Notable Quotables: It’s Over! Media’s Fond Farewell to Obama

January 20th, 2017 8:00 AM

In the last week the liberal media have been coming to grips with the end of the Barack Obama administration, as they’ve thrown a few last bouquets at the feet of their hero.

In some cases they even had to get the hankies out, as they held back the tears. Today host Matt Lauer admitted to literally sobbing at the sight of Obama honoring Joe Biden: “So I’m glad there were no cameras in my apartment yesterday because I was just sitting there weeping.” 

From The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wistfully wondering “For a man who achieved so much, Obama...must be wondering where the gratitude is?” to one last thrill for Chris Matthews “To say that no person can make a difference, I give you the fine case of that fine man, Barack Obama” the following is a collection of the media’s melancholic goodbyes to Obama.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>


One of the Best Ever



“I think he’ll go down in history as both a consequential and excellent president, viewed from the beginning of the country until now. I think that his economic record alone, in terms of saving us from the Great Depression, if that's the only thing you knew, even if he hadn't been the first African-American president doing it, that alone will put him in the top ten presidents in U.S. history. And nothing else that anybody says about him or nothing else that happens by his successor will ever change that.”  
— Host Rachel Maddow during MSNBC’s live coverage of Barack Obama’s farewell address, January 10.

“Closing on that song of hope that brought him to the White House. President Obama giving his last formal address as president, putting his stamp on an American tradition. His farewell address unlike any other we’ve ever seen before. A hybrid really. Part campaign speech, part State of the Union, sermon on democracy. A song of gratitude and hope.”
— Anchor George Stephanopoulos during ABC’s live coverage of Barack Obama’s farewell address, January 10. 

“[We] view him through the lens of our own expectations, our dreams, our biases. Imagine how any of us would have fared under the circumstances. You are president of the United States, commander in chief, leader of the free world but also comforter in chief, scold and cheerleader, father, husband, wearer of weird shirts and turkey pardoner. We’ve seen him pensive and watched him preach. We have even heard him sing.”
— Correspondent Harry Smith on NBC Nightly News, January 18.

“He’s been scandal free, frankly, in the White House. We haven’t had that for a while.”
— Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw after Obama’s farewell address, January 10.


If Only the GOP Hadn't Got In His Way



“He [Obama] was the embodiment of hope and the personification of change eight years ago. A black man was in the White House....He realized the progressive dream of national health insurance and 20 million uninsured now have coverage. He opened the door to Cuba, banned torture, confronted climate change, recognized same-sex marriage, gave children of the undocumented hope, and he was a model of rectitude during his two terms in the White House. But Mr. Obama leaves office with questions about what might have been, fighting Republicans whose stated goal was to beat him, Mr. Obama often seemed hamstrung.””
— Correspondent Dean Reynolds on the CBS Evening News, January 10. 

“You had a tough time. You had a tough time getting what you wanted through. And you got a lot of it through. But was there a point — can you remember a moment in which it just struck you that this isn’t gonna be easy? They’re going to fight me at every turn?” 
NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt to Barack Obama on Dateline NBC: Barack Obama: The Reality of Hope, January 13.  


A Few Last Thrills for Chris  



“To see Barack Obama elected president, was to me, emotionally and physically stirring. I don’t think I’ve been through anything like that since, maybe, the fights over the Vietnam War and stuff, emotionally....[After a 2008 clip of Obama attacking Republicans] Looking back and listening to those words, I can see why I was thrilled. Mr. President, thank you for having the courage to stand up for this country.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, January 10.  



“I think he’s [Barack Obama] a fine man. I think he’s been a fine president....Let me finish tonight with the American president we’re about to lose. Barack Obama is, above all, a fine man. Just look at him. Is there a husband, a father that we would wish more as a model for our sons, for our sons-in-law to have and raise our grandchildren? Is there anyone who carries himself better in word, in sentiment, in temperament, in optimism? Hope. That was the word on that poster. It’s the feeling he exemplified in his last press briefing....To say that no person can make a difference, I give you the fine case of that fine man, Barack Obama.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, January 18.  


Framing Pardon of a Traitor as “Forgiveness”

“The Obama presidency is ending on a note of forgiveness.”
— Anchor Scott Pelley on Obama’s commutation of Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s sentence, CBS Evening News, January 17.                           

Obama Just Like a Disney Demigod

“In the new Disney animated film Moana, the once mighty but now fallen demigod Maui, in the voice of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, sings about his earlier triumphs in hopes of earning admiration....Watching the final days of the Obama administration, one suspects the Hawaiian-born president could empathize with Maui...For a man who achieved so much, Obama, like Maui, must be wondering where the gratitude is....After eight years of achievements, it must vex the president that more aren’t lining up to say ‘Thanks, Obama.’ But what can he say except ‘You’re welcome’?”
Washington Post’s Dana Milbank in January 4 column.


NBC’s Morning and Late Night Hosts Can’t Hold Back the Waterworks



“Not sure if you saw this, but there was something special in Washington yesterday. It’s getting a lot of attention. President Obama surprising his vice president, Joe Biden, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom....So I’m glad there were no cameras in my apartment yesterday because I was just sitting there weeping. I just burst out crying when I saw that moment. It was incredible.”
— Co-host Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today, January 13. 

“I lost it at home. [Watching Obama’s farewell address] I was crying on my wife’s shoulder. [Barack’s] just the best man in the whole wide world. I mean, no way could there be a cooler human being than that guy. And every time Malia lost it —  I lost it.”
— Host Jimmy Fallon interviewing Michelle Obama on NBC’s Tonight show, January 11.