The speculation has begun.
President Barack Obama held his first joint interview with someone who wasn’t his wife…on 60 Minutes…with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And now the speculation is raging: was this to pay tribute to Clinton or his way of sending a signal that he may love Vice President Joe Biden and Biden may be his best political bud, but in 2016 he’d like to pass the Democratic Party torch to Clinton, if she decides to run.
Obama handled a question about his political preference this way when asked about the “expiration date” of his obvious endorsement of Clinton as a Secretary of State, co-worker, and serious policy shaper: “”You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the — you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”
Fair enough, but it is a valid question — a question that will be increasingly asked, no matter how many quips Obama delivers and no matter how many times Clinton insists she needs a nice long rest from politics (many Republicans will agree with that).
Some impressions from the interview: 1) It was an interview with few real tough questions, 2)Obama comes across as a very serious policy maker 3)Clinton comes cross as a very serious policy maker, someone uninterested in parroting or emulating talk show host lines or snappy bumper sticker-like sound bites 4)there is clearly a chemistry between the two. What does this mean? If not the “marriage” of the Obama and Clinton wings of the Democrat party, at the very least a substantial and significant healing of the rift four years after the divisive Democratic primary campaign. Watching the interview no one could conclude that Clinton was in the cabinet because Obama wanted to have here there for show. He picked her to do a job — and he’s clearly happy the way she has done it.
Here are embeds CBS News has posted so you can watch the interview for yourself and draw your own conclusions:
PART ONE of the interview:
PART TWO of the interview:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.