CNN Has A “Swagger Expert”

Then again, would you expect anything less of The Best Political Team on Television (in this, The Week Of Obama’s 100th Day)? The other cable channels may have (or call in) body language experts or lip-reading experts but can anyone but CNN claim its own “swagger expert?”

Just now above the chyron “First 100 Days: Assessing the Swagga,” CNN’s T.J. Holmes (billed in the teaser to the segment as “our resident swagger expert”) assembled a panel of other presumed such experts and asked them:

What have you all seen? Maybe you haven’t said it publicly in some interview or something, but, you know, hanging out with your boys, having a beer somewhere. Did you see something that the president did and you were like, that’s a brother right there. Like he just has a bit of a swagger that is familiar to black men.

Evidence of “swagga” offered by the panel included: Obama being corrected by his wife during an interview and accepting it graciously; and, Obama hugging people.

After the segment, fellow CNN anchor Heidi Collins Kyra Phillips (who’d teased the segment by telling viewers, “If you look closely, you might notice the commander in chief has more swagger than Mick Jagger…”) asked Holmes whether any white American president has had swagger, to which Holmes replied:

Maybe it’s one of these things you’re not supposed to say, but you can go from Billy Dee Williams to Shaft to whoever you want to talk about and there’s just a bit of a swagger that we associate with them…

After which Collins Phillips and Holmes (really!) “hug it out” and exchange a “fist-bump.”

(h/t, Matt Yglesias via Twitter)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.