John King was anchoring live from Phoenix this morning on State of the Union with John King.
The first guest today was White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs. John King had a printed copy of the stimulus package and questioned the hand written notes that were found in the margins of the passed bill- did urgency trump transparency? Gibbs didn't think so. I'd be interested to know just how many reams of paper have been used by all of these people printing copies of the 1000+ page bill. Doesn't anyone have access to a printer that does duplex? On the subject of the border fence, I don't think that Gibbs answered the question other than saying that the administration is still looking at the issue.
Senator John McCain talked with King in Phoenix. They discussed the lack of Republican support for the stimulus package; immigration policy; and the TARP. It was interesting that Senator McCain did not put the entire blame of the lack of bipartisan support for the stimulus bill on the Democrats, but conceded that the Republicans were guilty of partisan politics as usual.
Hilary Rosen and Kevin Madden joined King from Washington. This turned into a very partisan discussion on the stimulus bill. You can see from the screencap that King has his own copy of the stimulus bill that was shipped out to him.
John King's report on illegal immigration in Arizona included a discussion with Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff, about illegal immigration and Rubi, an illegal immigrant.
King is committed to getting State of the Union outside the beltway. So, where have they been so far? King has already reported from a number of states across the country (as the map shows). Want him to bring the program to your town? Email CNN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howard Kurtz's Reliable Sources segment included Gwen Ifill, Margaret Carlson and Christina Bellatoni to discuss: Judd Gregg's nomination withdrawal; President Obama's first press conference; the stimulus package. Gwen Ifill was back after the commercial break to discuss her new book.
The Octomom discussion included Bonnie Fuller and Jane Velez-Mitchell. Mike Wise and Gregg Doyel discussed A-Rod's steriods.
John King was back for the 11 AM ET hour with the first panel of the day: Nicolle Wallace, Paul Begala and David Gergen. Topics included the stimulus package and bipartisanship; the Judd Gregg's withdrawal; and more on bipartisanship: skirmish or partisan war?
We got to enjoy a couple of Begala-isms:
- When discussing the Obama administration's naive perception that elected Republican's would vote the same way that real world Republicans would... "How's that working out for you?"
- But I think that's a lot more troubling than whether -- you know, I think the Judd Gregg thing is just their belief in this mythical creature, it's like the unicorn, the reasonable Washington Republican. If they find one, I'd like to see, we'll put in the Smithsonian.
The second panel included Brianna Keilar, Jessica Yellin, and Dan Lothian. The stimulus bill and bipartisanship were at the top of the list of topics. In a clip, King showed David Axelrod making an American Idol reference and Jessica Yellin followed up with that analogy:
KING: And, Jessica, when you explore this politically, do people see these as one or two isolated, maybe rookie mistakes, or do they see a vulnerability or a weakness in this president?
YELLIN: It's a weakness in how they're beginning their administration. Even in inside the White House they acknowledge that this has looked messy and it has been messy. They really -- if you're going to use the "American Idol" comparison, they need a Simon Cowell to be a really harsh critic from the inside and they do know that.
They just feel like there should be a lot more patience, there's patience for him out there. They're enormously sort of confident that they'll get it right in the end, if you will. They have no idea who their commerce secretary pick will be, for example. That's what folks are telling me.
Kathleen Sebelius -- Governor Kathleen Sebelius seems to be the likely candidate for HHS. So you know, they'll move forward. There is a sense that this is not -- they recognize it has not been a smooth start.
KEILAR: And looking back from the very beginning when you talked with Republicans on the Hill, John, and Judd Gregg's name was being thrown about and then he accepted, there was this huge sense of shock, this question mark about why he accepted, why he was chosen. This is someone who is not -- this is a true Republican and it left a lot of people scratching their heads from the beginning.
YELLIN: That was a messy episode, yes.
LOTHIAN: It felt like it was a gamble, actually, that the president really was gambling on this and he lost.
KING: Gambling and he lost. Dan Lothian, Jessica Yellin, Brianna Keilar, we thank you all for joining us on this one. We'll watch the president's next gamble, I guess, to use your term as we go forward.
And, Jessica, nice "American Idol" reference, pretty good there.
