Monday, November 10, 2008

President-Elect Obama Goes To Washington, Touring The White House, Fixing The Financial Mess, And More From Sarah Palin

Hi everybody. Happy New Week! This time seven days ago I was a nervous wreck. My how things have changed. Today our future prez got a looksee at what will be his new digs. Oh, and he talked to that Bush guy too. In an Ed Henry piece we learn that both Bush and Obama played nice during their hour-long visit in the Oval Office, which was Obama's first time there. They're pledging to cooperate during what will be the first hand-off since 9-11. Following Ed's piece, he tells us of a super-seekret meeting that Obama attended at a firehouse at Reagan National Airport. Ed's sources are giving him bumpkis, so I guess we'll just have to speculate. Oooh, maybe he's going to surprise us: hypoallergenic puppies for everyone!

Next up, we have a Tom Foreman piece that gives us a little White House tour. See, while Bush and Obama busied themselves in the Oval Office, Laura showed Michelle around the place. And to fully get our 360 degrees out of this story, I guess we need to get showed around the place too. We're shown pictures of the Cabinet Room, Diplomatic Room, Blue Room, Red Room, Map Room, and State Dining Room. All in all the White House has 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms. Man, how'd you like to dust that place? Of course, it's not all for the first family--they get 16 rooms they can call their own. After Tom's piece, Anderson frets over whether the alloted $100,000 for redecorating will be enough. Dude, you could buy a house with that, I think they'll be okay. Goodbye cowboy pictures!

We now move on to an audio clip from Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope," regarding the first time he met Bush. The fact that he sort of does a Dubya impression is both surprising and hilarious. It almost makes me want to get the audio book, but I won't. I bought Anderson's audio book and never finished it. That's no knock against him--I loved the content. But apparently I am a person who needs to see the words and have the book in my hands. For some reason I like that experience more than having the book read to me by the actual author. Anyway, I also loved the part where Obama accepts the hand sanitizer because he doesn't want to seem "unhygienic." Perish the thought!

As we go out to commercial, Anderson tests our White House knowledge. Ooh, I love quizzes! The question: What did Nixon have built in the White House? The choices: a tennis court, a movie theater, a bowling alley, or a basketball court? I was stuck between movie theater and bowling alley, but then Anderson kinda gave it away by noting that when they came back they would show Nixon having some fun. Because what are they going to show, a picture of Nixon sitting and watching a movie? Nope. Bowling alley it was.

What time is it? Why, it is inevitable panel time of course! Tonight's seat-warmers include Mark Halperin, Candy Crowley, and Joe Johns. Wow, David Gergen actually got a day off. There's really not all that much of note here, though Mark does amuse me by beginning his analysis with some off-topic praise, "First, can I pay homage to your transitions, the bowling, the juggling?" he asks. See, after the whole Nixon bowling thing, Anderson noted that Obama sucks at bowling, but would probably be doing more juggling of our country's problems anyway. "Well, it was written by Marshall. So, I will pass it along," says Anderson. "All right. But you read it very well," says Mark. "Well, that's the most important thing," says Anderson. Bwah! Okay, this is just getting weird.

But, uh, yay Marshall! Your writing prowess has been acknowledged by a pundit. What that means, I do not know. Also? My birdie is a big fan of Marshall, describing him as occasionally grumpy, brilliant, snarky, quiet, patient, and helpful. Well, she was either talking about Marshall or some warped version of the seven dwarfs. Anyhoo, back in the panel, Anderson points out that the White House was built by slaves and now an African American will be moving in as president, which just kinda makes you go "wow." The rest of the discussion is all speculation and second guessing of what Obama's going to do even though he hasn't done any of it yet. Please tell me we won't be doing this up through January.

Transitioning now to Ali Velshi at the big financial wall of doom. Ruh-roh. This actually isn't completely bad though. Basically Ali goes though Obama's promises and what needs to be done to save this ever-flailing economy. It all comes down to tax cuts, fixing the mortgage crisis, and creating jobs--that last one being the most important. Ali tells us Obama is going to have to pull out all the stops for job creation by not only initiating infrastructure projects, but also maybe even cutting taxes on businesses. Anderson then brings up the complete and total WTFery of the fed refusing to identify who is getting the emergency loans that are paid for by tax payers. Transparency, hello! Ali tells us that Bloomberg is actually suing to find out. More power to them.

