Sam Donaldson on Obama Flashing Anger: 'That's Not Him'

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: As a special treat for David Chalian’s last “Top Line,” veteran ABC newsman Sam Donaldson joined us to discuss the week’s big political developments.

With President Obama flashing some anger at BP over the oil spill – after the White House said the president saw no need to dial up the rhetorical volume – Donaldson told us that Obama is moving into territory that isn’t his.

“The tough language -- he now wants to kick some, eh, some, you kno,w [bleep]. And I'm thinking about poor Joe Biden when he turned away from the microphone and said, ‘This is a big [bleeping deal],’ ” Donaldson told us.

“Are we gonna hear that word from Barack Obama? ‘It's [bleep].’ He is Mr. Cool. He's no-drama Obama. For him, someone told him, ‘Get out there and show your anger -- it's gonna consume you otherwise.’ So he goes out and uses that word, and we say, ‘That's not him.’ Boy, do you ever…”

“If you start being somebody else -- Arlen Specter -- you don't do very well,” he said.

Donaldson also touched on Helen Thomas’ retirement from the White House beat, plus Sarah Palin’s pull in Republican primaries.

And he and I both paid tribute to David Chalian, who is leaving his post as ABC’s political director for a new job at PBS. Chalian and Donaldson co-hosted ABC News NOW’s “Politics Live” through the 2008 election; that program morphed into “Top Line” early last year.

“I'm here to plead with David: Is it too late? Are you really gone?” Donaldson asked.

Watch the full interview with Sam Donaldson HERE .

For our “Post Politics” segment, we checked in with Perry Bacon Jr. of The Washington Post, to discuss the latest rounds in the never-ending battle over health care reform, plus the election results in California and the week’s other big primaries.

Watch the segment with Perry Bacon HERE.

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