Maurice Alberto (Mo) Rocca is an American writer, comedian, and political satirist, is known for his off-beat news reports, satirical commentary, and as a former correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1998-2003). Originally from Washington, DC, Rocca graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a B.A. in literature. He served as president of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, performing in four of the company's notorious burlesques and even co-authoring one (Suede Expectations). Later, he worked as a writer and producer for the children's television series Wishbone (1995), The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (1996) and Pepper Ann (1997), and also as a consulting editor to the men's magazine Perfect 10. Rocca is a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and a regular contributor to CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. He is a regular correspondent for NBC's Tonight Show, most recently providing 2008 election coverage, as well as for MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He was a celebrity commentator on VH1's Best week ever, as well as the I Love The... shows. He was the host of Things I Hate About You on Bravo. Rocca was an on-the-floor correspondent for Larry King on CNN at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which he called an "Obamarama." He returned as a correspondent for the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Question: Is it a president’s job to resolve moral issues?
Mo Rocca: Yes. I think the president is . . . The president is both . . . The president is . . . The presidency in the United States is fairly unique. It’s both the head of state and the head of government, and that’s pretty rare. The head of government . . . The head of government we expect to fulfill a litany of duties – get in there and do A, B, C, D, E, whatever. The head of state is special. The head of state is ideally a reflection of our better selves; a heightened version of the common man or woman; this person that kind of embodies all that America should be. And you know to George Bush’s credit he doesn’t stint on . . . on who he is. I mean he puts it out there to be embraced or rejected. And that’s what’s so weird is that the Bush administration . . . This is a side point, but the Bush administration is visionary. I mean no one could ever claim that there was anything incremental about this administration. It was . . . It’s been a visionary administration with terrible eyesight.
Recorded on: 2/14/08