Sounding like junior high students reveling in their first romance, "Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer and ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos on Thursday celebrated the one month anniversary of Barack Obama's election as president. While talking to the former Clinton aide-turned journalist, Sawyer cooed, "Well, speaking of the President-elect, kind of an anniversary today. 30 days since he was elected."
She continued in a bubbly tone: "So, it's time to launch the first annual, ever, 30-day George Stephanopoulos presidential election awards." Stephanopoulos, of course, had nothing but praise for Obama. He enthused, "So, it's hard to imagine this first month going much better for the President-elect." He also lauded the Democrat for handling "the transition with the same kind of precision and discipline that he managed to show during the campaign."
Now, Stephanopoulos did point out concrete things that Obama has done, such as appointing a cabinet faster than Presidents Clinton, Carter and Reagan. But he also praised the President-elect for seemingly minor, routine things, such as meeting with his defeated rival. The "This Week" host argued, "That early meeting with Senator John McCain, his opponent, setting the tone."
During the 2008 campaign, Stephanopoulos had similar high praise for Obama. As the MRC's Brent Baker noted on October 16, 2008, he declared Obama the winner in every presidential debate.
A transcript of the December 4 segment, which aired a 7:09am, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: Let's turn, now, to George Stephanopoulos about the bottom line on all of this. And auto bailout. The unemployment. These new numbers coming out. George, let's start with the whole question of the bailout. Those potential layoffs are just horrific. And yet, it is a huge cost for the benefits. What's going to happen?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And there's a lot of skepticism on Capitol Hill, Diane. The members of Congress are looking at that poll you cited right at the top of the broadcast. 60 percent of Americans opposed to the bailout right now. There's what they call bailout fatigue on Capitol Hill right now. So, the automakers really have a lot on the line when they go to this hearing this afternoon. Right now, congressional leaders are saying the votes are not there for a bailout. But everyone knows those job loss numbers are coming out tomorrow. And the prospect that GM could actually go out of business before the end of the year, could galvanize some support.
SAWYER: And the President-elect has indicated some support for it, right?
STEPHANOPOULOS: He said he likes what he's seen so far from the automakers. But he has not committed to supporting it yet. And what you're hearing on Capitol Hill is that unless the President-elect and the President step in, this thing won't pass.
SAWYER: All right. Well, speaking of the President-elect, kind of an anniversary today. 30 days since he was elected. So, it's time to launch the first annual, ever, 30-day George Stephanopoulos presidential election awards.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not? We have brand new metrics every year. That's right.
SAWYER: Exactly. Tell us what's happened. What are the headlines to you?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he's managed the transition with the same kind of precision and discipline that he managed to show during the campaign. If you look at some of the key decisions, first of all, personnel, cabinet appointments. He's ahead of the pace of past president-elects. So far, eight cabinet appointments, including his core economic and national security team. That outpaces the first President Bush who had five. Far ahead of President Carter, President Reagan only one. President Clinton at this point had not named any people to the White House or the cabinet. So, doing quite well there. And these appointments have made a difference, especially on the economy. Remember two weeks ago, the stock market was tanking, in part because of a concern about a power vacuum in Washington. Watch what happened when the team leaked the word that Tim Geithner would be the Treasury Secretary coming in. The market jumped 500 points immediately, every day over the next week. First three days, there were new appointments. The market is now 1,000 points above before when the Obama economic team was named. And then, finally, he's made good on his promise, of bipartisanship. That early meeting with Senator John McCain, his opponent, setting the tone. He also appoints Bob Gates, President Bush's Defense Secretary, to come in and head the Pentagon, at least for a year. And reached out to the most powerful Republican in Washington right now, the Senate leader Mitch McConnell. So, it's hard to imagine this first month going much better for the President-elect.
SAWYER: It has been every day on the job.