Just my Thoughts · Politics

Prime Time President

Yes, I was watching the presidential news conference last night.  Did I watch it with the same gusto I watched the first debate of the past election season?  Not a chance.  I have seen enough of President Obama for March.  I am not talking about enough clips on nightly news or cable news networks.  I am talking prime time.  I want to, by 8 or 9 at night, sit in front of the television with a good book and have mindless drivel on the tube.  This past week alone President Obama has interrupted my guilty pleasure of watching junk way too many times.  Yet, I watched the presidential news conference last night.


I was surprised that Obama, who in my mind was on prime time TV to help get what his Treasury Secretary had just asked for that morning in a Congressional hearing, wasn’t more emphatic in answering the opening question.  The Associated Press reporter wanted to know why the American citizens should trust the government with this new, sweeping powers.  While Obama did point out good reasons why the powers were needed, he was not emphatic enough.  He did not change my mind in thinking I do not trust Tim Geithner  enough to think these new powers are a good idea.


When Chuck Todd of NBC asked about individual sacrifice, Obama – who as a candidate, if I recall correctly, thought individual sacrifice would be necessary and would be asked for if he were to become president – mouthed the same general drivel about sacrifice that had come out of his predecessor’s mouth.  He did not say that the sacrifice needed was more spending.  He did not say that the sacrifice was to help your neighbor who may now be unemployed.  He did not even say wear a sweater and lower your thermostat.  He did not mention any sacrifice, just normal every day living.


While the press conference definitely focused on many of the recent days events – the Obama budget, AIG, new Treasury powers, the Mexican drug war in the US – there were a few oddball questions.  The funniest thing is I think that Obama, while he didn’t stumble, seemed less certain of his answers on these questions.  Obama took one question about race.  That answer seemed flippant to me but I am not black so maybe I was missing something.  


Obama took one question on embryonic stem cell research.  This was the question that I think he seemed most unready to answer.  He did answer it but his answer involved more pauses to be sure he was not saying something wrong and more ums.  To me, this shows he had prepared for certain questions – and who wouldn’t – and not for others.


The final question of the press conference came from a French correspondent – or should I say a correspondent from the French media.  It was about Israel and Palestine with the new Israel leadership.  While Obama answered the question, he tried hard to answer it without answering it.  That was a good move on his part, turning the question into a lesson on persistence instead of specifics about the Israel-Palestine issue.  For a president just a little over two months into his term, tackling this huge issue head on would probably have caused an international scene.

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