Mo Rocca: What should Americans be asking themselves?

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.

  • Transcript


Question: What should Americans be asking themselves? Mo Rocca:It’s probably not healthy to evaluate a candidate . . . It’s probably not healthy to evaluate a candidate based on legacy. It’s sort of like leaping too far ahead. But I can’t help put wonder that if Hillary Clinton were elected, would she be the first woman? Or would she be the second Clinton? What would be that thing? And this seems almost romantic and unsubstantive, but the first woman president – that’s such a . . . that’s the female George Washington. What are those qualities that she should have? Because she’s gonna be this remarkable figure that plausibly, I think will be for little girls in the future, this inspiring figure. And you know it’s . . . And I don’t know . . . And that’s not . . . I’m not saying . . . I guess I’m not saying, like, she’s unsuitable. Maybe you can’t have a female George Washington. Maybe the system is such that it doesn’t . . . Maybe the system is such that it’s not viable for that hero, whoever she is, to step forward. Maybe it’s . . . Maybe it’s . . . Maybe the . . . Maybe the problem is that 200 years later . . . 220 some years later . . . 200 . . . Maybe the problem is that 230 . . . Where are we? Well it’s 1788. Maybe the problem is that 220 years later, the system doesn’t favor the female equivalent of a George Washington; that Hillary is the ideal woman candidate under the circumstances. I don’t know, but it’s an interesting . . . The . . . Barack Obama has . . . has . . . The first African-American has captivated us so much more that the idea of a first African-American has eclipsed the otherwise huge label of first female president. And so we have . . . It doesn’t seem like people have given thought to who that person should be, because she’s going to be . . . Whoever the first female president is is going to be this gigantic figure. Recorded on: 2/14/08