I DVRed it and watched it later. My thoughts soon. Meanwhile, Ben Smith:
Tonight marks Obama's second prime time press conference. By comparison -- notes Alex Conant -- George W. Bush and Bill Clinton each had four over eight years.
...for once the media seem to be asking tough questions of Obama. The tone of this press conference seems much more serious and critical than Obama's first prime time press conference.
Earth shattering that was not.
After seeing a session like this, it is hard to understand how right-wingers can keep up their "Obama can't talk without his teleprompter" theory -- although it's hard to know, given his campaign-debate performance etc, how anyone could have advanced this view in the first place.
I don't always agree with Obama on health policy. (See "Individual mandates, 2008 campaign debate.") But it's very reassuring to hear the president speak so confidently, and astutely, about the problems of our health care system.
Drum on the highlight of the night:
Ed Henry asked Obama why it took him a few days to respond to the AIG bonus scandal. Answer: "It took me a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I say something." Ba-da-bum!
What did strike me was that there was not a single question on what I think is the question of the day: the Geithner bank rescue plan. I take it that that means that most of the reporters think that issue is largely behind us now unless and unless the market or any clear economic realities say otherwise. For better or worse.
Personally, I was hoping that Obama would be probed in a bit more depth about the specifics of the Geithner plan. But -- and this is not meant in a bad way -- that's not the real area of expertise of the people in the room, and some of the folks who plausibly might have been exceptions (the reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, for instance) weren't offered the opportunity to ask questions.
I think it was a B. He didn't hurt himself, but I don't see how he helped himself. He still seems presidential, even though he was often longwinded. He had some good answers and some bad, politically speaking.
...it would be nice if some news came out of these things. That certainly hasn't happened so far. There have been no big announcements, no new positions, no surprises of any kind. It's just another opportunity for the president to sell his agenda. As always, he's doing that much pretty well.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.