Video: The punch-drunk moment

posted at 8:30 am on March 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Howard Kurtz, one of the best media analysts in the mainstream media, will probably make an adjustment in his normal morning update to his column filed last night. Kurtz wrote about the ascendance of Steve Kroft at 60 Minutes to the lead position:

Kroft, who spent 90 minutes with Obama, says the president was “very, very relaxed” and seems comfortable with him after several previous interviews. “He did not seem at all concerned about what the press has been playing up as his worst week,” says Kroft, who was editing the story until 3:30 a.m. Sunday. “My own personal feeling is they sense they’re having trouble getting their message out in Washington and wanted a discussion at a more leisurely pace that went beyond a sound bite. . . . The challenge was to try to break through and get him to talk about things he hadn’t been talking about.”

Whether he’s reporting from the White House or a war zone, the newly designated lead guy is anything but flashy. Kroft delights in tackling such subjects as credit default swaps and oil price speculation, doing much of the digging himself rather than relegating it to his producers, a common practice in television. And when the 63-year-old reporter sits down with a newsmaker, you tend to remember the person’s answers, not Kroft’s questions.

In a splendid demonstration of Murphy’s Law, Kroft made the big splash last night not from a Barack Obama answer, but for this question:

Kroft: You’re sitting here. And you’re laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems.  Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money?’ How do you deal with — I mean: explain … Are you punch-drunk?”

Obama: No, no. There’s gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day.  Sometimes my team talks about the fact that, uh, if you had said a year ago that the least of my problems would have been Iraq — which is still a pretty serious problem — I don’t think anyone would have believed it.  But we’ve got a lot on our plate, and a lot of difficult decisions we’re going to have to make.

Unfortunately for Obama, he was giggling during the question, which made Kroft’s question seem as though Kroft was challenging him at that very moment.  It made Obama look unserious, although I actually think Obama is right and that someone with those responsibilities does need to keep a sense of humor.  It’s probably a bad idea to demonstrate it by giggling through a prime-time interview while answering questions about the economy.

Oh, and Mr. President?  We tried to tell you repeatedly during the campaign that Iraq was nowhere near the problem you claimed it to be, especially in the last year.  It stopped being the problem you thought it was in late 2007.


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INC on March 23, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Don’t do that again. You demean The Joker when you do.

ladyingray on March 23, 2009 at 4:59 PM

a left cross? That’s an odd punch. Is Kross a south paw?

The cross generally comes from the right.

and I’m talking boxing here, not politics.

beefytee on March 23, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I know that there are liberals out there who are smart enough to know their guy is inept/unprepared/in-too-deep to be president, but their pride is preventing them from making the admission.
I suspect smart liberals are sitting very quietly right about now.

I think it’s the dumb lefties that are still banging the drums in Obama’s marching band. They are the ones that are easily programmed by the mainstreamed talking points.

caygeon on March 23, 2009 at 3:37 PM

If they admit that they’re wrong, they’re admitting they weren’t “smart” in the first place. Just like they will never be able to admit that liberating Iraq was the right thing to do-because it was Bush’s idea.

Of course, their previous hero, Bill Clinton, also wanted regime change in Iraq, but he thought job approval numbers were much more important.

Del Dolemonte on March 23, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Del:

Admitting you were fooled is not really a reflection on how “smart” a person is. Pride on the other hand is and has always been an incredibly foolish endeavor. Most intelligent people would agree to that.

beefytee on March 23, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I thought was really soft. I don’t know why it took all night to write the story. No follow up on what the hell Obama means by “our values” or details of his “plan.”

PattyJ on March 23, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Same 60 Minute interview, re: Exit Stratagy in Afghanistan

He blamed his predecessor for the situation there now. An AP article quotes him as saying,

“You are often confronted with bad choices that flow from less than optimal decisions made a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, when you weren’t here,” Obama said. “A lot of times, when things land at my desk, it’s a choice between bad and worse.”

MY GAWD! Did POTUS think being a president only has to pick the Final Four or which puppet breed?

If any choice is left for the POTUS to decide, you can bet it will be between bad and worse.

This, to me, reveals more about his incompetence and cluelessness more than the giggles.

