‘Where’s Bill?’ CNN Gives a Fawning Glance Back at Bill Clinton

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterFollowing Suzanne Malveaux’s gushing interview of Michelle Obama and her supporter Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg on Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," Gary Tuchman gave a glowing report on the campaign travels of Bill Clinton for his wife on Thursday’s edition of the program. After portraying the former president as a person "some have seen as a loose cannon and occasionally even a political liability," Tuchman observed that "[a]t times, it feels like he's running for a third term. After all, how many political spouses get handed the proverbial baby?"

At the beginning of his report, which began about 10 minutes into the 10 pm hour of Thursday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," Tuchman first got the negative baggage of Bill Clinton as "loose cannon" out of the way, and then gave a bit of a whirlwind portrayal of Bill Clinton’s recent campaign stops. It could even be seen as almost tongue-in-cheek. "Within a 36-hour period, Clinton greeted throngs in the North Carolina city of Whiteville... and the Indiana city of Whiting. The man from Hope reminisced to the people of Hope Mills, North Carolina....And when he got to the North Carolina town of Dunn, Bill Clinton was nowhere near done.... Thirteen campaign stops in a day-and-a-half in three states... Bill Clinton is the cheerleader-in-chief for Hillary Clinton."

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterTuchman then gave a glimpse of the Clinton campaign’s talking points and strategy concerning the role of Bill Clinton. "Bill Clinton's aides feel comments he's made during this campaign about Barack Obama and race have been unfairly interpreted. Campaign volunteers do their best to keep news cameras far away when he shakes hands, even telling police to kick us out of a public area."

The footage showing the event security telling Tuchman and his cameraman to leave, and the "loose cannon" line now out of the way, the CNN correspondent complimented Mr. Clinton and became almost reminiscent about the former president. He even threw in a sound bite of an enthusiastic supporter of the Clintons.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): In all his stops during this crucial time, Clinton seldom makes any references at all to Barack Obama, although this implicit one was a zinger.

B. CLINTON: She's going to end this thing roaring, and what are they going to say if she wins the popular vote? I'm sorry, we're going to give it to the caucus states that are going Republican in November?

TUCHMAN: At times, it feels like he's running for a third term. After all, how many political spouses get handed the proverbial baby?

TUCHMAN (off-camera): Would you rather see him as president or his wife as president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I vote for a co-presidency between the two of them, the Billary presidency. Yay!

Tuchman ended his report by portraying Bill Clinton as the "sometimes self-deprecating 42nd president" who is "doing what he can to make his wife the 44th."

TUCHMAN (voice-over): But right now, Bill Clinton seems to be staying on message, and away from potential controversy, and cracks himself up when talking about his daughter, Chelsea.

B. CLINTON: She was asked, do you think your mother will be a better president than your father? And she said, well, sure I do. So, I called her. And I thought she would say, oh, Dad, don't worry about it. I mean, it's election and she's on the ballot. You can't run anymore. What else can I say? You know what she said? Dad, they asked me a direct question. I had to tell the truth.

TUCHMAN: The sometimes self-deprecating 42nd president doing what he can to make his wife the 44th.

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Liberals & Democrats CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Gary Tuchman
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