We can all agree on who won the Super Bowl, but opinions vary greatly about who came out on top in the interview of President Obama that Bill O’Reilly conducted that day. In my opinion, the American people were the winners.
Not that all viewers would agree with that assessment, of course.
Some on the political right faulted O’Reilly for not going for the jugular with his questions, hoping to catch Obama in some sort of a “gotcha” situation, and some on the left chastised him for interrupting the president so often and for his question about how he deals with those who hate him.
I thought O’Reilly’s questions were firm but fair, and as to the interruptions, Obama knew ahead of time what to expect and took them in good-natured stride without being offended.
I think the president saw the occasion as opportunity to begin repositioning himself to the political center somewhat, and I felt that his answers were forthright and sincere. And, as a someone who has often been critical of his political positions, I must say that my respect for him rose considerably because of the way he conducted himself.
All in all, I thought it was an excellent give-and-take exchange done in a manner that demonstrated that opinionated people with widely differing points of view can disagree without being disagreeable.