Sir, WHY on earth did you want to be POTUS then?

Sir Napsalot on March 23, 2009 at 5:12 PM

He is high? Sure looks like it.

Riderbob on March 23, 2009 at 5:13 PM

BTW, why stop tracing back blame only to five years ago?

Afghanistan, Taliban, and Pakistan problem dates back more than 8 years.

Sir Napsalot on March 23, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Acts stoned. Drug test maybe?

allrsn on March 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Acts stoned. Drug test maybe?

allrsn on March 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Seriously. Dude, no bong hits before interviews. What a farce this man is.

NTWR on March 23, 2009 at 5:23 PM

I watched it again, and am struck by the editing.

Anyone know how to get an unedited copy? At 11 seconds it cuts away from Obama’s chuckle fest to Kroft, BHO is on the verge of hysterical laughter…

then at 14 second there was clearly an edit performed since his voice says “It’s not a high number” but his lips are not moving and he is sitting back in his chair…smiling his giant smile ear to ear.

Does anyone know where there might be an unedited tape?

Dpet on March 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Since “Bush did it!” is inevitable:

Yes, crack *&^$s you up. Let’s stop electing crackheads.

BKennedy on March 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM

American~ the gallows.

Obama ~ the Humor.

Isn’t that racist, Barry?

profitsbeard on March 23, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Barely two months after the inauguration, the mainstream media has its proverbial knickers in a twist over Obama’s ineptitude in office. Even Thomas Friedman – that most conventional of all purveyors of the conventional (except David Gergen – and he’s been straying off the reservation too) – is now complaining the onetime Messiah is not taking the financial crisis seriously enough, “getting in trouble cracking jokes on Jay Leno comparing his bowling skills to a Special Olympian.” Meanwhile, CNN is appalled the President pushed through a skillion page skillion dollar stimulus bill no one seems to have read.

Hello, children, you elected this guy. Take some responsibility!

No, don’t go complaining the people did that. You did it. Obama is your man, your hero. You never vetted, never examined him in any depth at all, even though the candidate had hardly any experience other than running for office. Oh, yes, he was a “community organizer.”

http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2009/03/22/the-msm-should-resign-over-obamas-failure/

That Congress is a gang of cheap connivers is not news. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Charles Grassley, Barney Frank – they have been national embarrassments for years.

But now they are dangerous, emboldened by public fear and anger. They know nothing, but have power and smell opportunity for more.

Missing in action is the Barack Obama who vowed to unite the country around common values. Lately he has been the very opposite of the man he promised. Instead of hope, many have a growing fear of the arrogant government he leads. . . . He is not a reformer who fixes things. He fancies himself “transformative,” a man who reshapes and reorders. It apparently begins with smashing the existing order under the pretext of managing the crisis he inherited.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/columnists/goodwin/index.html

(2) good and accurate reads…

Keemo on March 23, 2009 at 5:47 PM

As long as we’re doing Joker/Obama comparisons…

American Taxpayer: “How much you want?”
Jobama: “Uh…half.”

Crusty on March 23, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Our President is DEFINITELY high as a kite, doped up, souped up, cracked up, coked up, somethings up. I call p!ss test!

Sultry Beauty on March 23, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Our President is DEFINITELY high as a kite, doped up, souped up, cracked up, coked up, somethings up. I call p!ss test!

Sultry Beauty on March 23, 2009 at 6:04 PM

POTUS, I’m sure, is one of the many, many Executive-level positions in the Federal service that is not a testing-designated position. I’m a mechanic – which is one of the many, many blue-collar Federal positions that IS a tdp.
Makes NO sense to me.

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:08 PM

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:08 PM

He’s admitted having done coke and his got his finger on the button and his laughing that everyone’s losing money and we can’t give him a p!ss test!?! WTF??? He should have to do it everyday!

Sultry Beauty on March 23, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Oh…and when is this guy ever in his office actually getting some work done? He reminds me of the neuvo riche or lottery winner who doesn’t know what to do with his new wealth or all his new toys… plane…helicopter… Camp David…

CCRWM on March 23, 2009 at 12:42 PM

I have said this same thing again and again…he needs to stay his a$$ in DC and get serious about doing some real, President-type work. Not NCAA brackets, not Leno, not 60 Minutes or Valentine’s Day trips to Chicago. WORK. That’s what being President is – work. Maybe he should have looked into that before he applied for the job.

