Theodore's World: Obama and His Endless News Conferences

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November 28, 2008

Obama and His Endless News Conferences

The President-Elect, Talking Turkey

Washington Times

By Dana Milbank

Thursday, November 27

President-elect Obama had nearly finished his third news conference in as many days yesterday when he decided to favor his audience with one more tasty morsel of information about the just-announced members of his economic team.

"I want you to know that both Paul and Austan have special turkey-cooking recipes, if anybody out here needs some advice on how to make the ideal turkey," Obama offered.

Let's leave aside the question of whether credible cooking advice could come from Carter Fed Chairman Paul Volcker or University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee. Let's also look beyond the question of whether, at a time when the economy has gone afoul, we want it run by people who specialize in making "the ideal turkey."

The real news is that Obama had clearly run out of things to say.

It is a case of being careful of what one asks for. When Obama went to ground for about 10 days, making no public announcements and furtively slipping in and out of the gym, pundits wondered what had become of the "transparent transition" he promised. But Obama buried that complaint this week with an extraordinary blitz:

His second, third and fourth news conferences set a new record for a modern president-elect, and he still has nearly two months to go.

But Obama is not in charge yet -- a point he makes with such regularity it seems to have become a tic. And so, after he makes the day's personnel announcements, voices concern about the economy and speaks vaguely about his plans, there isn't much left to say.

In an interview with ABC News's Barbara Walters broadcast Wednesday night, Obama found himself talking about giving up his BlackBerry ("This is a problem") and his daughters' chores:

Michelle Obama: "They're gonna need to be able to make their beds and . . ."

Walters: "Really?"

Michelle Obama: "They do that now."

Walters: "In the White House they're gonna have to make the beds and clean up their rooms?"

Barack Obama: "Doing that since they were 4 years old."

Michelle Obama: "That's gonna be one of my goals. Don't make their beds. Make mine." (Laughs)

Barack Obama: (Laughs).

At yesterday's news conference, the president-elect discussed his shopping plans in response to a query from the New York Daily News's Tom DeFrank.

"Well, we are going to do some Christmas shopping," he said. "And Malia and Sasha have already put their list together. It's mostly for Santa. They send their letter every year. But -- but we may do some extra shopping as well."

At Tuesday's news conference in Chicago, Obama found himself discussing a reporter's headgear:

Obama: "I didn't recognize you because you don't have the floppy hat that you had during the campaign."

Reporter (picking up hat): "I actually do."

Obama: "There it is. Man, that's what I'm talking about."

The overexposure of the president-elect seems designed to reinforce two points.

First: He plans to hit the ground running. "We need people who are going to be able to hit the ground running," he said yesterday. This was the same wording he used on Tuesday, his strategist David Axelrod used Monday, his adviser Valerie Jarrett used on Nov. 12, his transition chief John Podesta used on Nov. 11, and Obama used back on Nov. 8.

Second point: that "there is only one president at a time," as Obama put it yesterday. And Tuesday. And Nov. 18. And Nov. 8. And Nov. 7. Axelrod, Goolsbee and Jarrett have dutifully echoed the point on the airwaves.

That's technically true -- but the actual president seems to have no interest in making news of any sort. Yesterday, he ventured into the Rose Garden to deliver the news that he was pardoning two turkeys, Pumpkin and Pecan. "Pumpkin and Pecan have an exciting trip ahead of them: Later today, they will fly to Disneyland aboard 'Turkey One,' " the commander in chief announced, before turning wistful. "This is my final Thanksgiving as the president. Over the past eight years, I have been given many reasons to be thankful."

With that act to follow, Obama can't be surprised that people are treating him as if he's already the president. At yesterday's session in Chicago, CNN's Ed Henry gave him the business, demanding to know why he had tapped so many former Clinton aides and even a Bush man, the Pentagon's Robert Gates.

"Paul Volcker has been around a long time," Henry pointed out. "You talked about [how] John McCain was going to come back to Washington if he won and would just move people into different chairs. We got Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates --"

Henry didn't even get to mention Rahm Emanuel, John Podesta, Greg Craig, Ron Klain, Eric Holder, Bill Richardson and the rest before Obama cut him off.

"First of all, that's not the topic," Obama instructed Henry. "We're not talking about my Cabinet, because I haven't made those appointments yet."

Wild Thing's comment.........

LMAO I love how this article is written..... they are seeing what a bore and egomaniac Obama is.

"The real news is that Obama had clearly run out of things to say."

Oh my, Obama is not even the president yet and his libtard media has grown bored with him.

"First of all, that's not the topic," Obama instructed Henry.

