January 28, 2013
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak with ”60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft. (AP Photo/CBS)
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak with ”60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft. (AP Photo/CBS)

Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” issues something of a full disclosure — even a nostra culpa — in introducing his sit-down interview with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

On Friday, we had the opportunity to sit down with the two of them side by side. The White House offered us 30 minutes, barely enough time to scratch the surface of their complicated personal and professional relationship, let alone discuss their policies on Iran and Israel, Russia and China, Egypt and Libya. There has been much speculation about their evolution from bitter opponents to partners in the corridors of power and the motivation for doing this interview. Now, you can be the judge.

The judge of what, precisely?

Over two segments (see video below), Kroft manages to squeeze not a single tense moment out of these two potentates-cum-former-rivals. The dramatic high point of this one comes at the end of the first segment, when Kroft asks a question about whether President Obama’s endorsement of Clinton carries an expiration date—a clear reference to 2016. The president reacts: “Steve, I got to tell you, you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago and you’re talking about elections four years from now.”

On policy matters, Clinton says “I deeply regret” what went on in Benghazi and later says this on foreign policy: “We live not only in a dangerous but incredibly complicated world right now.”

The president matched her platitude for platitude: “There are transitions and transformations taking place all around the world. We are not going to be able to control every aspect of every transition and transformation.”

Just as advertised: Surface unscratched.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.