Chuck Todd: Obama ‘Earned The Right To Have Some Swagger’

On Friday afternoon President Obama held is annual end-of-year press conference, and following the event the folks at MSNBC eagerly cheered on the president’s performance.

During MSNBC’s post-press conference coverage, Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director and moderator of Meet the Press, proclaimed that Obama looked “incredibly strong” and was “a president who feels as if he's earned the right to have some swagger.” 

The Obama promotional segment began with Chris Matthews praising Obama’s “very strong statement” on the Sony hacking scandal before turning to Todd to applaud the president’s press conference. The Meet the Press moderator proclaimed: 

When you think about just every way he answered questions, and how he dealt with certain issues and certain criticisms but not brushing them off in snarky ways, just feeling very confident, put it that way.

Todd continued to play up Obama’s comments on Sony:

He wanted to make it unequivocal, they didn't consult the government. And they made a mistake. I mean, there's already a hashtag starting on Twitter #sonyweakbostonstrong. I mean, when he threw Boston on their, talk about a little extra sting in the criticism to Sony on this one.

Despite Todd’s insistence that Sony “didn’t consult the government” the company did share the “Interview” with the State Department earlier this year and received a positive reaction from the Obama administration. 

The segment concluded with Matthews proclaiming that Obama should have walked up to the podium and said “me Churchill, you Chamberlain before gushing over Obama’s so-called 'swagger” one final time: 

You said swagger. It wasn't that kind of faux swagger that you got from W. where you always wondered where it came from. This seems to be based on a confidence that's come out of his own -- his own inner, what reaction, defiance, the right word Ihaven't come to it yet. Its like, I am me. I'm going to be me. 

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s The Reid Report

December 19, 2014 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let’s bring in Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press. Chuck it seems like the president has gotten himself in this national conversation this weekend. Was Sony right? They kept making demands through this day saying “thank you for doing this Sony.” The president jumps in and says, no, kids out in Hollywood, I'm a grownup. And you know what, you made a mistake. You did. You buckled. You appeased. Very strong statement. You should have talked to me. 

CHUCK TODD: Incredibly strong. I mean, that -- look, that whole press conference, that was a president who feels as if he's earned the right to have some swagger. When you think about just every way he answered questions, and how he dealt with certain issues and certain criticisms but not brushing them off in snarky ways, just feeling very confident, put it that way. 

But boy on Sony, I think it is clear, he seems incredibly -- because look, there had been some question, did Sony consult with Homeland Security? Was there some reason here that Sony decided to pull the release itself and things like that? And boy, he wanted to make it unequivocal, they didn't consult the government. And they made a mistake. I mean, there's already a hashtag starting on Twitter #sonyweakbostonstrong. I mean, when he threw Boston on their, talk about a little extra sting in the criticism to Sony on this one. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah, me Churchill, you Chamberlain. Let me go to this other question, the long-term, the trajectory here. There was an aversion, plot point in Hollywood terms, from the president sort of hiding, told to hide before the election in early November of last month. And then of course, the way he's behaved these last six weeks. You said swagger. It wasn't that kind of faux swagger that you got from W. where you always wondered where it came from. This seems to be based on a confidence that's come out of his own -- his own inner, what reaction, defiance, the right word I haven't come to it yet. Its like, I am me. I'm going to be me. 

MSNBC Other MSNBC Chris Matthews Chuck Todd Barack Obama