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:19 PM

It made Obama look unserious, although I actually think Obama is right and that someone with those responsibilities does need to keep a sense of humor.

There’s a time and place for everything, but having an hysterical meltdown in the middle of a serious interview about the economic “crisis” is very unpresidential.

Disturb the Universe on March 23, 2009 at 6:24 PM

He’s admitted having done coke and his got his finger on the button and his laughing that everyone’s losing money and we can’t give him a p!ss test!?! WTF??? He should have to do it everyday!

Sultry Beauty on March 23, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I hear ya…but many, if not most, white-collar Civil Service positions are non-testing-designated. I’ve always thought that was the ultimate insult; the people who make ALL the decisions concerning funding, policy, and procedure are, for the most part, not required to submit to drug testing (the exception is security personnel where I work at), but blue-collar schlubs are.

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:25 PM

I’m surprise this post has not gotten more comments, ouch, I don’t know what was worse the Jay Leno interview or this one.

ingnesis on March 23, 2009 at 6:28 PM

There is a village in Kenya missing it’s idiot.

DeweyWins on March 23, 2009 at 6:34 PM

I have said this same thing again and again…he needs to stay his a$$ in DC and get serious about doing some real, President-type work. Not NCAA brackets, not Leno, not 60 Minutes or Valentine’s Day trips to Chicago. WORK. That’s what being President is – work. Maybe he should have looked into that before he applied for the job.

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Soro’s probably wants to keep him out of D.C..

Johan Klaus on March 23, 2009 at 6:38 PM

DeweyWins on March 23, 2009 at 6:34 PM

+ one billion trillion gazillion….

ladyingray on March 23, 2009 at 6:43 PM

He is a Marxist ideologue.

He believes that he is overseeing the execution of an unjust capitalist system. Thus, the gleeful gallows humor.

lacerta on March 23, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Acts stoned. Drug test maybe?

allrsn on March 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Seriously. Dude, no bong hits before interviews. What a farce this man is.

NTWR on March 23, 2009 at 5:23 PM

On another blog a commenter said, That’s What Happens When You Smoke Pot in the Green Room.

INC on March 23, 2009 at 6:52 PM

I’m surprise this post has not gotten more comments, ouch, I don’t know what was worse the Jay Leno interview or this one.

ingnesis on March 23, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Comments on this started in the Quotes of the Day thread from last night because one of the QODs was “Are you punch-drunk?” That thread has 700+

INC on March 23, 2009 at 6:55 PM

POTUS, I’m sure, is one of the many, many Executive-level positions in the Federal service that is not a testing-designated position. I’m a mechanic – which is one of the many, many blue-collar Federal positions that IS a tdp.
Makes NO sense to me.

uncivilized on March 23, 2009 at 6:08 PM

That’s an excellent point.

INC on March 23, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Another crybaby mountain out of a non-existent molehill.

Your comments are so pathetically predictable.

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Besides being “punch drunk” he is ADD. He can’t stay still, he has to always be on the go, always having parties, always flying around the country, can’t focus, has never written anything (at least we can’t find anything), not even the stimulus pork bill – had to have his flunky san fran nan & dirty harry write it for him. He is classic.

Bambi on March 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM

he acts like a nervous teenager. i think he actually is enjoying all of this. why not? he’s got his mug on tv multiple times a day. his followers adore him. he can lie, cheat and steal from my children and he actually doesn’t act like he gives a sh!t. he is sooo out of touch with what is really going on in this country. his advisors say they don’t think that mid americans are sitting around their tables concerned about AIG. Really? and you would know this because you are getting hourly updates from the Robama Squad? give me a freakin break. they all make my skin crawl. i can’t even stand to hear his or scholarly press secretary, R…ro..um…uhh…rob…rober…um…uh…robert the libtard’s voices anymore.

sandlin71 on March 23, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Dave, you just keep you beat steady, you’re doing a great job!

