Robert Gibbs Thanks Chuck Todd For The Great Coverage
Watching Chuck Todd on The Today Show the morning after President Obama’s first State of the Union speech one would think that we have a divided Congress. If you were linked to Chuck Todd on his Facebook page during the speech then you would have also seen several status updates about watching Republicans sitting down during standing ovations or looking sour during some of the President’s policy announcements. Todd and The Today Show have completely missed the reality of Washington’s power game and have instead proven to be the go-to guy and morning show for this White House. Their consistent voice for Obama’s hope and change tour reached its climax this morning with their report on last night’s State of the Union speech.
Todd’s report, the lead story for The Today Show, focused on the few times in Obama’s speech where he tried to reach out to the Republicans. Todd never mentioned once how Obama started the speech by blaming Bush for our current problems and how he consistently blamed the previous Administration for a banking collapse, large deficits and an economy in the tank. For a President with all of the power in Washington, Obama’s speech was antagonistic and full of excuses. Someone needs to remind Todd that the President’s party overwhelmingly controls Congress and could have passed any piece of change legislation they wanted this past year. Why Todd continues to focus on the minority party is more than disturbing, it’s biased. The President’s first year has been a failure, the worst first year performance by any President, and the blame goes squarely on his own party and his ability to lead them.
While The Today Show cameras kept showing the Democrats standing and clapping for Obama’s speech and the Republicans seated, voters were led to believe that it was the Republicans fault that this past year has been a disaster in Washington.
Not to be outdone by Todd, Meredith Vieira jumped in to pile on too. Speaking with Vice President Joe Biden, Vieira asked “What risk do Republicans run if they remain the party of NO?” Biden, of course, had an answer and stayed on message by emphasizing how when the Obama Administration took office they brought America “back from the abyss”. No one challenged Biden with the facts: larger deficits, unemployment at an all-time high and his own party controlling all of Washington.
Todd and Vieira also pointed out Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s silent frustration with being called-out by the President when he mouthed the words “No, that’s not true” while the NBC cameras went to slow motion to emphasize the point. But the fact that the President of the United States was so partisan throughout his speech, blamed Bush for his problems and publicly attacked the Supreme Court on national television for their most-recent decision while they had to sit there and be silent was never mentioned on-air.
When it was Matt Lauer’s turn to jump in he also stayed on the theme that Republicans are to blame for this President’s disastrous first year and low approval ratings. Lauer emphasized the “political divide in congress right now” without pointing out that if there is a political divide then it’s because the Democrats can’t agree among themselves on what to do or how to do it.
Since Todd, Vieira and Lauer obviously don’t understand that the Democrats have unprecedented influence in Congress, here’s a reminder: there are 255 Democrats and 178 Republicans in the House; and there are 56 Democrats and 41 Republicans in the Senate. Todd should start putting the White House and its party of power under scrutiny and stop force-feeding the American people with the White House’s message that their first year’s failure is anyone’s fault but their own.