Larry King was absolutely obsessed with marriage. Not only did he marry time and time again, but he peppered just about all of his guests with a barrage of questions about their marital status and aspirations -- especially if they were single.
Now Piers Morgan has taken over in the King slot at CNN. With Professor Condoleezza Rice as one of his first guests, he would surely tip his own hand. Would he, too, turn out to be a matrimaniac or would we see something a little less tired and worn?
I'll give him this -- he waited until the very last segment of the show to bring on the matrimonial inquisition. But then he spent that entire segment on it, and teased it with this:
"When we come back, Condoleezza Rice talks about her dream job, and more importantly, her dream man." [the emphasis is mine]
After the break, Morgan begins with this:
"Condoleezza Rice, you are and remain one of the most eligible women in Washington. How have you avoided being snared in the marital trap?"
Rice replies that she always expected to be married but "you don't get married in the abstract. You find someone that you'd like to be married to."
Here, now, is a series of questions Morgan tossed at Rice. She responds graciously to each (you can read the full transcript here -- go to the end to find the marriage discussion). I'm leaving out the answers for now, because I believe the questions alone are telling:
• How close have you come?
• How many times?
• Do you hold out hope?
• Did you dream of a fairy tale wedding?
• Are you romantic?
• If I was going to woo you... how would I?
• I couldn't imagine you ever being a sort of subservient wife. I'd imagine you'd be quite tough.
• Are you high maintenance?
• So if you were cooking me a meal -- what would you cook as a special kind of...?
• You sound like the dream woman.
• What ambitions do you have left?
• So look, ten years time, you can either be the first female president, or you can be happily married to a hunky NFL football player.
Piers Morgan establishes that Rice is not married, so he wants to know if she has come close. Then he asks how many times she has come close, whether she has dreamed of the fairy tale wedding, and whether she still holds out hope. I think he wants to know whether she is in the marriage game. Basically, he wants reassurance that she's not single at heart. She assures him, in response to one question after another, that she likes marriage, she came close to getting married, and she still hopes to be married. In her response to Morgan's first question, Rice had said that she "expected to grow up and get married like any nice Southern girl." In fielding Morgan's persistent queries, she's still playing nice.
Having established that Rice is going to tow the party line on marriage, Morgan's next set of questions, I think, are aimed at investigating the next issue -- if you are into marriage, but you are in your 50s and have never been married, what's going on? What's the problem? That's what I read into his lines of questioning about whether she resists being subservient, whether she would be (continue reading here).