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.