In this competitive season, falling between the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards, it's tempting to see everything on TV as a contest. So we're moved to suggest awards categories for two events that took place Sunday night: Steve Kroft's interview with Barack Obama and Katie Couric's interview with Hillary Clinton. Both teams of competitors appeared on CBS' "60 Minutes."
In the category of Question Most Likely to Bring the Interview to an Abrupt End, the nominees are:
• Kroft: "Did you play basketball on Super Tuesday?"
• Couric: "Someone told me your nickname in school was Miss Frigidaire. Is that true?"
Most Annoying Follow-Up Question After a Clear Answer:
• Kroft and Obama, for:
Kroft: "There's been nastiness already. There's probably going to be more nastiness. Is there a point at which you go to the closet and pull out Clinton's skeletons?"
Obama: "No. No."
• Couric and Clinton, for:
Couric: "How do you do it? I mean, the satellite interviews, the speeches, the travel, the debates, the schmoozing, the picture taking, 24/7 . ... I'm talking about pure stamina."
Clinton: "Pure stamina. I have a lot of stamina and I have a lot of resilience."
Couric: "Having said that, do you pop vitamins? Do you mainline coffee?"
Smoothest Product Placement:
• Clinton: "My two secrets to staying healthy -- wash your hands all the time. And, if you can't, use Purell or one of the sanitizers. And the other is hot peppers. I eat a lot of hot peppers. I -- for some reason started doing that in 1992 and I swear by it."
• Obama: "You know, there are a lot of companies that have been around longer than Google. But Google's performing."
• Also nominated, in the same category, Obama again: "I think there's a lot of affection for the Clinton brand among Democrats."
(Ms. Couric's "Frigidaire" question cannot be nominated in two categories.)
Deepest Attempted Plumbing of a Candidate's Soul:
• Couric: "Even in your deepest, darkest moments, when you're exhausted, you don't think, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going through this, I'm spending so much money, I'm so tired and this could be all for naught? What if that happens?'"
• Kroft: "Are you the same person you were a year ago?"