According to The Won, only Lincoln, FDR and LBJ accomplished more than he has by the same point in their presidencies. I’m not sure which is worse, though, the outrageous claim to greatness or the CBS editorial assist.
Obama’s comments in a recent “60 Minutes” interviewthat his legislative and foreign policy accomplishments top all but three former presidents has sparked fierce blowback among right-leaning blogs.
The president’s claim didn’t air in the show’s Dec. 11 television broadcast but was included in the full interview video that CBS posted on its website that day.
The “60 Minutes Overtime” video shows Obama telling correspondent Steve Kroft:
“The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
FDR’s and LBJ’s legislative “accomplishments” are bankrupting the country now, plus LBJ lost Vietnam. So, there’s that. Obama’s puffery is a marked change in tone from three years ago, when Obama said that if he hadn’t turned the economy around by now, and he hasn’t, his would be a one-term presidency. Now he’s all but putting himself up on Mt. Rushmore.
While Obama doesn’t seem to have any sense of self-awareness regarding when to turn off the ego, CBS evidently does. The network that aired fake documents smearing President Bush in 2004 clipped Obama’s great brag out of the version of the interview that aired on the broadcast. We only know about it because CBS did include the full interview on its web site.
But here’s the thing — Obama claiming to be the fourth best president is a marquee headline statement, especially when the president’s job approval is headed south and on any given day one or more of the GOP challengers is within site of beating him in the polls. Romney actually tends to poll ahead of Obama. CBS’ news veterans surely knew that that statement, broadcast on their flagship new program, would generate big ratings for them but also a bad week for Obama as he would have to defend the statement from the likes of Jake Tapper. CBS evidently decided that 60 Minutes didn’t need the ratings boost. Or, that Barack Obama didn’t need the PR hit.
CBS’ Sharyl Attkinson has led the way in reporting on Fast and Furious, but this 60 Minutes decision forces me to break out the CBS Eye of Sauron again.