The only place with more tension than Jackson Hole, Wyoming this morning was in Oprah's Spanx - pow zing!
The Chuck made his first post-Russert appearance on Meet the Press this morning mano y mano with Mr. Tom Brokaw. One had to keep a large dish towel under the television to sop up the excess testosterone oozing from the screen as these two conversed. The Chuck sat there relaxed with the Grand Tetons providing a breathtaking backdrop and Brokaw leaned forward in his chair, shoulders hunched looking like he was about to spring up to wag his finger in The Chuck's face for driving the family station wagon without his permission.
With that said, we're happy to say we've never seen The Chuck more at ease. He was authoritative and exuded a cool confidence that contrasted heavily with Brokaw's staccato delivery. About two minutes into the segment we asked each other, "Is Brokaw giving off some weird passive-aggressive vibe?" Then the most uncomfortable dead air occurred around two and a half minutes in when The Chuck finished up telling Tom about the battered Republican brand and then...crickets for the longest three seconds of your Sunday morning.
Then at about four and a half minutes in, The Chuck did what he's paid to do: prognosticate based on careful examination of current trends and data. Specifically, Obama not winning Montana and North Dakota. This set Tom off to quickly chide The Chuck in one might say, a condescending way: "Now be careful what you say at this stage about what he's going to win and what he's not going to win." The Chuck politely deferred to grandpa Tom's scolding and got back in the flow.
Now be careful? Be careful?! This is The Chuck we're talking about here. This ain't no Chris Matthews betting the house on Rudy Giuliani becoming the likely Republican nominee. This is The Chuck laying it out there based on he and his staff doing their homework. You say "Now be careful..." to a nine-year old when they're about to cross a street. You don't say it on-air to The Chuck!
Okay, we're calm now.