Citing convention negotiations, Fox News Sunday's Wallace asked if President Obama would negotiate by "caving in"

Citing convention negotiations, Fox News Sunday's Wallace asked if President Obama would negotiate by "caving in"

››› ››› JOHN DELICATH & MORGAN WEILAND

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace said that "after giving Hillary Clinton a speaking role on Tuesday night and Bill Clinton a speaking role on Wednesday night, now Hillary Clinton's going to get her name placed in nomination and to have a roll call. Question: Is that the way President Obama would negotiate, to just keep caving in?" Wallace also asked if placing Clinton's name in nomination was "[s]mart politics or a show of weakness."

On the August 17 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace said that Sen. Barack Obama "cav[ed] in" in agreeing that Sen. Hillary Clinton's name will be placed in nomination and receive a roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention, and he suggested that the agreement was an indication that "the way President Obama would negotiate" would be "to just keep caving in." During his interview with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Wallace said that "after giving Hillary Clinton a speaking role on Tuesday night and Bill Clinton a speaking role on Wednesday night, now Hillary Clinton's going to get her name placed in nomination and to have a roll call. Question: Is that the way President Obama would negotiate, to just keep caving in?"

Later, during the program's roundtable segment, Wallace asked the panel: "Obama has agreed -- and from what I'm told from people in the Obama camp, this wasn't something they were happy about, Claire McCaskill to the contrary not withstanding -- to have Hillary Clinton's name placed in nomination and to have a roll call vote. Smart politics or a show of weakness?"

In a joint statement from the Obama and Clinton press offices, Obama said that placing Clinton's name in nomination was a way of "honoring" her "historic campaign." From the statement:

"I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion," said Senator Barack Obama.

At no point did Wallace explain how Obama's willingness to allow a roll call vote on Clinton's nomination at the convention constituted evidence that "the way President Obama would negotiate" would be "to just keep caving in."

From the August 17 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: Senator McCaskill, the big news from Democrats this week is that after giving Hillary Clinton a speaking role on Tuesday night and Bill Clinton a speaking role on Wednesday night, now Hillary Clinton's going to get her name placed in nomination and to have a roll call. Question: Is that the way President Obama would negotiate, to just keep caving in?

McCASKILL: Well, first of all, there has not been any caving in. Hillary Clinton is not the enemy. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are working together on making this a great convention where we can talk about changing this country. You know, the policies of this administration, which are identical -- the economic policies to that of John McCain have, have driven this country into a ditch, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are working together, and what Barack Obama is doing is saying to Hillary Clinton, "What do you think would be best in terms of bringing us all together?" You cannot be afraid to work with anyone, certainly someone who agrees on the issues like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do.

[...]

WALLACE: Obama has agreed -- and from what I'm told from people in the Obama camp, this wasn't something they were happy about, Claire McCaskill to the contrary not withstanding -- to have Hillary Clinton's name placed in nomination and to have a roll call vote. Smart politics or a show of weakness?

MARA LIASSON (NPR national political correspondent): I think the answer to that question will be determined in Denver. I think that a lot of this is up to Hillary. There is going to be a real watch on the part of all journalists, everybody else, to see how gracious, how sincere she seems in really supporting him. One of the things she could do is take her name out of nomination after it was in and say, "Now, you know, my supporters can support me, but I encourage everybody to now vote for Obama." Or she could let the catharsis that she talks about so much to have its full rein, which -- who knows exactly what that's going to look like? I do think that her future in the party depends on how solidly she looks and seems behind Obama. Now she has to be a team player. I think I was a little bit surprised that the Obama campaign seemed to quick -- so quickly kind of concede to that, you know, that idea that she should be put in nomination. It's not completely unusual; lots of people's names are put in nomination. However, not lots of people have come this close, and you're gonna have, perhaps, the spectacle of a very close vote, almost, at the Democratic convention.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Chris Wallace
Show/Publication
FOX News Sunday
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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