MSNBC Opens Inauguration Coverage....By Touting Obama; He’s ‘Elevated the Office’

Roughly five minutes into MSNBC’s Inauguration coverage, host Brian Williams switched gears from discussing Donald Trump becoming President to mythologizing President Obama for having “elevated the office...improved by touching the office and shown great respect for the office he's the custodian of.”

This teed up Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to ooze praise for Obama with veiled shots at predecessors like George W. Bush for lacking the same level of intelligence.

“Even his harshest critics praise his decorum, his dignity and, frankly, his fierce intelligence. I mean, this is — this is such a well spoken President. We haven't had such a well spoken President in an awfully long time, a man who speaks in complete paragraphs,” gushed Robinson.

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Robinson added that Obama was “eloquent and one thing that the sort of harshest anti-Obama crowd never quite believed but it's true, I know it to be true, is that he really believes — he has the corniest sort of vision of America.” 

Seeing as how they’ve spent their mornings trashing the Trump team for their lack of federal government experience, fellow co-host Rachel Maddow brought up the Secret Service scandal to claim that as the only “Obama years scandal.”

“[T]hat's kind of it. This is the first President to be leaving office sense Eisenhower without a significant scandal dogging him from either one of his two terms. There were certainly failings. There were certainly things where governance fell short but there was no scandal,” Maddow hyped.

“Not a single member of the administration indicted in eight years. It's a remarkable record,” former McCain official-turned-MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt swooned.

Prior to the Obama fawning, Hardball host Chris Matthews saw GOP donor Sheldon Adelson appear on the screen arriving at the Inauguration and audibly groaned:

There's Sheldon — I think — Adelson. And they are, one of the by the way, disturbing to some, they are some of the financiers of this — of this inaugural event today. They are putting their money behind it and they’re going to have frightening influence over this president in terms of Middle East policy. We already see it with the talk about moving the Embassy and Jared Kushner. I mean, I think the big fear most people have is not that Trump will be trump but that he'll outsource some of these frighteningly important decisions to people who really didn’t get elected by anybody to anything.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s 2017 Presidential Inauguration coverage:

MSNBC’s 2017 Presidential Inauguration
January 20, 2017
10:04 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: There's Sheldon — I think — Adelson. 

RACHEL MADDOW: Adelson and his wife.

MATTHEWS: And they are, one of the by the way, disturbing to some, they are some of the financiers of this — of this inaugural event today. They are putting their money behind it and they’re going to have frightening influence over this president in terms of Middle East policy. We already see it with the talk about moving the Embassy and Jared Kushner. I mean, I think the big fear most people have is not that Trump will be trump but that he'll outsource some of these frighteningly important decisions to people who really didn’t get elected by anybody to anything and I worry about Jared Kushner in that regard and I worry about some of these other people who have been going through confirmation hearings not so successfully and to roll back everything, I think it's frightening on climate change. Everything

BRIAN WILLIAMS: The president-elect said about his son-in-law last night, if he can't bring about Middle East peace, no one can and when you stop and dissect that comment made in the mood of the moment and think about the great men and women who have given their professional lives in the pursuit of Middle East peace, think of those who have fought and died in the pursuit of Middle East peace, it is saying quite something. Eugene, you can take the most zealous hard-hearted critics of Barack Obama and I think they, too, would admit in a softer moment that this President has elevated the office, improved by touching the office and shown great respect for the office he's the custodian of. 

EUGENE ROBINSON: I think that's absolutely true. Even his harshest critics praise his decorum, his dignity and, frankly, his fierce intelligence. I mean, this is — this is such a well spoken President. We haven't had such a well spoken President in an awfully long time, a man who speaks in complete paragraphs. 

MADDOW: And never less than a complete paragraph. 

ROBINSON: Never less than a complete paragraph and who is — is eloquent and one thing that the sort of harshest anti-Obama crowd never quite believed but it's true, I know it to be true, is that he really believes — he has the corniest sort of vision of America. He really, really believes in America. He believes his story could only be an American story.

(....)

MADDOW: I was thinking about the Secret Service, the things that happened with the Secret Service and some of the disturbing revelations about the Secret Service and some of their scandals during the Obama years. That sort of was the Obama years scandal, that there were trouble in the Secret Service, what we had thought of as this impenetrable and almost perfect Secret Security agency and that's kind of it. This is the first President to be leaving office sense Eisenhower without a significant scandal dogging him from either one of his two terms. There were certainly failings. There were certainly things where governance fell short but there was no scandal. 

MATTHEWS: And it comes from the top. It always comes from the top.

STEVE SCHMIDT: Not a single member of the administration indicted in eight years. It's a remarkable record. 

MATTHEWS: That’s leadership.

SCHMIDT: Remarkable record.


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