caygeon on March 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Punch-drunk and ready to go door-to-door for the messiah?? Roastbeefer???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UidZjiEzYY&feature=related

RealDemocrat on March 23, 2009 at 8:08 PM

I don’t know why people are getting so upset. Obviously, the Preisdent was just thinking of a “retard” joke and couldn’t contain his giggling.

malclave on March 23, 2009 at 8:17 PM

you’re right sweetheart. we should all be nice and polite and talk about rainbows and butterflys while what we used to know as America is crumbling to it’s knees. i guess we should all just bend over and take it with a smile, huh? why you don’t you take a deep breath and go f-ck yourself. i am beyond disgusted with simple minded wimps such as yourself who have no guts, and no courage and balls to rise up and get down to brass tacks when the situation calls for it. and once you remove your head from your a– and grow a spine and some testicals, you will realize that.

Ghoul aid on March 23, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Nobody said anything about talking about rainbows and butterflies. This is not dKos or Huff and Puff, if you want to rant like mentally dysfunctional blithering idiot go back to dKos or Huff and Puff. Your personal attacks have no place here and are not welcome. This is a place for rational discourse between intelligent mature adults, not for irrational diatribes spewed by trolls and troglodytes with the mental maturity of pre-pubescent abused poster children for chlozapine therapy.

doriangrey on March 23, 2009 at 8:26 PM

This dork is STONED. He had one too many hits on the bonk! This affirmative action incompetent is despicable.

Jayrae on March 23, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Did anyone see O’Reilly had the body language lady eval this clip? We were discussing this in the QOD thread, so I thought this was interesting. She found his laughter incongruent, and his body language to mean he doesn’t believe or is conflicted about what he is saying. She thought he was way off his normal body language too.

msmveritas on March 23, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Obama has always had a tough time looking people in the eye. I find that very disconcerting in addition to everything else.

Urban Infidel on March 23, 2009 at 8:47 PM

msmveritas on March 23, 2009 at 8:40 PM

I missed that. I forgot that O’Reilly brings in that body language evaluator. That sounds fascinating. Did she use the work incongruent to describe his language? What conclusions did she draw about what he actually meant?

INC on March 23, 2009 at 8:58 PM

More than 16 million viewers tuned in to “60 Minutes” on Sunday for the newsmagazine’s interview with President Obama, according to Nielsen’s estimates.

And I’m guessing that those 16 million viewers haven’t spent the past 24 hours obsessing over the President’s laugh.

Ouch.

getalife on March 23, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Quoting Kos now?

INC on March 23, 2009 at 9:14 PM

This wasn’t the clip BOR had the body language gal evaluate. They looked at the clip where Obama avowed Geithner wasn’t going anywhere and he chuckled incongruently in that one, too, but not with the tinge of hysteria in this one.

KittyLowrey on March 23, 2009 at 9:24 PM

KittyLowrey on March 23, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Thanks, Kitty.

INC on March 23, 2009 at 9:28 PM

You gonna eat that jelly donut??

lasertex on March 23, 2009 at 9:50 PM

This wasn’t the clip BOR had the body language gal evaluate. They looked at the clip where Obama avowed Geithner wasn’t going anywhere

Why bother?

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.

malclave on March 23, 2009 at 9:51 PM

INC on March 23, 2009 at 8:58 PM

LOL, she did use incongruent which gave me a little laugh from our conversation last night. I missed part of it so I only saw where she was talking about how he seemed to be conflicted or disbelieving what he was saying. She was saying it was very blatant actually. I am going to watch it again in the rerun to see if I can get all her points.

msmveritas on March 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Gallows humor.
BHO is preparing the USA for a high tech tax lynching.

jgapinoy on March 23, 2009 at 10:17 PM

msmveritas on March 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM

You, too, could have been on O’Reilly! It certainly indicates that others saw the same thing. I don’t know if I can watch the rerun tonight, but I’ll catch your ongoing evaluation tomorrow.

INC on March 23, 2009 at 10:22 PM

Are you punch-drunk?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Michelle Dubois on March 23, 2009 at 10:51 PM

He’s high as a kite.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 23, 2009 at 11:29 PM

He is TRULY happy. He is ruining this counrty just like he hoped to. Everything is going according to his Commie plans. That laugh is genuine.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 24, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Yes, not only is The Man TOTUS laughing at us, so is his Cabinet, the String pullers and our House and Congress. They are all getting a big laugh out of this. Or should I say most of them. I do believe that there are some that are getting pretty scared as well. They are the Cowards that won’t speak up. Except a few. More of them need to speak up. If we get mad and start action then the Government will have us by the balls. I do think that they want us to. But we must refrain. What can we do? They are ignoring our phone calls, emails, and in the mean time they are planning all types of Evil plans. The Man Child is very happy that he is destroying our Country. The Media is helping him along as well.

sheebe on March 24, 2009 at 1:15 AM

He wants to destroy our capitalist system to make up for “wrongs” done in the past. And his plans are working, that is why he is laughing and having a good time.

cjs1943 on March 24, 2009 at 1:42 AM

He wants to destroy our capitalist system to make up for “wrongs” done in the past. And his plans are working, that is why he is laughing and having a good time.

cjs1943 on March 24, 2009 at 1:42 AM

Exactly. He sure is and no one is trying to stop him. That can stop him.

sheebe on March 24, 2009 at 1:50 AM

At the risk of sounding melodramatic – God help us all.

long_cat on March 24, 2009 at 2:29 AM

Give the POTUS a break!!! TOTUS was behind Kroft making funny faces, asking POTUS to pull his finger and stuff like that…

The only thing “the teleprompter kid” is high on (besides himself) is POWER…

Gohawgs on March 24, 2009 at 2:39 AM

This guy looks totally baked! God help us all.

Kyah on March 24, 2009 at 5:38 AM

Obama has a lot on his plate… wagyu steak, arugula,…the man has come a long way from “Let me eat my waffle”
.

philly_nj on March 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

From the Boston Herald:

Celebrity spotlight is no place for a president

Commander in chief? Try celebrity in chief. As in President Barack “The H is for Hollywood” Obama.

First there was the Jay Leno visit, all fine and lovely until that unfortunate Special Olympics remark, undercutting the historic appearance with a lesson in insensitivity.

It wasn’t Joaquin Phoenix on “Letterman,” but still.

Next stop? Prime-time Sunday night on CBS, where our leader tapped his boorish side again, yukking it up on “60 Minutes” with a few laughs at the financial crisis, prompting Steve Kroft to ask, “Are you punch-drunk?”

“There’s gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” the president said.

What next? “Bernie Madoff and Tim Geithner walk into a bar …?”

…President Obama is right to make the media rounds to reassure the public, what with everything pretty much falling apart.

…Sunday night, when he talked about days off and exercising, I wanted to yell “Get back to work!”

…But like a starlet walking the red carpet for the first time, Obama is tripping up.

That’s because a president doesn’t belong there.

INC on March 24, 2009 at 9:06 AM

INC on March 24, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Ouch, that piece from the Herald is more bad news from Boston! I rewatched O’Reilly and I really didn’t miss very much. She concentrated on one clip where he is talking about whether he has considered replacing Geithner. She was saying his body language betrayed him basically. He was saying no but he had non-verbal slips that said otherwise. So I think deception was the bottom line. She mentioned the incongruent laughter as a factor there too. I think they chose that clip though because you could see him shaking his head yes while he was answering no. I wish they had done more instead of adding the Jon Stewart clip and one on Barney Frank. Oh, on Barney guess what, he didn’t believe what he was saying, who knew?

msmveritas on March 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

what an idiot making jokes while people are losing their jobs and pensions. Can you imagine (god forbid) if we get hit from a terrorist attack?

jaboba on March 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM

msmveritas on March 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Thanks for the update. Yeah, I always assume Barney is lying.

I do find it interesting they did the Geithner section. That body language seems obvious even to a non-professional. A lot of people already don’t like Geithner and it wouldn’t ruffle any feathers to talk about that portion. I wonder if they thought they should play it safe and back off on analyzing Obama laughing at economic woes in the country.

jaboba on March 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM

I hear ya.

INC on March 24, 2009 at 2:37 PM

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