Monday, February 09, 2009

President Obama's First Prime Time Press Conference

Click here to review a transcript of President Obama's press conference this evening as provided by CNN. Unfortunately, as of yet, I can't find any html video embedding coding of the press conference that works so linking the transcript is the best I can do.

Overall, I'm left with the following impressions:
  • Stylistically, no one on the political scene today can hold a candle to President Obama's ability to project intelligence, poise and composure. Substantively, however, the press was largely pathetic. Conservatives will likely gripe that not a single question was asked with respect to the tax problems of Obama's cabinet nominees and his team's suspect vetting process. And on that score conservatives have a valid complaint. Perhaps the press feels that's beating a dead horse but it certainly merited at least one question. If baseball's latest steroids controversy merited one question then how is it nobody asked a single question about Tom Daschle?
  • As for the economy, it irks me that the questions and Obama's answers were solely focused on the conservative point of view. Obama was defending the legitimacy of large spending against conservative criticism and the notion that only the federal government can inject the required capital. Listening to the questions and Obama's answers, one would think that the conservative critique is the only debate taking place. Somebody should have challenged President Obama from the liberal perspective and asked if the legislation offers too little spending. I suspect tomorrow's press conference with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be far more revealing with respect to domestic policy than anything we heard this evening.
  • I found Obama's responses to questions about his strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan disturbingly vague. Indeed, I'm very concerned that the national security team of Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton and Jim Jones are thinking tactically with no exit strategy in sight.
  • Kudos to the Huffington Post for asking about Vermont Senator Leahy's proposal for a truth and reconciliation commission to address any crimes committed by the Bush Administration. Alas, it's quite apparent that the Obama administration will be at best passive actors in facilitating any accountability. It is imperative that the liberal netroots keep the pressure on and demand justice. On this there can be no compromise.
  • I hope Helen Thomas lives forever.


Thunter said...

Great comments! I too am very pleased that Helen is back in her rightful place in the press corps. What shrub did to her was nothing short of petty and pure meanness.

DB said...

it irks me that the questions and Obama's answers were solely focused on the conservative point of view

This highlights what I find has been the root of the problem...the Republicans are controlling the message. They are out in front of this leaving the Democrats, who have the power, left in the dust defending themselves. They are looking weak on the PR front.

Egy Azziera said...

First off we would like to congratulate you on your fine public speaking skills. It looks like those who said the Obama Administration would strike while the iron is hot may have been correct, and the Administration may be doing it in a way that does not require them to even get a vote in Congress.