woman, from what I heard from Michael Medved. Medved said when the media really looks into her, they will be enthralled.

Mary said...

It just goes to show that intelligent people aren't immune from saying really stupid things.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real, you know, tell the truth. Forget Mrs. Obama's poor use of the language, check out Barack's body language while she is busy scowling at the camera. He looks absolutely pained, poor guy. She did not look like a First Lady, even with the Jackie bouffant. She was harsh around the edges, especially her eyes. Yet, she makes a ton of $$$ at a Chicago U in public relations? She looks and sounds like a liability to me. And I would still vote for him.

Mary said...

I don't think she's a liability, not at all.

She will have to work on keeping her foot out of her mouth.

The real liability is Obama himself.

He's extremely liberal. He's John McGovern.

He may be called a rock star for now. That could change.

At this point, he's just a one hit wonder.

Anonymous said...

It is both. Danny Glover couldn't catch a cab in New York, but America still watched his movies. So how is that any different for Obama?

And according to statistics (Violent Victimization, 2003), blacks are more likely than whites to be robbed or assualted . Additionally, people of two or more races are 4 times as likely to be robbed than whites.

Seriously, get it together. American still has a problem with race.

Mary said...

Quit attributing things to me that I never said.

I never said that there aren't racial issues in the country.

For instance, there is an enormous gap in high school graduation rates based on race in my state. In spite of that, the Dems remain in the pocket of the teachers' union rather than pushing for an expansion of our effective school choice program. Go figure.

I was waiting for someone to drag out the Danny Glover cab incident again. That was back in 1999!

If it's true that Glover was passed by because of his race, that's terrible.

His case aside, we definitely have problems with race. I certainly don't deny that.

I just don't think that Obama should be recklessly tossing out a remark like that unless it has been his personal experience recently.

Regarding your statistics, you can't just trot out numbers as if they prove something.

An explantion and discussion of variables that account for the statistics are necessary.

An important point: Who is committing the robberies and assaults?

When Michelle Obama said, "[A]s a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station," I didn't think she was talking about black on black crime.

Anonymous said...

In regards the cab issue if you ask Isiah Thomas of Knicks..You will surprised how many times it happen to him. Thus, do make it sound he pulled it from a bag..
By the way, can explain what you mean
when you say... she looks clean..

Mary said...

Keep in mind that this post refers to a 60 Minutes interview with Obama from February 2007.

This post is one year old. It's not on Obama's February 10, 2008 interview.

Note that I spoke about Michelle Obama in very positive terms, calling her accomplished and attractive.

As I wrote in the post, the "articulate and clean" comment makes reference to Sen. Joe Biden's remarks about Barack Obama. HE called him that. Some people, including myself, took offense at that. I thought it was condescending and inappropriate that Biden spoke about Obama with those terms.