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O'Reilly: Clinton "mocking" Obama; "pretty cute"

Reported by Chrish - February 26, 2008 -

Bill O'Reilly hosted Democratic Strategist Regina Calcaterra and FOX News Analyst Juan Williams this evening 2/25/08 for a discussion of Hillary Clinton's dramatic speechmaking at an event yesterday. O'Reilly characterized it as mocking Obama and Calcaterra agreed (both found it funny), but Juan Williams took it as a dig at Obama supporters, whom he compared to "Hannah Montana fans, with their eyes spinning up in their heads, jumping up and down..."
With video.

Clinton was humorous as she told the audience that she could say "let's just get everybody together, let's get unified..." (and more - watch the video), making her point that she has no illusions about how hard this is going to be.

Calcaterra thought it was a bad strategy move; she alternately thought Hillary hasn't been able to connect with people, and this episode just shows she is getting angrier, yet when pressed she agreed it was funny. O'Reilly said that since Obama and Clinton are so close on the issues, she has to differentiate by pointing out that he's a lightweight. She did it with humor, he declared, and got shrill when Calcaterra said she saw it as angry and frustrated.

Williams said it would be dangerous for Clinton to be mocking Obama as it would play up "the ice queen" image, but he sees it as a poke at the audience, who are "going crazy" over Barack Obama. Yes, she's desperate, but she's going forward and she's got to talk to the audience. As she said over the weekend, when the red phone rings at 3AM, who do you want answering it? She's introducing the idea of "buyer's remorse" if voters choose Obama.

O'Reilly took control and claimed to be confused by the buyers' remorse reference and started the conversation all over again, to reiterate his main talking point that Clinton was mocking Obama and the secondary talking point that Obama is shallow, and threw in that he is almost evangelistic in his approach.

O'Reilly liked it, especially compared to her "stupefyingly dull" speeches in New Hampshire. He didn't think, as Calcaterra did, that it was mean; he thought it was "pretty cute."

Williams reiterated that he thinks Clinton is mocking the "hallelujah choir" and not Obama, but O'Reilly disagreed again, and Calcaterra added that Clinton wouldn't be mocking the very people she's trying to move to her side.

They went on to discuss the Obama-in-African-dress picture. Williams framed it as if the Clinton campaign had definitely released it (although as of right now there is no indication that's been confirmed or proven false). O'Reilly first interpreted Maggie Williams' comments this afternoon that there's nothing to be ashamed of in the pictures as confirmation (good enough for him, eh?) that the Clinton camp DID release the pictures, then asked Williams if it was a bad picture. Williams said he'd leave that judgment to O'Reilly. Apparently the big BOR has been warned to watch his racial comments and he adamantly (both hands up, palms out) refused - oh no no no no, Juan!

Williams wasn't offended, he just thinks it's dirty politics, unpleasant, continuing to speak as if the photo was definitely released from the Clinton camp. Cacaterra agreed, that it was an act of desperation. She posited that this episode may drive super-delegates who are elected officials representing large African-American constituencies away from Clinton. She was absolutely offended by the picture. Asked a leading question by O'Reilly, she called it a racial play, and he sat back, again palms up and out, not responsible.