These are excerpts from a politically moderate blogger commenting on Obama first press conference on Friday the 7th. You can read it in its entirety at:
1. Let’s begin with the sign on the podium reading “The Office of the President Elect”. Why? People with any working knowledge of American government know that there is no such office. The world knows he is the President-Elect and needs no reminding. But making up something that is pure fiction appears insecure. It looks like there is a need to boost his status or impress others. It does neither. In fact, it does just the opposite. The sign was not only unnecessary, it was strange.
2. When the Obama team made the dramatic announcement of a pending press conference to address our economic circumstances, it immediately built expectations of a substantive presentation followed by an important give and take with the assembled press that was to be of significance and importance. A program to address the massive issues facing our economy most certainly should take more than a mere 16 minutes or so, some of which was spent discussing the new first dog,
3. This was billed as a press conference about solutions and the path forward, not about ‘woe is us’ and ‘the outlook is bleak’. The nation does not need an announcement to understand our fiscal condition when we can see it all day, every day at home, at work and in our communities. Such an effort came across as no more than a CYA exercise and denigrated the inspiring image of Obama carefully crafted during the campaign.
5. While the markets hung on the edge of their seats, awaiting some sort of signal as to what direction an Obama administration would take, no substantive information was forthcoming. Only generalities, platitudes and promises to be more specific come January 20th (where have we seen that sort of thing before). It does not take a genius to know that markets do not react well to a lack of clarity.
4. Then there was the cheap shot about former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Let’s see: she is in her 90’s, recovering from a recent broken hip and most certainly still suffering from a broken heart. So, if you are the President-Elect, why not belittle her and laugh about it. ( Hillary Clinton, as a matter of fact, did a seance with a psychic contacting Eleanor Roosevelt in the WHite House -Diddly)
6. Finally, it leaves a bad impression to run an announced and well promoted press conference by starting almost one half hour late and taking very few questions from the press, particularly those perceived as unfriendly. Was Obama intimidated by the topic or by the press? Is a late start an indicator of his ability to organize and prepare?