In an interview with House Speaker John Boehner aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted the Speaker inviting two girls from a Washington D.C. inner city school to the State of the Union address, but rather than focus on the scholarship program Boehner supports, Lauer wondered: "They're your guests. Could you blame them, though, if they're not a little mesmerized by Barack Obama tonight? The nation's first African American president?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to aggrandize Obama, Lauer went further: "Is he, in your opinion, the most inspirational African American living right now?...You think that's the way these kids will feel when they watch?"
Lauer followed up by grilling Boehner on a lack of diversity in Congress and how that might impact the students: "They may look down at the floor of the House Chamber tonight, and while they'll see the nation's first African American president, they may see a smaller number of faces of color than they might expect....if they were to ask you, 'Why so many white faces, why not more African Americans?' How would you answer that question?"
In addition, Lauer fretted over Boehner's young guests witnessing political division:
They're also going to sit in some moments tonight - the President's going to say something, they're going to look down and half the room is going to clap and half the room is going to sit silent. And it might bring the question up, if they turn to you and say, "Mr. Speaker, what is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?" How would you answer that question?
Boehner replied: "My Democratic colleagues, God Bless them, you know, have all this faith and confidence in government. I have more faith and confidence in people, and want to do more to empower people to be able to help themselves and to be whatever they want to be."
Lauer then turned to the girls themselves, Lacy Joseph and Zuri Franklin, wondering: "Do you think Speaker Boehner and the President are friends?" When both of them said yes, a skeptical Lauer followed up: "You do?"
Source: Newsbusters | Kyle Drennen