While CBS Continues To Fawn Over Obama, Schieffer Notes His Lack Of Experience

Bob Schieffer continued the "Early Show’s" praise of Barack Obama on Wednesday, declaring that the Illinois Senator "comes across as charming, as bright, and fresh." Schieffer, appearing in his weekly "Capitol Bob" segment on the CBS morning show discussed campaign 2008, at least as it pertains to Obama and to some extent Hillary Clinton, and opined on why the White House has delayed an announcement from President Bush on a new direction in Iraq strategy.

"Early Show" co-host Hannah Storm played the footage of Obama’s appearance on Monday Night Football before fawning over the Senator’s sense of humor and charm:

"Showing a great sense of humor there. He's so charming, the public is really in this honeymoon phase with him right now, but how do you see this campaign playing out?"

"Capitol Bob" praised Obama as being charming, bright and fresh. However, Schieffer did slightly deviate from the media talking points as he noted Obama’s lack of experience and the fact that "nobody really knows him":

"And obviously he comes across as charming, as bright, and fresh. But look Hannah, this boom, and you can't call it a boomlet, it's a boomer that's going on here for Barack Obama. You know, I mean, he's two years experience in the Senate. Nobody really knows him. You know, it's like a team winning the first game of the season in baseball and you say 'well, I guess we don't need to put on the uniforms, we'll just sit around and wait now for the World Series, we've won the pennant.' There's a long way to go. There's a lot to find out about Barack Obama.  I mean, he's a fine candidate; he's a fine person as far as I know, but nobody really knows anything about him."

Schieffer raises an interesting point, nobody really does know who Barack Obama is. Over the weeks the media have spent hyping Barack Obama, they have neglected to scrutinize his record. In 2005, Mr. Obama had a score of 100 from the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action and a 2005 score of 8 from the American Conservative Union, equaling liberal stalwarts such as John Kerry and Charles Schumer. By comparison, Hillary Clinton had a 2005 ACU rating of 12 and Russ Feingold had a rating of 13. 2006 scores for these organizations have yet to be released. Yet, the media does not report on his liberal leanings in the US Senate, nor do they explore his record as an Illinois State Senator.

Schieffer also discussed Iraq policy and asserted that the White House has delayed an announcement of a change in Iraq strategy because President Bush does not know what he wants to do. But Mr. Schieffer insisted that the administration has to make a decision soon because of the conditions on the ground. But has he considered, the White House may be waiting until the Democrats officially take power to make an announcement? The Democrats have not endorsed any plan, and now that they will be in control of Congress, Iraq will become their war too.

The full transcript of Wednesday’s "Capitol Bob" segment follows:

Hannah Storm: "Even though it's still nearly two years away, there's been lots of talk this week about the 2008 presidential race with Obama in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton making plans. Well our man, 'Capitol Bob,' CBS News Chief White House Correspondent [sic] and host of 'Face the Nation,' Bob Schieffer has been keeping a close eye on it all. Good morning Bob."

Bob Schieffer: "Good morning Hannah."

Hannah Storm: "Before we get to that, I want to talk about this news of the day, the White House announcing that they're going to delay announcement of any change in Iraq policy. Apparently internal debate taking place on issues like whether or nor to send a surge of troops in and how to put pressure on the prime minister. But how long can the president really afford to wait before making this announcement."

Bob Schieffer: "Well, I think he's got to make some decisions pretty soon, Hannah, because of the condition on the ground in Iraq. This is just a terrible situation that's going on. More people are dying every day. I think the reason the president decided not to make this announcement before Christmas is that there is this debate going on within the administration now about just how you go about this. Clearly the Baker Commission report shows that the situation is grave. The administration can no longer argue that it's not a case of the good news not being reported. A bipartisan groups says this situation is really, really bad and not only bad but getting worse. But here's the thing, obviously no one thinks you can turn just around and walk off, but should the United States put more troops in there in an effort to, you know, calm down what's going on in Baghdad right now and then begin to draw those troops back before you begin some sort of a draw-down of troops? Clearly every poll shows the American people have run out of patience about the situation as it is now. I think the reason the president's put this off is he just hasn't decided at this point what he wants to do, and I don't think it's anymore complicated than that."

Hannah Storm: "Meanwhile, on to the presidential race, we have Illinois Senator Barack Obama gathering headlines everywhere, and he even made this appearance on Monday Night Football."

Barack Obama, Illinois Senator: "Tonight I'd like to put all the doubts to rest. I Would like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I am ready--for the Bears to go all the way baby. Duh, duh, duh, duh."

Hannah Storm: "Showing a great sense of humor there. He's so charming, the public is really in this honeymoon phase with him right now, but how do you see this campaign playing out?"

Bob Schieffer: "Well if he can keep getting that kind of free publicity, he's going to do very well. I am told that a spot like that would cost you about $190,000. And obviously he comes across as charming, as bright, and fresh. But look Hannah, this boom, and you can't call it a boomlet, it's a boomer that's going on here for Barack Obama. You know, I mean, he's two years experience in the Senate. Nobody really knows him. You know, it's like a team winning the first game of the season in baseball and you say 'well, I guess we don't need to put on the uniforms, we'll just sit around and wait now for the World Series, we've won the pennant.' There's a long way to go. There's a lot to find out about Barack Obama. I mean, he's a fine candidate; he's a fine person as far as I know, but nobody really knows anything about him. I think what's going on here, Hannah, is this is a continuation of the frustration that we saw in the recent election. People threw the Republicans out not because Democrats particularly offered something better, but because they were just tired of what was going on, it was a repudiation of what was there, of the status quo. I think people are looking for something new, and right now I think that's why he's getting such a good reaction, but we've got a long way to go here before we declare that Barack Obama has won the Democratic nomination; there's a long way to go."

Hannah Storm: "Very quickly, could you possibly see Clinton and Obama running on the same ticket?"

Bob Schieffer: "Sure, sure--"

Hannah Storm: "Why not?"

Bob Schieffer: "Absolutely. Yes. And if both of them think that's to their advantage and they get the nod, that's, that's what the nominee will do. The nominee will put on that ticket who he or she believes will help them get the election and win."

Hannah Storm: "Sure is interesting and fun to talk about. Bob Schieffer, thanks."

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