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Barack Obama made news on “Meet the Press” this morning, but the NBC program made some news as well in the final moments.
Tom Brokaw, the interim moderator, confirmed what had already leaked out in recent days: the new host of the 60-year-old program will be David Gregory.
The network’s senior White House correspondent, now host of MSNBC’s “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” had been considered the front-runner for the post, which became vacant when longtime moderator Tim Russert died in June. But NBC executives were still negotiating the final terms of the deal this past week.
Gregory will take the helm of the top-rated Sunday talk show, but his rivals at ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” CNN’s “Late Edition” and “Fox News Sunday” all see an opportunity to move up now that Brokaw, the veteran NBC anchor, is relinquishing the reins.
Other leading contenders had been Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, and Gwen Ifill, host of PBS’s “Washington Week.” The final decision was made by Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal, and NBC News President Steve Capus.
Gregory, 38, frequently clashed with President Bush’s spokesmen during his days as a White House reporter. But he also has a witty side, which he often displayed while filling in as a co-host on the “Today” show. MSNBC tapped the 6-foot-5 correspondent as moderator during the presidential debates and on Election Night.
Russert, a former Democratic operative, dominated the Sunday morning competition after taking over the program in 1991 and making his mark with aggressive interviews. Brokaw, the former “Nightly News” anchor, agreed to fill in after Russert’s death but made clear he wanted to leave after the election.
What remains to be seen is whether Gregory sticks with the Russert format or tries to change the show to suit his personal style.
Since joining NBC, Gregory has covered the O.J. Simpson trials, the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the Clinton impeachment and the death of Pope John Paul II.
First of all we have to congratulate the moderator Gwen Ifill – for running a fluid VP debate – that encouraged more natural to and fro – almost seamlessly without the restrains of time.
Sportscaster Sarah Palin, who I suspected – would emerge today did – filled to the brim with all the notes that her minders could commit to the paper – pulled as many punches as she could – Joe Biden never missed one in return.
Hungry energy markets – as in hunger babies – getting fed at the pumps?
While Sarah Palin’s minders had it set up for her to smear Joe Biden and Obama’s records – Joe Biden was out to present the facts – any smears were easily put down – with a grace and a forcefulness that brought both men and women audience members in (if you were watching it from CNN – there was a line on screen that rated how viewers saw it. When Palin got nasty – with her winking and forced beauty queen – her ratings actually went down – it was clear both men and women were turned off by it.)
The VP in training – also tried her folksy tales to nowhere – but Biden instantly picked up on this with – what are you saying – I haven’t heard anything.
The part I liked was when Palin – compared the Obama Biden tax cut to 95% of Americans – to wealth redistribution (who told her to say that) – then follows that up with an example which counters this – of how she ‘fought’ the oil companies in the state of Alaska to see that some of the oil wealth was shared out among the people there. On the one hand McCain wants to specifically – set aside a part of his budget to give the oil companies – already making record profits – billions more – while on the other hand Palin is telling the American people – in Alaska I worked against this measure and saw to it that – the oil profits were shared out. Joe Biden seized the moment – nicely – by pointing out how Palin actually agrees with himself and Barack Obama’s plan.
Joe Biden’s ability to pick up detail was masterful. Very little gets by this guy. If he couldn’t be President – than he should be sitting next to the President – wise choice Obama!
When Palin spoke of going to war – one of the areas that is worrying a lot of people is her talk of Russia – Palin seemed to move into extreme when she needed to make her point – her voice became strange – which indicates – this lady’s eagerness to go to war – and perhaps there would be something a little too irrational and unmeasured about her consideration. And she was somewhat flippant on the trigger for the use of a nuclear weapon question. Palin frightening!
And in closing when asked if something should happen – God forbid – to John McCain – I thought can this woman contain her pleasure – she started smiling – through each of the statements that followed.
When asked Joe Biden role once he gets into the White House would be to sit in all meetings and to be an integral part of the Presidency – whereas under a McCain administration Palin would be given a souped-up title and moved to deal with energy issues – something perhaps we should be worried about – with her Drill Baby Drill ethos – it is unlikely that much of the energy budget will be devoted to new energy sources – in her debut statement at the GOP Convention Palin said we can drill our way out of our energy difficulties. Maybe this is another area her and John McCain disagree on (or do they) – besides drilling in ANWR. She also mentioned dealing with the needs of special needs children or families – strangely I thought I heard women’s issues – which would be so haram – but then she did not say women’s issues – and those issues on charging for rape kits – slashing funding for teen pregnancy and the women’s right to choose are still there. Also that John McCain voted against equal pay for equal work and the protection of women from spousal abuse.
Joe Biden came across as smooth as silk – where on listening to Palin debate a second time – begins to have a hacksaw quality about her voice or persona – I sure wish we don’t have to see this for the next four years.
Biden is gracefully intelligent – and seems to have a nothing to prove bottom line – he works from another place – which could have something to do with his own personal tragedy which he touched upon in this debate – but he has a wonderful way about him – that I am sure will serve the country well.
First Charlie Gibson was a problem, then came the interview with Katie Couric and it was she who was a problem – now it’s the moderator of the VP debate – who posses a problem – when are the Republicans going to admit Sarah Palin is the problem!
Palin’s philosophy is that the facts and figures don’t matter – and when pressed for them she looks like a fish out of water – and that she does – is no one else’s fault besides Sarah Palin’s and John McCain for picking an unvetted VP candidate as his running mate.
Several conservative bloggers are accusing Gwen Ifill, the moderator of tonight’s vice presidential debate, of being biased because she is working on a book about up-and-coming African-American politicians that features Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained in an online column that “there is nothing ‘moderate’ about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She’s so far in the tank for the Democrat presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.”
Ifill, a veteran journalist who is senior correspondent for “The NewsHour” on PBS and moderator/managing editor of “Washington Week,” dismissed the criticism. She said that she started the book when it looked unlikely that Obama would win the Democratic nomination and hasn’t written the Obama chapter yet. She said the book will be published whether Obama wins or loses.
“I’ve got a pretty long track record . . . so I’m not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation,” Ifill said yesterday. “The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate . . . and make their own decisions about whether or not I’ve done my job.”
Republican John McCain’s campaign has not publicly criticized Ifill’s role. “I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional,” McCain said yesterday on Fox News Channel. “Does this help . . . if she has written a book that’s favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.”
Ifill, a 1977 graduate of Simmons College in Boston who moderated the 2004 vice presidential debate between John Edwards and Dick Cheney, was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates. She said she did not tell the panel about the book, but noted it had been publicized in Time magazine and The Washington Post. The commission, the bipartisan panel organizing the debates, had no immediate comment.
The promotional blurb on Random House’s website says the book is to be published Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration. “In ‘The Breakthrough,’ veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African-American politicians forging a bold new path to political power,” the blurb says.
Source: Boston Globe