The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday could barely restrain the hype as they gushed over the "lovefest" joint interview between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. An ABC graphic even used an exclamation point, as in "lovefest!" [MP3 audio here.]
Recounting the 60 Minutes segment, a credulous Martha Raddatz lauded, "From the moment they sat down to talk with CBS' News 60 Minutes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton seemed like they've been the best of friends for decades." Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas insisted that the "revealing and rare joint interview has everyone reading the tea leaves." The terrorist attack in Libya never came up in the ABC piece.
All the GMA journalists could do was speculate about the political couple. Raddatz wondered, "The interview will clearly leave many wondering, was this the endorsement of a 2016 presidential run?"
In 2008, ABC repeatedly pushed the "dream" ticket of Obama and Clinton
Apparently, fawning over the scoop of a rival network wasn't a problem for NBC, either. The Today show hyped Clinton and Obama "chuckling together" and "finishing one another's sentences."
One would think that supposedly cynical journalists would have a little more skepticism about such a transparent "friendship."
A transcript of the January 28 segment is below:
ABC GRAPHIC: Lovefest!
ELIZABETH VARGAS: Lovefest. The President and Hillary Clinton in a revealing and rare joint interview, has everyone reading the tea leaves.
HILLARY CLINTON: We're both gluttons for punishment.
VARGAS: Was his high praise a first sign that she is his pick for 2016?
ABC GRAPHIC: Obama-Clinton Joint Interview: Stokes Speculation for 2016
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: To the White House now and the first-ever joint interview with President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Once bitter rivals, they've been working side-by-side now for four years and their sit down already sparking some buzz about what comes next. So, let's get more on that from ABC's Martha Raddatz in Washington. Good morning, Martha.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Good morning, George. Friday is officially Hillary Clinton's last day as secretary of state. But after watching the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama and Secretary Clinton, it seems rather clear we've not seen the last of her. From the moment they sat down to talk with CBS' News 60 Minutes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton seemed like they've been the best of friends for decades.
BARACK OBAMA [montage]: I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you 'cause I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we had. I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. Hillary's been one of the most important advisers that I've had on a whole range of issues.
RADDATZ: How did they heal the wounds from their intense rivalry during that highly contentious 2008 primary fight?
OBAMA [from 2008]: I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes.
CLINTON [From 2008]: We're just getting warmed up. [Cut to 60 Minutes clip] It's ancient history because of the kind of people we all are. But also, we're professionals.
RADDATZ: The interview will clearly leave many wondering, was this the endorsement of a 2016 presidential run?
CLINTON: I don't think, you know, either he or I, can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year.
RICK KLEIN (ABC News): Clearly, the door is open for her. She's leaving the scene. She's not leaving politics.
RADDATZ: At least Clinton's health doesn't appear to be a factor. Announcing she expects to make a full recovery after suffering a concussion and blood clot recently.
STEVE KROFT: I notice your glasses--
CLINTON: I have some lingering effects. But, you know, the doctors tell me that will all recede.
RADDATZ: It's believed the secretary is having some problems with double-vision. And what about Vice President Biden? He's still playing coy about 2016.
JOE BIDEN: I haven't made that decision. And I don't have to make that decision for a while.
RADDATZ: Hard to believe it was just a week ago today that President Obama started his second term. But clearly, a lot of people are thinking ahead, George, to the next race four years from now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's right. A little time to go before that. But there is some big news coming out of Washington today. The beginnings of a bipartisan deal on immigration reform that includes the man you spoke with yesterday, Senator John McCain.
RADDATZ: Exactly. There's an announcement scheduled for this afternoon from this bipartisan group of senators about agreement in principle on some pretty sweeping changes of immigration law. And, frankly, a lot of optimism, this could be passed even with a very controversial path to citizenship for those in the country illegally. Secretary– Senator John McCain telling your This Week show yesterday, he thinks the time is right, especially given the power of Latino voters in the last election. George?
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.