This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 16, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In "The Obama Chronicles" segment tonight: the controversial wife of the Democratic candidate, Michelle Obama.
"Chronicle" facts: Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago. Her father worked for the city. He died from MS in 1991. Her mother worked as a secretary. She still lives on the southside of Chicago.
She has one sibling, her brother, who coaches the Oregon State University basketball team. She graduated from Princeton and has a law degree from Harvard. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They have young two young girls.
Joining us now from Washington, Michelle Otis, a columnist for HumanEvents.com, and here in the studio Rebecca Johnson, who wrote a profile of Mrs. Obama for Vogue magazine.
You spent some time with her. How much time?
REBECCA JOHNSON, VOGUE MAGAZINE: A few hours.
O'REILLY: Just a few hours with her.
JOHNSON: A half a day.
O'REILLY: How did you find her in person? Was she engaging?
JOHNSON: I found her lovely, actually. Very bright, very thoughtful. You know, an impressive person, intelligent. She was great. I was impressed.
O'REILLY: Now I have a lot of people who call me on the radio and say she looks angry, and I have to say there's some validity to that. She looks like an angry woman.
JOHNSON: Don't they say about that you, too?
O'REILLY: Yes, but I'm not running for — I'm not going to be the first lady. I hope not anyway. The perception is that she's angry in some quarters. Valid?
JOHNSON: Well, they say she looks angry because maybe of the cast of her eyebrows or something like that. But no, I don't find her to be angry. I think what happens is that we expect women to be cheerful and happy all the time in that kind of television personality kind of way, and she's not like that. She's a thoughtful person. She's not going to...
O'REILLY: Warm and fuzzy?
O'REILLY: Not warm and fuzzy?
O'REILLY: Even to you she's trying to win over as an author of the piece?
JOHNSON: She was not trying to win me over in any way.
JOHNSON: Not at all.
O'REILLY: Because it's interesting, because those people — talking to somebody who's going to write about them, want to win them over. She didn't want to win you over?
JOHNSON: No, not at all.
O'REILLY: Why not?
JOHNSON: And it's interesting, because I actually — I've also interviewed Sarah Palin. She was very friendly and very...
O'REILLY: Tried to win you over.
JOHNSON: Yes. But Michelle wasn't trying to win me over with kind of a false chumminess. She is somebody who speaks her mind and stands on her own. And whether I liked her or not, I don't think was particularly important to her, no.
O'REILLY: OK. Interesting.
Now Michelle, what have you found out about her as far as career-wise? We have her resume. She worked for a hospital in Chicago. When her husband became a senator her salary doubled, and then the hospital got a million dollars or more from the taxpayer because her husband, Barack Obama, earmarked that. So a lot of people say, "Hey, look, this was a nice little cozy club here." What did you find out?
MICHELLE OTIS, COLUMNIST, HUMANEVENTS.COM: Absolutely. You think it would kind of come off that way, sort of in a style of Chicago politics. You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours. But she rightfully got a promotion. It's the earmarks after that makes us question why she got the promotion. And it was a 59 percent increase in salary.
O'REILLY: Now, to be fair, we've researched the other salaries in Chicago for her job, and they're pretty much at that level.
OTIS: Would agree. Would agree. I don't think it's the salary. I don't — and she has said that it was sexist for us to question her promotion.
O'REILLY: She told you that it was sexist?
OTIS: No. She's told other reporters when people asked her why she got the promotion, that she thought it was sexist to ask such a question. I don't think it's about gender. I don't think it's about race. I don't think it's about anything but it's about the earmark that came after.
O'REILLY: The earmark was obviously...
JOHNSON: Can I?
O'REILLY: Yes, sure, go ahead. Jump in.
JOHNSON: The reason that her salary increased the way it did is because she went from part-time to full-time. And she was part-time because she was raising her children.
O'REILLY: And she got a promotion, too.
JOHNSON: She got a promotion. And because she had...
O'REILLY: I don't have any problems with the promotion. But the money that flowed into the hospital, obviously, that's pork and you can decide.
Now, did you find out about the angry woman thing, Rebecca? I'm sorry, Michelle? Did you — is there any validity to that? Or is that an urban myth?
OTIS: I wouldn't say it's an urban myth. I think we all can tell just by appearances and speeches and the way that Michelle has personified herself that she's not warm and fuzzy. We know that about her.
O'REILLY: All right. But neither is Hillary Clinton. You know…
OTIS: Really. And I think that she — we could compare her to — in the way I've tracked her career and her resume, I would say she is a stealth Hillary Clinton.
O'REILLY: OK, so you would compare her more to Hillary Clinton than somebody who's angry with her country, because obviously, that played into the remark about — and people can make up their own minds about that remark.
O'REILLY: Again, she said it. She apologized for saying it. You can make up your mind. So all in all, your summation, your personality profile of her is what?
OTIS: I think she's an accomplished woman. I think that it goes without saying that she's done a good job in her career. But I think that it's OK for the media to question some of her ethical choices in her career, as well as Barack Obama.
O'REILLY: All right. Rebecca, you want to have the last word on this?
JOHNSON: Well, the stealth Hillary Clinton comment. She has very carefully not addressed policy in any interview, which I actually found frustrating, because I would like to...
O'REILLY: She wouldn't tell you?
JOHNSON: Absolutely would not. I'm not running. And she's obviously studied Hillary Clinton's playbook and learned from it. And so, you know, I miss her. I'd like to see her out there more.
O'REILLY: Real quick, I think she'll have a profound influence as first lady on Barack Obama. I think she — he seeks her council. Do you agree?
O'REILLY: Do you agree with that?
OTIS: I agree, Bill. I think she wears the pants.
O'REILLY: I didn't say that.
Ladies, thanks very much.
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