Rachel Maddow interviews Barack Obama

Out talk show host and political commentator Rachel Maddow has doubled the ratings for MSNBC since she took over the 9:00 time slot with The Rachel Maddow Show. She has higher ratings among 25 to 54-year-olds than even Larry King. The media in general, and bloggers specifically, can’t get enough of her charismatic, level-headed, intelligent assessment of the day’s events.

So, it stands to reason that after last night’s half-hour hopegasm and brief appearance on The Daily Show, Barack Obama would want to end the most important week’s news cycle with America’s new girlfriend.

Maddow joined the Obama camp today at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL. It was a full crowd of “un-angry” people, Maddow noted, and also mentioned that she hung out around the third base line until she realized there was a Mister Softee truck inside the stadium in full reach of the press corps.

Watch the Obama interview that just aired on Maddow’s show here:

Maddow opened the floor for Obama to take a swing at the Republican party as a whole, something he’s been reluctant to do for his entire campaign. He demurred, basically saying that he didn’t want to burn the bridges leading to and from the White House, because he actually wants to try to govern when he gets in.

But before all that, Obama gave Maddow a tired grin and said, “I know you’ve been cruisin’ for a bruisin’ for a while now, looking for a fight out there.” She just smiled back. I don’t know how much news Obama watches, but Rachel Maddow always wins her fights.

Obama didn’t tip his hand any more than usual in his interview with Maddow. He reiterated his call for transparent government, tax cuts for the middle class, an overhaul of infrastructure, and emphasized the importance of diplomacy abroad.

What struck me most is that Obama treated Maddow as his intellectual equal.

I think that’s something he’s struggled with in this campaign, because he is that guy — the guy that seems to know everything. Maddow’s follow-up questions showed her commanding knowledge of both domestic and international issues, as well as the interplay of the campaign machine.

“That’s exactly right,” Obama said to her more than once, smiling indulgently. “That’s exactly right.”

Before the interview with Obama, she said that despite polling numbers, she doesn’t believe Obama has this thing in the bag. Either way, I think we can all agree that the winner of this presidential election is going to be Rachel Maddow. She’s America’s go-to girl.

Oh, and she’s MSNBC’s go-to girl, too: they just announced that she’ll be anchoring their election night coverage.

UPDATE: Here’s “the gay” clip from the episode:

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