We’re at Nathans in Georgetown, where ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is being interviewed by Carol Joynt.
Join us after the jump if you’re curious about George…
On bailout compromise: “I just think this is going to come togehter. I could be completely wrong.”
“We’re thinking about various options for Sunday,” in case Stephanopoulos’ original plan — McCain — is still working under a suspended campaign.
On booking guests: “When I make the call personally, that’s it: They’re booked.”
Without a bailout agreement, “the financial system would collapse.”
Says market has been “treading water.” If this collapses, you could see 1,000 point drop in Dow.
On Bush’s speech last night and his low popularity: “The President coming out and saying these things, he’s not necessarily going to be trusted, he’s not necessarily going to be supported.”
Stephanopoulos takes a cell phone call during the interview. “Is this urgent?” “I need to take two minutes and try to confirm this.” “There may be a deal.”
(Cue Jeopardy! theme song…)
Phone was from ABC control room in New York…What he’s been able to find out: “The Democrats believe…there is a framework of a deal…Republicans in the room are kind of signing on…”
On Bush administration: “60 days left in his administration, they’ve got less influence than ever.”
“I think you’re going to have a series of announcements over the course of the afternoon.”
“McCain has a problem. … He has everything going against him this election.”
“Obama won last week, clearly.”
“McCain won the first 30 second of the news…grabbed the spotlight…was willing to come off the campaign trail. … The next morning, it looks a little fishier…the deal was kind of coming together anyway.”
If they announce a deal and the debate goes on, Stephanopoulos thinks it could be a small win for McCain.
“McCain gets angry, Obama gets testy” in debates.
On Stephanopoulos’ debate with Charlie Gibson in April, which came under scrutiny: “I think the questions hold up a lot more than the criticism.”
Said he never came under any heat from ABC for it. Paraphrased David Westin’s reaction: “You did your job and keep going.”
“Events altered” his relationship with the Clintons. “It wasn’t like I walked out and wrote [his book, ‘All Too Human’].”
“I cover Sen. Clinton all the time and we’re cordial.” But you’re not pals? “Right.”
“The Hillary I first met, I didn’t think would ever run for office.” He didn’t think she had the taste for it. “I thought she liked being more of a behind the scenes advisor.”
On Bill Clinton’s behavior during the campaign: “I think he had a very tough job. It’s hard to argue on behalf of someone else. Especially hard when that person is your wife, when you want it so badly for her and yourself. He got a bad rap on many of the things he said. When he said that Barack Obama’s, the way he tells his story about Iraq is a fairy tale, that’s not racist. That said, what he said in South Carolina. … the timing was so poor because it seemed to be belitting.”
“Barack Obama is running the campaign that Clinton did in 1992.”
Called Bill’s speech in Denver “the best speech of his life and the most generous.”
“I can’t believe they want him to lose. And they can’t be seen to be blamed if he does lose.”
Did you ever have “Tim envy”? “Every single Thursday morning!”
“All I can do is put my show on. There’s nothing I can do until I know who they put up [as Russert’s replacement]. And even then, there’s not much I can do.”
On whether his Clinton White House experience is used as fodder against him: “If [politicians] feel like they’re in a corner, they’ll say, ‘When you were in the White House’ or something like that…Generally, I’ll ignore it. … I think I’ve proven I can do the job fairly. … Usually it’s not worth taking the bait…I’ve been doing this a long time now…eleven years.”
“People love the roundtable” at “This Week.”
“It’s fun to watch George Will and Katrina vanden Heuvel.”
“I’m not going to put Ann Coulter on.”