Chuck Todd Hails Oprah’s ‘Better Angels’ vs. Trump’s ‘Darker Demons’

Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday afternoon, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd praised liberal media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s stump speech for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, touting the address a contrast between the former talk show host’s “better angels” and President Trump’s “darker demons.”

“Chuck, that was quite a speech,” anchor Andrea Mitchell gushed as Winfrey concluded her endorsement announcement for Abrams during an event in Marietta, Georgia. The MSNBC host laughably complimented Oprah for “Keeping it local and taking herself out of the picture,” even as the media spotlight was focused on Winfrey.

 

 

Todd was eager to applaud the speech: “It’s an interesting contrast, you know, when you watch the way the President is sort of – his closing message. Oprah, what she did there, very much trying to – sort of determined optimism, I guess, if you will – trying to be the contrast, better angels versus darker demons, things like that.”

He fawned over Winfrey being a “very appealing person” and “a very trusted person in America.” Todd added: “...she’s very good. I know she said she’s not running for president, but she’s very good on the stump. She’d make a very good candidate.”

Mitchell observed: “And we talk about how celebrities don’t always – aren’t always able to transfer. Certainly the Hollywood celebrities didn’t transfer popularity to Hillary Clinton in 2016.” Todd insisted that Winfrey was “different.” Mitchell agreed: “She is different, she rises above that level.”

Moments later in the discussion, Todd reiterated his narrative:

...by the end of today, we’re going to hear from a president who’s gonna give some remarks on immigration that are likely to be very dark, that are likely to match the tone that the ad that he released this morning on his Twitter feed had. And then you contrast it with the tone that Oprah is trying to strike here, sort of determined optimism. It’s just a – it’s a striking closing message and it’s a striking split screen today. Two sort of larger than life figures, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey, with two very different messages for America.

All of Thursday’s network morning shows expressed excitement at Winfrey joining the midterm campaign on behalf of Democrats.

Here is a transcript of the November 1 exchange between Mitchell and Todd:

12:51 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Chuck, that was quite a speech. Keeping it local and taking herself out of the picture.

CHUCK TODD: It’s an interesting contrast, you know, when you watch the way the President is sort of – his closing message. Oprah, what she did there, very much trying to – sort of determined optimism, I guess, if you will – trying to be the contrast, better angels versus darker demons, things like that.

Look, it was a very – you know, Oprah is a very appealing person, she always is. There’s a reason – maybe she ought to get a talk show, it might be popular some day. There’s a reason she was a very – is a very trusted person in America. And she has this way, I think. of disarming a crowd. I thought her riff right at the beginning, “I’m a registered independent because I don’t want any party to tell me what to do.” That was a fascinating message. Particularly in a red, you know, light red state like Georgia.

So, look, she’s – she’s very good. I know she said she’s not running for president, but she’s very good on the stump. She’d make a very good candidate.

MITCHELL: And we talk about how celebrities don’t always – aren’t always able to transfer. Certainly the Hollywood celebrities didn’t transfer popularity to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

TODD: She’s different.

MITCHELL: She is different, she rises above that level. I also thought, talking about the voter suppression and also segging into the whole question of the noise out there. Talk about that for a moment. What we’re seeing online, what we’re seeing on the tube, and how there’s an active effort to suppress the vote. There’s an injunction right now. And right now the lower court judge has refused to lift that injunction, but it’s gone to the appeals court.

TODD: You know, and we may look back on this and say the best thing – that nothing sort of reanimated that Georgia Democratic electorate like the stories about how these voter registrations have been treated. So I actually – we may see this controversy turned into a benefit in helping her gin up the turnout a little bit more, getting people to be more focused, getting people to get out there.

But let me back up 30,000 feet. You know, Andrea, and you and I do this for a living, by the end of today, we’re going to hear from a president who’s gonna give some remarks on immigration that are likely to be very dark, that are likely to match the tone that the ad that he released this morning on his Twitter feed had. And then you contrast it with the tone that Oprah is trying to strike here, sort of determined optimism. It’s just a – it’s a striking closing message and it’s a striking split screen today. Two sort of larger than life figures, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey, with two very different messages for America.

(...)

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