Sep. 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM ET
If you think we’re paying close attention to issues like Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon and the effect that YouTube videos can have in the streets of the Middle East, that’s nothing compared to what’s going on in the mind of the rulers in the regions.
Jon Stewart got to hear about Arab Spring from King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday’s “Daily Show.” King Abdullah, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, offered his take on the region in an extended interview.
Though, as Stewart noted at the beginning of the show, neither King Abdullah nor anyone else will be getting a private session with President Obama (in his defense, “The View” is a much cheerier setting than the U.N. Building), the Jordanian monarch gave him a taste of what he would say about the Iran situation if he were able to tear his way away from Barbara Walters and company.
“The way I put it to those who will listen is that the reason we have a nuclear program is because what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, and the future of Jerusalem,” he said. “So my argument is that if Israel and Palestinians solve their problems, that allows the Israelis and the Arabs to come together and have a peace treaty, then there’s no longer a raison d’être for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
The king also discussed Arab Spring and its effects, noting that while Jordan is surrounded by volatility (“we’ve seen better days,” he said), it got ahead of the game by making changes to its political system in advance.
“The difference between Jordan and other countries is that we changed the constitution. They ran elections and now have to change the constitution,” he said.
He also noted that some of the results that may not make some in the United States very happy right now are the inevitable results of the transition to Democracy.
“Arab Spring started because of the economy, and then it went from economic frustration to politics. What happened in a lot of countries was, as young men and women aspired to political form, those who were more organized like the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the movement. …But in a way, that’s Democracy,” he said.
And President Obama doesn’t need to worry about hurt feelings. As far as King Abdullah is concerned, choosing “The View” over world leaders isn’t bothering anyone.
“Not that I have heard, no. I think everyone is there preparing for their speeches.”
The decision to meet with “The View” audience as opposed to world leaders did bother Stewart, who began the show questioning the decision. But, as he noted, it doesn’t seem to be affecting his election chances.
“Whatever his missteps are as a candidate Obama is still surging in the polls because the closer we get to the election the dumber Mitt Romney seems to be getting,” he said.
The audience cheered, but Stewart shook his head.
“Really? Is that how you wanna win this thing? The other guy just tears his ACL -- that’s how you want to win?”
Up in the air
Over on the "Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert took a moment to chat about one of those "injuries" Romney recently suffered -- his airplane window gaffe.
On Saturday, an electrical fire caused the candidate's wife's plane to make an emergency landing. The event left Romney publically musing about airplane windows.
"You can't fine any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft because the windows don't open -- I don't know why they don’t… It's a real problem." he said after the incident.
"It is a real problem," Colbert agreed. "For one thing, it explains why Burger King doesn't have a fly-through window. … Just as Kennedy challenged us to put a man on the moon, now Mitt Romney is challenging us to add power windows to the Delta shuttle -- not because it is easy, but because it is impossible."
Meanwhile Ann Romney sat down with Jay Leno Wednesday night to talk about a wide range of things on the "Tonight Show" -- from flying in a smoke-filled plane, to the fact that the Romney family (they have five sons) loves Costco, and about her battle with multiple sclerosis -- oh, and also about the Republican candidate’s abilities as a hoofer.
“You know, Jay,” she said to Leno, “he’s gotten to be a better dancer.”
Cut to a doctored clip of Romney mixing it up “Gangnam Style.”
She was a game guest, but admitted that campaigning is stressful – and she didn’t expect to be doing it yet again. “It’s a hard thing to do this … especially being a wife and having to listen to (attacks in the media) all the time,” she told Leno, then ‘fessed up: Four years ago, she made her husband a very special videotape. “I looked in the camera, and I said, ‘Mitt, this is for you, sweetheart. I’m never doing this again.’ And I showed it to him. And he looked at it and then he said, ‘You know, Ann, you say that after every pregnancy.’ Which is true.”