Morning Shows Agree, Bush is a 'Lame Duck'

Bush is officially a lame duck, well at least that's what the Big Three network morning shows would have you believe. This morning White House spokesman Tony Snow appeared on NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show and was hit with one common question: is Bush a "lame duck?"

First up on NBC's Today show, co-host Matt Lauer threw the following questions at Snow:

Lauer: "Tony if he, if he can't convince the skeptics, if he can't accomplish this, if he can't get immigration reform passed, you know what they're saying, is it time for him to concentrate full-time on his presidential library?"


Lauer: "So what you're telling me Tony, is this in no way the start of an official term of lame duck presidency?"

And right before the Snow interview, in her set-up piece, NBC's Andrea Mitchell repeated the "lame duck" refrain twice:

Mitchell: "The President's lame duck status was most noticeable during last week's Republican debate."


Mitchell: "The President's last ditch effort today, to save immigration reform is a critical test of whether this lame duck president can still pass a major domestic priority for his administration. Matt."

Over on CBS's The Early Show, co-host Harry Smith also asked Snow if Bush's inability to get immigration reform passed meant he was headed towards political irrelevancy:

Harry Smith: "The other thing that comes up then is that the President can't get this done, in which he has placed so much of his own prestige and will and everything else. Does this not show that he's a lame duck?"

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts bluntly asked Snow: "So let me ask you, is George Bush a lame duck president?"

In the set-up piece to the Snow interview, GMA's David Wright also threw out the "lame duck" charge.

Robin Roberts: "We gonna go back now to our top story. This morning, President Bush is a man on a mission trying to drum up support for his battered immigration bill, even making a rare trip to Capitol Hill to further his cause, a cause some say is already lost, sparking questions about whether the President is already a lame duck. Our David Wright is following the story for us this morning. Good morning, David."

David Wright: "Good morning, Robin. Lame duck, that's the phrase that every president dreads because it is the moment in any presidency when people finally acknowledge that the emperor has no clothes. But that phrase, lame duck, is likely to follow President Bush every step of the way the Capitol Hill. Today, the President heads into the lion's den, vowing to sort out his much hyped immigration bill, emboldened by the hero's welcome he received in Albania."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.