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: Would a Clinton-Obama ticket be good for the Democratic Party?
Mo Rocca:I think an Obama-Clinton ticket would be a little too much to take. I think it would just . . . Regardless of whatever merits it might have . . . And it might have a lot of merits. It might make a lot of sense on substance. It just would . . . It just cries out to be mocked as the Democratic Party being so pleased with itself how far it’s come; the celebration of the gorgeous mosaic. And you know what? I say that, but then again who knows? We’ve already been really surprised by this. I will say that . . . to give myself credit, that when Obama entered the race, you know, the conventional wisdom on race has never held true. I mean people are very . . . This is a country that worships Oprah Winfrey. I mean the woman gets people to read books, which is a far harder thing to do than to get them to vote. I mean to actually read books . . . So you know and she’s a black woman . . . I think it was always more complicated than a lot of people said, “Oh, a black man can’t be elected president.” I mean even if he doesn’t get the nomination, it’s clear at this point that he could be elected president, that there are circumstances under which he could. I mean it’s . . . You know especially in these . . . in these . . . And by the way there is one conventional wisdom going around after Super Tuesday that, well, she won the important Democratic states; but he won the states that Democrats can’t win, so it doesn’t mean anything. Well that’s kind of silly. I think you could . . . You could flip it around and say all the states that she won – those Democratic states – if he were the nominee he’d win them anyway because the margins were close enough. It wasn’t like California, you know, ignored Obama. But in fact his winning these other states, a few of them are swing states and are incredibly important states.
Recorded on: 2/14/08