The producers at “Today” had to know that pairing Bill Clinton and “Office” star Mindy Kaling in a segment where they list their favorite books would produce odd results, right? We could just imagine the discussion in the editorial meetings: “The President is going to pick a biography of Lincoln and Mindy is going to talk about a Lady Gaga photo book. It should be hilarious!”
That’s the only way we can comprehend how this was put together. Add to the mix Ann Curry, who decided to ask Clinton about what he thinks about North Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il before clumsily launching into the guests’ book picks, and you’ve got yourselves the making of a classic trainwreck of a segment. The only thing better would be if Mindy weighed in on North Korea, as well, as she joked about in a tweet after the interview. She was lost enough just trying to talk about Tina Fey‘s “Bossypants” after Clinton discussed “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius.
The awkwardness continued in the next half-hour, as Curry dismissed Kaling and kept Clinton around to conduct an interview that careened from the items on his book list to questions about whether he thinks Newt Gingrich has the temperament to be president. Watch that piece below: