COMMENTS: Obama Gently Teases a Grandstanding McCain

After the White House meeting both John McCain and Barack Obama retired to Washington DC hotels to practice a round-robin of interviews. McCain (ABC here, CBS here, NBC here) sat in front of a coral-red background; Obama (ABC here, CBS here, NBC here) chose blue and a flag. None of the anchors gave the slightest credence to McCain's transparently false claim that, temporarily, he was not a candidate. All three asked if he was going to attend the Presidential debate on foreign policy Friday. McCain for his part, remembered to use his campaign slogan Country First in answers to both NBC's Brian Williams and CBS' Katie Couric.

As for Obama, he gently teased his grandstanding opponent for thrusting himself into the middle of the story so flamboyantly. To NBC's Williams he observed that "sometimes if you inject Presidential politics into delicate negotiations it is not necessarily constructive." To ABC's Charles Gibson he confessed "one of the concerns I have, as a Presidential candidate, about being too deeply in these negotiations, I think there is sometimes a tendency to have that distort people's decision-making." To CBS' Couric he stated that "my preference is to use the phone and to talk to people and to work with them--including Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernanke and others--in a way that is not a photo-op."


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