Moving on now to a clip of Sarah Palin cooking up some moose chili. Seriously. This moves us into a Gary Tuchman piece on the return of Alaska's "maverick" governor. She was greeted at the airport by fans who have their hearts set on a 2012 run. Palin 2012! Woo! Yes, make the GOP even more irrelevant. Please Anyway, some of Gary's interview with her seems deja vu because we've heard it before, but there's new stuff too. Like apparently she's disappointed about the criticism, "
because this is Barack Obama's time right now." A couple of weeks ago she was calling him a terrorist sympathizer and now she wants to sing kumbayah. Yeah. Right.

Palin also expands on the sexism charge, pointing out that no one asked the guys about their makeup and hair spray and stuff like that, while her campaign routinely fielded those type of questions. I will concede her half of this point. Yes, there is a double standard, but then again, I bet John Edwards' hair would call partial crap on that statement. And it seems Obama's suit is quite the hit. Following his piece, Gary joins us live to report that the Alaskan senate race still hasn't been called, but Ted Stevens is actually ahead right now. Alaska, what the hell is wrong with you?! That's it. I'm bumping Florida and promoting Alaska to the most insane state in the nation. Congrats Sunshine State. There's someone crazier than you. Anyway, this is relevant to Palin because if Stevens wins, he's probably get kicked out, and a certain mavericky governor just might have her eye on the seat, though she's not saying. Craziness.

Moving on now to a Randi Kaye piece that gives us another tour of the White House, this time focusing on style. Not sure why we needed this and Tom's piece. Anderson then notes that a couple of the live-bloggers discovered that Nixon is totally stepping over the line in that bowling picture they showed earlier. Nixon cheating? Who'd a thunk it? This is followed by another quiz question, asking us the identity of the first occupant of the current White House. "Don't check Google," warns Anderson, prior to rapid-fire delivering our choices. Turns out it was John Adams. Not my guess. Oh, history fail!

Randi Kaye's making her money tonight because she gives us our next piece too, detailing how the first family will energize Washington. The city has hopes that they're looking at the new Kennedys. Randi lunches with Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn, and they talk about hot places I've never heard of and will probably never go. The public versus private school debate is touched on and it's noted that there's an expectation that the Obamas will be pretty social. Apparently the Bush peeps were pretty big party poopers, only hosting six state dinners. Of course, that might have something to do with the world hating them. After her piece, we learn the secret service names of the new first family, which we are assured are not actually a secret. Barack is "renegade," Michelle is "renaissance," Sasha is "rosebud," and Malia is "radiance," though the girls names aren't confirmed yet. Cute.

We then get a clip of Obama taking his kids to school and it is filled with aw. I swear, this is going to be the most adorable first family ever. This moves us into a Jessica Yellin piece on how Obama's neighborhood of Hyde Park is dealing with their new crazy security situation. There is high hopes for tourism there and the city of Chicago as a whole, which is now the country's murder capital. Will Chicago be the new Crawford?

The Shot tonight is reality TV meeting, well, reality. See, on election day, Anderson went on Ellen DeGeneres' show, where he discussed, among other things, his love of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. We're played this clip, which includes Anderson giving Ellen an "oh honey." Cracks me up. So anyway, it turns out he mispronounced the name of the housewife he referenced, calling her "Nay-Nay," when really it's "NeNe," and I'm sure your life is better now that you know that. Anderson blames the error on his Ellen-excitement.

But we're not done here, people. NeNe has responded and is thrilled to have been mentioned by the silver fox. In the clip we're shown, she ponders Anderson's comment on "the fullness of NeNe," and with great amusement, wonders if he was talking about her boobs. I can honestly say I would have never guessed that's what he meant by that because, um, obvious reasons. So now in a comic twist, we get to see Anderson Cooper deny that no, he is not fascinated with her boobies. "I was so not talking about that!" he tells us. Oh this crazy world . . .

No webcast tonight. I know Randi Kaye did it, but my computer apparently said no. Actually, I'm hearing other people having problems too, so this might be an "it's not me, it's you" kinda issue. The show was okay. I really hope at some point they start moving back to other news. That'll do it.


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