By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
A few things before we get going:
Do we believe Roger Clemens?
And to those of you who have written about Multiple Myeloma, thank you. Indeed, our family has been touched by it, and its my pleasure to support the good folks (and great achievements) of the MMRF. Dr. Ken Anderson is regarded as something of a living saint by the patients who have come to know him.
Last night, minutes after our story about the "floating cross" some people insist was intentionally featured in the Huckabee Christmas campaign ad, we got emails from viewers saying they had noticed something similar in the background during our interview with Time Magazine managing editor Rick Stengel. I can't believe people "discovered" it. Or maybe it's true that people just see what they want to see.
Yesterday we talked about the OEOB and energy. I listed quotes to show that "energy independence" is not a new goal. Today we concentrate on silverware. The moral of the collection of quotes below: President Bush wasn't the first one to joke -- as he did today -- about people "stealing" the silverware from the White House. Nor was he joking about it for the first time! Take a look at these varied attempts at presidential humor, all of a theme:
Good morning. I hope you all enjoyed the holiday reception at the White House as much as Laura and I enjoyed it. We took an inventory of the silverware, and this year only a few pieces were missing. So like if you see Gregory, tell him to bring them back.
-- President Bush at today's press conference (referring to NBC's David Gregory)
I love meeting with the Members. For those of you who have been to our office, thanks for coming. For those of you that have not been to our office yet, you're coming. Just don't take any silverware. [Laughter]
-- President Bush, February 2, 2001, two weeks after taking office; remarks at the Republican Congressional Retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia
It's good to see my old fellow owner, "the Boss." [Laughter] What a record you've had -- a man who demands excellence and oftentimes gets it. [Laughter] But thank you for coming, George. I know the real boss of the Yankees is here, too, Arthur Richman. [Laughter] How are you, Arthur? Good to see you. I told you one of these days we would get to the White House. Just don't take any silverware, Arthur. [Laughter]
-- President Bush, May 4, 2001, referring to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and senior advisor Arthur Richman during remarks honoring 2000 World Series Champion New York Yankees.
Thank you all for coming. I'll see you Thursday, coats and ties. [Laughter] This year, Gregory, don't take any silverware. [Laughter]
-- President Bush, December 15, 2003 press conference; referring to upcoming holiday party
I want to thank Bob Wallace, the executive director. He spends a lot of time in the Oval Office. I'm always checking the silverware drawer. [Laughter]
-- President Bush, August 22, 2007, referring to VFW executive director Robert E. Wallace during remarks at Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
As you know, this is the second time that we've had editorial cartoonists here during this term. Last May 1 had some of you over for lunch. We're still looking for the missing silverware. [Laughter]
-- President Ronald Reagan, May 7, 1987; remarks to Members of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists
We have a lot of ground to cover tonight -- from New Orleans to Washington. We'll have an update on Rudy Giuliani's health, and a report on the so-called "War on Christmas." (My favorite is the retailing website that talks about opening gifts on "holiday morning"... exactly what morning is that?) We'll cover politics, medicine and more.
We hope you can join us tonight -- and thank you.