ABC: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters revealed personal insights about themselves and their relationship as they approach their 20th wedding anniversary next fall. The full interview can be seen during a “20/20” holiday special on Friday, Dec. 23, 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical. People who know me know that I am a softie. I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily. The challenge for me is that in this job I think a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions. And if you’re not sort of showing it in a very theatrical way, then somehow it doesn’t translate over the screen.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Someone said that there’s a perception out there that I feel confined or trapped in some way. To the extent that people have that perception, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel very blessed in this role.
What three words would you each use to describe the other?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Beautiful, smart and funny.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Smart, sportsman, and father.
What is your biggest peeve about each other?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Oh, I don’t have one.
MICHELLE OBAMA: My list is too long. 😆
If you were to die and come back as a person as a thing, what would you want it to be?
MICHELLE OBAMA: I would want to be Bo. He’s got a great life. He’s got it good. Not a dog. But Bo.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, Barbara, I’m going to take a pass on this one.
Excerpts of the interview will air tonight (Dec 15) on “World News with Diane Sawyer.” The full interview can be seen during a “20/20” holiday special on Friday, Dec. 23, 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.
Pew: Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark, according to the the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 7-11. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012 – the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time high recorded in 2010, when fully 58 members of Congress lost reelection bids – the most in any election since 1948.
The Republican Party is taking more of the blame than the Democrats for a do-nothing Congress. A record-high 50% say that the current Congress has accomplished less than other recent Congresses, and by nearly two-to-one (40% to 23%) more blame Republican leaders than Democratic leaders for this.
Andrew Sullivan: The Telegraph has looked into Romney’s claims that he subsisted as a missionary in France, taking dumps in holes and using showers from hoses. His fellow missionaries remember a different experience:
The Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion … It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy … for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.
…. Why would Romney go out on a limb like that – when it could easily be disproven by an enterprising reporter? Maybe this has something to do with it:
Tearful as he described the house, Mr Anderson, 70, of Kaysville, Utah, said Romney aides had asked him not to speak publicly about their time together there.
August, 2010 – Arianna bumps in to Newt & Callista Gingrich and Barbara Walters in Amalfi
This is a comically great find by Politicususa (see here) …. hey, 16 years later she’s got her wish!
Why Newt Must Run
by Arianna Huffington (Nov 27, 1995 in The Weekly Standard)
…Running for president would undoubtedly be the biggest gamble of Gingrich’s political career. And there is absolutely no self-interested reason for him to do it. He has said that he would run only if there were a clear moral imperative for him to do so….
….Precisely because Gingrich is right about the moral crisis the country is facing …. there is a moral imperative for him to fill the leadership vacuum and address the growing devastation.
…the Gingrich of November 1996 could be a far different, far more inspiring public figure. Gingrich may be a lightning rod, but he also embodies the revolution like no one else. He is its most articulate, self-confident, and unapologetic voice, and he burns with conviction that America can and will be a better place because of it …. he can rediscover the youthful realization that drove him to dedicate his life to politics in the first place: that at certain critical moments in history, effective leadership is all that stands between a civilization and its collapse.
There are times in life when risking everything is more prudent than protecting what you have. For Gingrich, this could be one of them. And if Gingrich fails to accept the mission, the mission does not go away. The hole in the heart of the Republican revolution remains, waiting for a leader to fill it.
See the full Weekly Standard article here and the Politicususa post here