The Obamas on "60 Minutes"
President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were subjected to intense grilling from veteran journalist Steve Kroft on this evening's "60 Minutes." (Just kidding! ) Well, no one would expect Obama to be scrutinized by the Mainstream Media so soon after his big election victory, while the good vibes are still in the air. Kroft did ask the obligatory questions about economic policy and cabinet appointments, and Obama was mum with regard to those topics. He is smart enough to know that, during this sharp and awkward transition from a conservative (?) Republican administration to a liberal Democratic administration, saying the wrong thing could further rattle the financial markets, which are already extremely nervous. There were a few moments when Obama grinned in a cocky way, not very presidential, and if he wants to earn the trust of his political opponents, he will have to guard against that after he is sworn in two months from now.Transcript, videos, etc. are at CBS.com.
For her part, Michelle Obama came across as very poised, graceful, and sincere. Laura Bush will be a very hard act to follow as First Lady, however, and Mrs. Bush never wrote any anti-American term papers either. Thus, like her husband, Mrs. Obama will need to do some "fence-mending" of her own after they move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The big question for next year is, How long will the Obama-MSM honeymoon last? With all the comparisons between the Obamas and the Kennedies, will there be a new "Camelot Era"? With the economy in such bad shape, the new president will probably have to make some unpopular decisions very soon after his inauguration. The last two Democratic presidents, Clinton and Carter, found themselves in a hostile media environment after just a few months, and Obama will need a lot of luck if he is to do any better than those two.
Kaine & kiddie care
In yesterday's blog post about Governor Kaine's visit to Staunton, I should have mentioned one of my biggest pet peeves: Kaine's big push to get state funding for universal preschool in Virginia. To me, the idea of putting the delicate task of nurturing a young child's early development in the hands of the state bureaucracy is an abomination. In raising children, nothing is more important than close parental involvement at an early age to encourage reading, curiousity, and self-control. There is no way that such a function can be taken over by public school teachers, no matter how well motivated they are. Any public policy that creates an incentive for parents to relinquish more of their parenting duties to the state is subversive of our social order and must be resisted.