NBC's Mitchell Hails Hillary Clinton: 'Foreign Policy Superstar!'
In a piece that could've been crafted by Hillary Clinton's PR shop, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Monday's Today show, gushed on and on about the Secretary of State's new "role of a lifetime," as a "a foreign policy superstar," and cheered Clinton has the "highest approval ratings of any time in her career." Mitchell's theme throughout her story was that the "anger of the primaries" between Clinton and Barack Obama was long gone and that in her role of Secretary of State she has proven to be a "key asset to Team Obama," as Today co-anchor Matt Lauer observed in the intro. There wasn't a hint of skepticism or negative note in the story as Mitchell threw in soundbites from John Podesta, Joe Klein and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who chimed: "She seems to be really enjoying herself, as does he." [This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the May 4 Today show:
MATT LAUER: And now to what some are calling an unlikely alliance. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were fierce adversaries. But despite that bitter campaign, Clinton is proving to be a key asset to Team Obama as Secretary of State. NBC's Andrea Mitchell has more on that. Andrea, good morning to you.
[On screen headline: "From Foes To Friends, The Obama-Clinton Team"]
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. Well it did seem at the time to be a risky choice, President Obama's decision to name Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. But so far, it looks like their, that controversial decision is paying off and the two formal rivals have formed a real bond. Where in the world is Hillary Clinton? Circling the globe, more than 72,000 miles in just the first 100 days, but now as Barack Obama's envoy and confidante, speaking for him and his policy, not her own.
HILLARY CLINTON: I bring greetings from President Obama...On behalf of President Obama...From President Obama.
MITCHELL: White House officials say the feeling is mutual.
BARACK OBAMA: I've given you an early gift. Hillary Clinton.
MITCHELL: Gone is the anger of the primaries.
CLINTON: Shame on you, Barack Obama!
MITCHELL: Their foreign policy differences - that's yesterday. Today she's playing for his team.
CLINTON: President Obama won the election. He beat me in a primary, in which he put forth a different approach. And he is now our president and we all want our president, no matter of which party, to succeed.
MITCHELL: Remember how she once said he was too inexperienced to be president? Not any more.
JOHN PODESTA, OBAMA TRANSITION TEAM: Wherever their struggles were during the course of the presidential nominating fight I think those are long past and I think people are working together effectively and working together well as a team.
MITCHELL: What does he get? A foreign policy superstar, attracting more attention for his message.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: He's got a very powerful point person for his argument that he wants diplomacy to have a greater stake in the world and he couldn't have found a more powerful person than Hillary for that.
MITCHELL: And he, more than anyone, knows she is tough, undaunted by challenges on every continent. As for all those critics who said it wouldn't work, especially because of the ex-president, even he has gotten out of her way.
JOE KLEIN, TIME: Former President Clinton has been strangely silent these last three or four months, which is all to the good.
MITCHELL: Clearing the stage for his wife in the role of a lifetime.
GOODWIN: She seems more vibrant, more alive, loving the job. You felt, you feel that when you watch her out there. She seems relaxed. She seems to be really enjoying herself, as does he.
MITCHELL: And that's not to say that there aren't real problems. Most notably, right now Pakistan. They're really concerned about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons supply. But that said she does seem to be enjoying her job, and that's reflected in her popularity. Right now, the highest approval ratings of any time in her career. So, at least for now, being a team player seems to have its own rewards. Matt?
LAUER: Alright Andrea, thank you very much. Andrea Mitchell in Washington this morning.