Wonder how long until the press gets tired of Obama thinking that because he's in charge he can speak to them with such impunity.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 03:55 AM


He couldn't even shut up for the holiday!
This man can't shut up about things he knows nothing about. What's he gonna be like once he gets in office and runs out of things to say? Tell us the sky is green when it's actually blue? Read us Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham because the children need to hear those stories?
I wish he'd get laryngitis, but that would be mean to wish something on someone, so I won't.
He just needs to simmer down and relax and enjoy his family while he can.

Posted by: Lynn at November 28, 2008 05:46 AM

And what is this about his weekly radio addresses. I don't seem to recall any other president-elect doing that. And Senator Obama ... yes he's the president elect, but that's not an offical title.

Posted by: Jo at November 28, 2008 09:15 AM

Meanwhile in India...... The question will our "President Elect" hit the ground running on that issue? Or hit the ground running away?
There is some truly scary stuff happening out there, and I for one feel,that the bad guys are just warming up. Testing the waters you might say.
They know an opportunity when they see it.

Posted by: SEAN HANAGAN at November 28, 2008 10:14 AM

This Obama turkey can't stop talking because he is so full of himself that he thinks that the world revolves around him and everything that he says is wisdom from Mt. Olympus. He is always in campaign mode promoting his own self-image as if he had something important to say when, in fact, it is just diarrhea of the mouth. Forget radio addresses, this megalomaniac does not want people to just hear what he says, but they must also see him visually in all of his glory and Messiah greatness.

Hopefully, this self-promoting overexposure will blow up in his face as more and more people realize that he is not the answer, but a worse and psychotic problem.

Posted by: Les at November 28, 2008 11:06 AM

Keep talking Obama. You can only make things bad for yourself. You will prove to be boring and empty. You will contradict yourself. You will lie. You will err.

I am expecting some strife between Obama and the Democratic leadership. They are all egotists. Each will probably be very defensive of their own serfdom. Especially Pelosi. I kind of think things may not work out well between Hillary and Obama either. We will see.

Posted by: TomR at November 28, 2008 11:16 AM

Phineas Taylor Barnum would be proud of Obama's accomplishments. "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me."

Not bad for a stuffed suit, that has managed to resurrect the old Clinton repertoire, the misfits, the freaks, even the troll who lurks under the office desks spreading DNA on ladies wear.
For sure there are (and always will be) a lot of gullible people in the world including the American press for Obama Almighty to impress. At least half the population are sequestered under his thumb. This administration will be like a 4 engined airplane with all the engines out of sync and pulling in different directions.
Dingy Harry and the Baroness from San Francisco have had over a two year head start on the turf issues and are expert in running in reverse thrust, the rest can be bought from funds at the public trough.
That Obama is arrogant enough to play the FDR game of weekly radio addresses, belies the fact that he wouldn't make a good carbuncle on FDR's backside.

"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy." -Sir Winston Churchill

Posted by: Jack at November 28, 2008 01:21 PM

Oh boy, gonna be a loooooong 4 years, maybe. C'mon illegal birth certificate, kick this guys ass out on the street.

Posted by: Mark at November 28, 2008 06:59 PM

Off Topic....WHY does the REAL world tolerate Islam? It's a pretend religion, invented by an idiot who lived in a cave for "X...years", eating "magic" mushrooms and breathing poisionious gas.

Good Grief....Timothy O'L. could have done this.

Posted by: Steve, USMC at November 28, 2008 07:01 PM

Lynn, oh that is a brillant idea, yes I would love for him to have laryngitis for 4 years straight. hahaha

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:13 PM

Jo, your so right, I don't think any other President elect has done this ever. It is really disgusting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:17 PM

SEAN HANAGAN, probably hit the ground running away. So far he has yet to be the first to make a statement when something happens. He has always waited to hear what Bush said or McCain during the elction then Obama will make a statement. hahaha Once he is sworn in he won't be able to do that anymore. haahaha

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:20 PM

Les, I think so too, thanks for the link to the video. Obama's ego may be too big for the Oval office and the job as President. Maybe he will have a TV crew follow him around to help feed his ego.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:22 PM

Tom, heh heh yes keep talking Obama. Your right about the more he talks the more chance for him to mess up.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:23 PM

Jack, great quotes thank you for both of them.

Yes I can just see his sheep pulling up their chair close to the TV screen to make sure they get every word, every gesture... oh augh. I am making myself sick here. hahahaa

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:27 PM

Mark, it sure is, it is going to feel like time is in slow motion for 4 l-o-n-g years.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:29 PM

Steve, USMC, my answer would be because after seeing how so many Americans truly are stupid,there is the answer. haha I never knew there were so many kool aid drinkers in our country. The terrorists must really feel like they have a door open now to do what they want.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 28, 2008 07:34 PM