9. Tim Geithner: Ooh, burn. Getting turned away from Rahm Emanuel’s office on national television? That’s gotta sting.
8. Larry Summers: Let’s face it, the man does not look good in front of a lens, whether of the camera or even just ocular variety. Still, he managed to stay awake this time. That we saw, at least.
7. Reggie Love: Man, that dude’s cute.
6. Robert Gibbs: The press secretary was funny and friendly, even when going through the stress of dealing with Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina woman” comments with the press. “You walk along the colonnade at the end of the day, and it’s a little warm, and you realize you’re walking by the Rose Garden, and it’s a special place to be,” he told Brian Williams. Of course, it was easy to seem sweet when NBC was only asking the softest of softball questions.
5. Barack Obama: The president seemed calm, cool, collected, and a little distracted. But not warm — which is, of course, what we’d expect. The screaming, hysterical fans he encountered when he ventured out of the White House provided all the heat necessary.
4. Rahm Emanuel: Mostly the chief of staff was just caught on tape scurrying quickly from office to office, bossing people around, and shoving cameras out of his face. But during his brief interview with NBC, we heard about how much he missed his family, and remembered for a moment that he is a human. A frenetic, power-mad, scarab-beetle-like human.
3. Five Guys: Those fries in paper bags made us want to eat a second starch-only dinner last night.
2. Bo Obama: Sure, he may not have had much screen time. But when he adorably swatted away that microphone in the first moments of the special, we were reminded why he is the Most Important Puppy in the World.
1. NBC News: We understand how NBC managed to only point its cameras at screens that were playing news on NBC and MSNBC, and we get it that the lone White House reporter to really occupy screen time was Chuck Todd (even though other members of the press were heard asking tough questions off-camera during briefings). And we even understood all of the constant self-aggrandizing of the network in the intro, when Brian Williams boasted of all of the access they were granted (even though it did rub us the wrong way). It began to get on our nerves when they constantly mentioned The West Wing and played its soundtrack, and devoted portions of rare one-on-one interviews with the president to talk about Fred Armisen on Saturday Night Live and Conan O’Brien, but at least we saw what they were doing. But how did they get Barack Obama to only mention Pat Buchanan, Keith Olbermann, and Chris Matthews when he was talking about cable news in the limo? That is some serious network voodoo going on there.