This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Now, that was Barack Obama quoting Abraham Lincoln during his victory speech on November 4. Since then, there has been an avalanche of comparisons between the president-elect and some historical giants.
Yesterday, we told you about a Newsweek article comparing Obama to Lincoln, and last week TIME magazine ran a cover story about the similarities between Obama and FDR. It's not just newspapers, but also television networks that are swept up in what Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz calls a giddy sense of booster-ism — he's right — over the Obama presidency.
Joining us now is the author of a brand-new book. By the way, I'm looking forward to reading, is "American Lion," the editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham.
Jon, good to see you.
JON MEACHAM, EDITOR, NEWSWEEK: Thanks.
• Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview with Jon Meacham
HANNITY: I really am looking forward to reading this. My producer has been reading it, loves it. Look, it's — I call it Obamamania media. You've got "Barack Obama, America's leader renews America's promise." This is a network. NBC, a DVD, "Yes, We Can: The Barack Obama Story." The New York Times, "Generation O."
Think we're going a little overboard here? He hasn't really done anything except won the election.
MEACHAM: We certainly could be. I think we're celebrating, we as a country, it seems to me, whatever our politics, the moment as much as the man. I really do believe that. That no matter where you stand, given our tangled, tragic, terrible racial politics.
HANNITY: That's fair. I agree with that. It's a good moment for America.
MEACHAM: It's a big moment for America.
HANNITY: For race relations. I agree.
MEACHAM: What we did — what we did last week was not saying that Obama was Lincoln, but he is very — he's almost a Lincoln obsessive and studies him. There's the great, obviously, Doris Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," which Doris has made "Team of Rivals" into a brand that makes Coca-Cola look like a small piker.
HANNITY: By the way, there's a media side to that and there was a recent columnist who suggested that I should be allowed access because he would invite opposition. I should be allowed to be with the Obama administration as, you know...
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: What job do you want?
HANNITY: No, as — I get to observe. I get to be Hannity, the opposition.
MEACHAM: The voice.
HANNITY: I get access.
MEACHAM: Well, how's that working out for you?
HANNITY: Not very well, Jon.
MEACHAM: Is your BlackBerry lighting up?
HANNITY: All right. Can you admit with me? Now, look, my — I suspect that he is far more radical than people — you know how I feel about this.
HANNITY: I think that he has not been vetted. I think he's been given a pass, and I think that the media has got caught up in Obamamania. True or false?
MEACHAM: Well, there's two questions there. Has he been fully — is he radical, and has the media been caught up? I don't think he's radical, because I think he's run a centrist campaign.
HANNITY: We're talking about his background.
MEACHAM: OK. Well, there are — to my mind there are two Obamas. There's the Obama of the Senate voting record, which is a very traditional liberal. Then there is a centrist man who ran for the presidency and won the biggest majority since George Herbert Walker Bush. Which one shows up for work is going to be the...
COLMES: Well, aren't we getting some signals, Jon, already in terms of which one is likely to be the — how he would govern? I mean, we find out who some of his appointees are. Hillary Clinton has not been a dove on the war necessarily.
COLMES: You have Rahm Emanuel, considered a centrist, not a far left radical liberal. Are we now seeing, as it takes shape, just what his governance would be like, perhaps?
MEACHAM: My view, and I have not drunk the Obama Kool-Aid, despite what Sean might think...
HANNITY: I didn't accuse you.
MEACHAM: I know. I think that we probably are going to see a centrist administration because, and this is a slightly specialized theory, remember, Obama is a writer. He's a storyteller. He's a maker of myths.
COLMES: Like Lincoln.
MEACHAM: Well, like Lincoln, like others, like great politicians, like Andrew Jackson. I think he wants the story to end well. And I believe, and I've been criticized for it recently — I believe we are fundamentally a center right nation.
COLMES: Oh, come on. This election would have disproved that.
HANNITY: By the way, I think you're right.
COLMES: Where people stand on health care, where they stand on education, where they are on a whole range of things.
MEACHAM: You have a Democratic president running who does not want to mandate universal health care. The rest is commentary.
COLMES: Well, he wants — doesn't want to mandate it, but he wants to have health care, the government to compete with private, insure 47 million people. That's not center right.
MEACHAM: I just think that — I think we're going to have a centrist administration.
HANNITY: Can I say one thing? You know, this is a great book. I can't — I've just begun reading it. I'm really...
COLMES: Sorry, Sean, we've got to run.
COLMES: Thank you for being here.
MEACHAM: Thank you.
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