Moments after President Obama concluded his State of the Union address on Tuesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his glee over the speech: "A rousing recitation, a reminder of why the nation is great from President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meet the Press host David Gregory was next to take up the pom-poms, as he proclaimed: "Well, this is the power of the presidency....This was a president who was very forceful.... This was his pitch for re-election. Economic fairness is at the core of it." Williams played off Gregory's comment and sounded like a White House spokesman: "Chuck Todd, anything wrong with reminding people that as a nation we're best when we have each other's backs and what is great about America?"
NBC's chief White House correspondent took the not-so-subtle cue and framed the address as a boost for Obama's re-election campaign: "No and that's what – the other thing that struck me about this is that he was going – look, you know, we always know that the President that paints the most – the presidential candidate that paints the most optimistic picture does usually end up winning election or re-election....This was, if you will, optimistic populism."
Trying to hammer home the President's class warfare message, Gregory chimed in: "Can I just add the fairness piece is that the rich need to do more. I mean, that's where, I think, is really about the fairness argument."
Later in the fawning exchange, Todd gushed: "...we talked about the tone being a very optimistic tone, pro-America and I think you interspersed – the word 'America' may have been said more times than in a while in a State of the Union."
During that same exchange, Andrea Mitchell joined the discussion and also touted the President's patriotic tone while dismissing Republican criticism: "...it would be very hard to say that he is apologizing for America. This was resoundingly positive and optimistic in every way."
Read the transcript of the January 24 exchange.