Source: CNN State of the Union with John King Transcript, February 15, 2009
Campbell Brown was back on Sunday morning! She had become a regular on Late Edition, but has been missing the last several weeks on State of the Union. The topic this week was the Las Vegas mayor's criticism of President Obama's comments regarding corporate conferences in Las Vegas. Brown had interviewed him last week on her program, No Bias, No Bull.
If you watched the 9AM ET hour, you could have skipped the first half of the 12 PM ET hour- it was a repeat of the Gibbs and McCain interviews. The second half of the hour began with King's report on the new wall being built along the US/ Mexico border and the impact it has had on the estimated number of illegal immigrants crossing over into the US.
The last word... went to Rep. Aaron Schock from Illinois. Rep. Schock went to Illinois with President Obama this past week. King wanted to know what happened behind the scenes with the discussions that occurred between Schock and the President on Air Force One.
If you're looking for more information during the week from State of the Union with John King, check out the CNN Political Ticker where you can view posts from John King and from State of the Union. Plus, the program now has its own page: State of the Union with John King.
OK, I have to admit, the CNN Diner segment was not a hit with me this week. Part of it has to do with my bias against basketball- I'm just not a basketball person- I've never followed it. Part of it has to do with talking to a group of professional (well paid) athletes about the economy... it just doesn't have the same impact as talking with a group of regular everyday people. In all fairness, King did address this during the discussion:
KING: Grant, to that point, somebody watching this might say, what do these guys know about the struggling economy in the country? They're all well-paid, you know, they're not hurting like I am.
HILL: Well, I mean, you certainly -- certainly you see it and you feel it. We all -- not everybody we know plays in the NBA.
JOHNSON: I know that -- I'm sorry, not to cut you off, see, I grew up in Michigan, father, two brothers worked 30 years for General Motors, OK? So I'm in it even right now as we speak, I've got relatives who now, whether they got laid off, I worry that they're going to get laid off.
Friends whose parents are going to get laid off, they're going to get laid off, and have been laid off. So I didn't mean to cut Grant off, but I'm in the middle of it right now as we speak. Michigan is devastated. So we're going to have a major crisis for at least two years. Even with the president's great plan, it's going to still take probably 18 months to two years before it can take effect. So we still are going to have that long for people to suffer.
So we have some major problems, but I'm happy that he is the one, President Obama is the one who is going to direct us back and get this economy moving. But we all have to help him. We cannot say, hey, President Obama, it's all on you, because it's never going to work.
Source: CNN State of the Union with John King Transcript, February 15, 2009
King also spoke with Lisa Leslie of the WNBA. (King even took a shot at the basket.)
So how did John King happen to be in Phoenix when the All Star game was in town? Howard Kurtz asked him about that during Reliable Sources.
John King and Dana Bash were spotted at the NBA All Star game. Thanks to Rick who sent us this picture from his cell phone!
A few programming notes for the week ahead:
CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi leads a fast-paced panel discussion for CNN’s second “Money Summit,” which looks at the economic stimulus package and the timeline for how quickly it might reverse the effects of a wealth destroying recession. This Anderson Cooper 360° special, “CNN Money Summit,” airs on Tuesday, February 17, at 11 p.m. (ET) and will re-air Friday, Feb 20 at 11p.m. (ET)
For the second Money Summit, CNN will again work closely with Fortune and Money magazines as well as CNNMoney.com to examine the latest issues facing our economy. Velshi and the panel of experts will explore the big questions and possible solutions using the latest on-air technologies and questions submitted via iReport and Facebook. The panel includes: Katie Benner, writer/reporter, Fortune; Telis Demos, writer/reporter, Fortune; David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, Donna Rosanto, senior writer, MONEY magazine, Andy Serwer, editor, Fortune; and Walter Updegrave, senior editor, MONEY magazine.
The panel will discuss the details of the stimulus package and the mixture of government spending and tax breaks to consumers and businesses. The solutions oriented discussion will focus on the impact of the stimulus package on the job market, the housing market and the stock market. Additionally, the panel will explore whether, with so much money and political capital being used to kick start the economy, the President will be able to fulfill campaign promises on initiatives such as green energy and reforming healthcare?
One additional programming note: