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: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton: is that a problem?
Mo Rocca::I think it’s a terrible, terrible thing. And I did a commentary about this a year and a half ago for “CBS Sunday Morning”. And at the time if people remember the campaigns had been going on so long there was talk about Jeb Bush maybe running. George H.W. Bush said he’d make a fine president. And so we were looking at the prospect of Clinton and Bush running against each other. And I don’t think people realize . . . Yes, we’ve heard this now over and over that since 1980 there has been a Bush or Clinton on the national ticket. And looked at another way, I think you’d have to be something like 52 years old to have been able to vote in an election in which there was not a Bush or a Clinton on the national ticket. Those figures have been bandied about, and they’re . . . they . . . but I don’t think people understand how terrible that is that we’re at a point now where the whole . . . the . . . where the whole mindset of the voter . . . the whole mindset of . . . The mindset of a whole swath of voters is perilously close to changing to you know what? We’ve gotta go with the people that have been there before. It’s very . . . I mean it’s like . . . It’s like a switch is about to . . . I think . . . Hillary Clinton’s merits aside, I think if she were the nominee of her party and were elected, regardless of how well or poorly she did in office, I think that there is . . . that there is a terrifying chance that a switch would have finally been pulled, and the majority of American voters would switch to looking forward to looking back when they vote; saying we need somebody who has ties to White House power from before. Like it would be . . . It would . . . It would also be a failure of imagination; a complete failure of . . . I mean it’s amazing to me that people aren’t more disturbed by dynasty. I mean you would have thought that this Iraq mess would have turned people off of it completely. I mean Jefferson must be spinning in his grave – I mean just doing like (makes a fast spinning sound). You know I mean because he had a problem with the appointment of Supreme Court justices for life, you know, and wanted to clean house. However many years I won’t pretend to know offhand. But this idea that people will say to me in casual conversation, “Now we really need someone who’s been in the White House before.” What? We really . . . We’re at a . . . “You know the world is so dangerous right now we really need a president who has actually been in the White House.” Oh okay. Well that kind of really limits the pool. Recorded on: 2/14/08