Skip to comments.Today Show Shocker: Skeptical Couric Questions Edwards; Laura Bush Treated Respectfully
Posted on 07/14/2004 4:51:34 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
Do they do it to keep us off balance? Just when you're about to write off The Today Show as hopeless DNC surrogates, they pull something like this morning. In separate interviews, Katie Couric made manifest her skepticism about John Edwards, while (the solid professional, IMHO) Jamie Gangel treated Laura Bush in a reasonable and straightforward manner.
Katie began her interview with Edwards and wife Elizabeth with a shot between the eyes: "Despite a nationwide bump in the polls when you were named to the ticket, a new poll in NC shows Kerry/Edwards down by 15%."
Edwards: "I'm not a poll expert but I've seen other polls showing 'basically a dead heat' [translation: " not down by quite as much"] in NC. I think once they get to know John Kerry, the people of NC will embrace this ticket."
Shot back an arch-eyebrowed Katie: "Really? A liberal Democrat from Massaschuesetts?"
Edwards waxed on about Kerry's volunteering for the military and service in Vietnam.
Couric: "Do you have a Florida strategy?" Edward and Elizabeth dwelled on the fact that his wife was born there and that they have 20 relatives that live there."
This again was met with skepticism by Katie: "Well, that's 20 votes, but doesn't George Bush have the ultimate family tie with the Governor?"
Both Edwards and wife mused darkly about how, yes, the "administraiton" of the state of Florida played an important role as to how the election came out in 2000, and piously hoped that this time "the people" will get to decide.
Katie then quoted Dick Cheney about how Kerry and Edwards voted for the Iraq resolution but now have developed "a convenient case of campaign amnesia."
Edwards: "It was right to vote for the resolution. But that authority has been abused by the President in lives, money, our reputation around the world."
Yet again, Couric put Edwards on the spot: "But you knew the coalition wasn't that strong and that there wasn't a fully-developed exit strategy, and you still voted for the resolution. How can you look back now and say this wasn't happening and that wasn't happening?"
Edwards was forced to retreat: "That's a fair question and I take full responsibility for my vote. But I didn't have control over the coaliton, over the lack of a plan to win peace. Saddam was a serious threat and needed to be dealt with. But ultimately it was the President's responsiblity."
When it came to Kerry and Edwards voting against the $87 billion in Iraq war funding, again Katie put Edwards on the defensive: "There's been a change of tactic on the campaign trail. [Note how the reference to 'campaign trail' implies that this was a purely political maneuver]. Kerry used to say that he supported the $87 billion but objected to the way it was funded [he wanted to raise taxes]. Now he says he's "proud" of voting against it. Which is it? Do you have a problem being one of four senators who voted for the war and against funding?" [Recall that he voted against funding at the point Howard Dean was riding high and it was expedient for Edwards and Kerry to portray themselves as anti-war].
"My view was I had to stand up and say no, this is not working."
Couric: "What would be John Kerry's exit strategy in Iraq?"
Edwards: "John Kerry would make certain that Iraqis were much more quickly and efficently trained to take responsibility for their own security."
With sarcasm normally resolved for Republicans, Katie shot back: "With all due respect [which as we know means: "with no respect at all"] why would Kerry be able to do a better job?" Edwards' answer escapes me.
Couric: "What do you think of Dick Cheney?"
Edwards:"He's always been cordial and polite [guess he hasn't told Edwards to go ---- himself. Yet]. He called me on the day I was nominated. But he is out of touch with ordinary Americans, wiht the struggles people deal with in their daily lives. We have dramatically different views of the world."
Edwards then actually repeated, for the 1,000,007th time, "my father worked in a mill, and I was the first person in my family who went to college."
He continued: "I feel an enormous responsiblity to provide those opportunities to other Americans."
Once again, he was met with Katie's incredulity. "And you don't think Dick Cheney wants to give opportunities to Americans?"
Edwards: "I don't see any signs of it. I get up every morning thinking about giving the same chance to other Americans. I grew up in the bright light of America and I want to give other Americans that same chance" [gag me with a smiley face.]
Then it was on to Jamie Gangel's interview with Laura Bush.
Gangel: "In light of the Senate report highly critical of intelligence on Iraq does your husband have any regrets?"
Laura: "Who can regret Saddam is no longer in power? Is it tough? Absolutely? Have we sacrificed? Absolutely. But we can do tough things in this country."
Gangel: "She [Laura] has become the President's secret weapon, and is ready to play political hardball."
Gangel: "Kerry recently said that "no young Americans will need to go to war unnecessarily if I'm president," implying they have under President Bush.
Laura: "Are they sorry Saddam is no longer in power? They saw the same intelligence. They're stuck because they can't give any credit to Pres. Bush."
On Ron Reagan, Jr. speaking to DNC convention, Gangel asked: "Is it embarrasssing?" "No." "Is he being used?" "I'm not going to say that" [meaning that I'm too polite to say that it is obviously true].
Gangel lobbed a softball on the VP candidates: "What do you think of John Edwards? Do you think he matches up to Dick Cheney." Laura: "Of course not, absolutely not." "Any basis for speculation that he might be replaced by someone like Colin Powell? "No. No."
The interview concluded with some soft questions about daughters Jenna and Barbara's new-found interest and involvement in the campaign.
Neither Gangel's questions nor tone were hostile. A shocking contrast with the blatant skepticism Couric expressed to Edwards.
Today Show ping.
This is no surprise, especially considering Katie is better friends with Hillry than she is with John & John.
Thank you. I don't watch the Today Show but my first thought is that Hillary gave Katie the script.
They must have heard that Roger Ailes at Fox has access to some internal memos from the alphabet networks that he intends to release if they don't get off Fox's case. And I'm sure the Today Show might be prominently mentioned. Hey, those FBI files have worked magic for Hillary, so it's a lesson well-learned.
"Saddam was a serious threat and needed to be dealt with. But ultimately it was the President's responsiblity."
Which he fully accepted, and which he has not and will not back down from.
maybe the word is out:Kerry can't win
That was a very interesting account. I (almost) wish I had seen it myself.
A real historic event!
Look for the girl from Uganda to return in October.
What do you think a comparison between Laura Bush and Teresa Kerry would show?
Ah, interesting point. Katie has received her marching orders from The Beast: "Kerry must go down, and he must go down hard."
Great transcription - thanks.
"Edwards then actually repeated, for the 1,000,007th time, "my father worked in a mill, and I was the first person in my family who went to college." "
Yes, and so what? My wife is the daughter of a plumber, and was the first in her family to go to college. This ninny uses this tired line ad nauseum, but the press treats it with almost a sense of awe. (Mainly, I submit, because they are the pampered "C-student" offspring of Baby Boomers, and have not done a lick of real work in their lives nor have they known any hardship.) IN any case, I'd be willing to wager that there are millions of Baby Boomers for whom this tired saw spouted by this nancy-boy squirrel is true. Give it a resty, shyster-boy...
Yes it was.
And he has taken full responsibility without flip-flopping over his decision.
We [Republicans] are going to hang Kerry/Edwards by their ouwn words.
Laura is a gem.
Much tougher, while maintaining her femininity, than the Liberal Media expected.
Thanks very, very much for transcribing and posting this.
I may have to either make coffee fast or take to my bed!..I am in shock!
I love Laura, and it speaks volumes about W's good heart and good instincts that he chose her.
I have no doubt that Kerry, in choosing Teresa, "first he looked at the purse." Even so, though she's not my cup of tea, Teresa can be kind of refreshing.