For a reporter, there are few higher honors than being called upon by the president to ask a question at a nationally televised press conference. During President Obama's rare press conference on Friday, only eight reporters had that chance. We decided to rate how they did.
The ground rules: We only considered the original questions, not their follow-ups, or their jokes. The rating is completely subjective and yet, oddly, completely correct. It's worth remembering the context: This was the first scheduled press conference since late April, one predicated largely on the president's announcement of reforms to a recently revealations about the nation's surveillance system.
1. Carol Lee, Wall Street Journal
I wanted to ask you about your evolution on the surveillance issues. I mean, part of what you're talking about today is restoring the public trust. And the public has seen you evolve from when you were in the U.S. Senate to now.
And even as recently as June, you said that these — the process was such that people should be comfortable with it. And now you're saying — you're making these reforms and people should be comfortable with those. So why should the public trust you on this issue and why did you change your position multiple times?
Lee wins this one fairly easily. Position counts. That she was the fourth reporter to ask a question but still hit on an important issue — how the president has apparently shifted his position and the political repercussions of doing so — is significant.