Andrea Mitchell gushed over Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, labeling her a "political superstar" and "her husband's best campaigner, hardly needing to practice with the Teleprompters or get a feel for the stage." Mitchell went out of her way to point out how Mrs. Obama apparently is "all about hugs, connecting to people with a physical embrace." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The correspondent also emphasized the First Lady's supposed celebrity status by noting how she has "become a regular on late night," and playing clips from interviews she gave to Ryan Seacrest, David Letterman, and to E! News.
Anchor Brian Williams teased Mitchell's report by proclaiming that "the First Lady is the star attraction of this convention as it gets underway." After using her "political superstar" label, the NBC journalist continued by stating that Mrs. Obama was "once a reluctant campaigner, now, she is a woman with a mission. Michelle Obama is now a political pro."
In addition to her soundbites from the First Lady's interviews with Seacrest, Letterman, and E!, Mitchell played clips of Mrs. and Mr. Obama at recent campaign events. She ended her report by stating that "four years ago, Mrs. Obama was trying to make America more comfortable with her. Now, she is trying to make Americans feel better about her husband."
This is just the latest example of NBC Nightly News going gaga over Mrs. Obama. Just over a month earlier, correspondent Chris Jansing touted her appearance at the London Olympics: "From cheers for the torch making its way along the River Thames, to delighted children playing with First Soccer Mom Michelle Obama and superstar David Beckham."
The full transcript of Andrea Mitchell's report from Tuesday's NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Chuck Todd starting us off from the floor, which brings us to Andrea Mitchell, who will have one of the best seats in the house - just off the podium here - with a preview of the First Lady's appearance here tonight. Andrea?
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good evening, Brian. Michelle Obama is a political superstar - much more popular than her husband. Once a reluctant campaigner, now, she is a woman with a mission.
MITCHELL (voice-over): Michelle Obama is now a political pro, her husband's best campaigner, hardly needing to practice with the Teleprompters or get a feel for the stage. Aides say she will try to project empathy toward struggling middle class families and motivate women voters.
MICHELLE OBAMA (from campaign event): This election, ladies, is a choice about supporting women and families in this country. (audience cheers and applauds)
MITCHELL: The President said he'll be watching at the White House.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from campaign event): So, I'm going to be at home and I'm going to be watching it with our girls, and I am going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. (audience laughs) Because when Michelle starts talking, I – I start getting all misty.
MITCHELL: Ryan Seacrest asked Mrs. Obama today about Ann Romney's big speech.
RYAN SEACREST (from interview on "The Ryan Seacrest Show"): Ann Romney – she wants to be the new First Lady, and she gave a much buzzed-about speech at the RNC. What was your reaction to her speech?
M. OBAMA: You know, I didn't watch it.
MITCHELL: In her speech, Mrs. Obama will also try to inspire young people to vote – here with Ross Matthews for E! News.
M. OBAMA: Voting is – it's how this country runs, and it's our responsibility, at whatever age, to exercise the rights that people before us fought so hard for us to have.
MITCHELL: In the White House, she's worked for military families, fought childhood obesity, become a regular on late night.
M. OBAMA (from CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman"): Being out there, touching people, talking to people, it really gets me focused on what we're doing and why we're doing it.
MITCHELL: And if her husband is sometimes called too cool, she is all about hugs, connecting to people with a physical embrace.
ROBERT GIBBS, PRESIDENT OBAMA SENIOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR (from interview on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports"): Look, she's completely at ease, completely comfortable – again, the best advocate that we could possibly have for the President.
MITCHELL (on-camera): Four years ago, Mrs. Obama was trying to make America more comfortable with her. Now, she is trying to make Americans feel better about her husband. Brian?
WILLIAMS: Andrea Mitchell down near the podium for us tonight – Andrea, thanks.