10 February 2009

Professor Obama Lectures White House Press

I called my buddy immediately after President Obama exited his press conference, before the commentators could begin to start telling us what we just saw.

"My man," I said, "did that Negro talk his behind off or what?"

"Man, I fell asleep. I just woke up."

"You're in good company. S. was asleep before the president finished answering the first question. Dude, the damn dog was yawning at the TV."

My buddy paused, letting a small yawn of his own pass. "He's going to have the reporters scared to ask questions with answers like that."

I've never really been a fan of these kinds of things, because they usually are more about style than substance. Multi-dimensional thinking is what I want in my president. Someone who has the capacity to use the entire capacity of their brain power when things go wrong – not just the left side, or the just right side, or the just damn middle, but the whole entire thing.

President Obama transformed into Professor Obama before our eyes, segueing from reading his remarks from the teleprompter to answering questions from the press. Professor Obama proceeded to take over the question and answer session with a fifty minute performance. At times, it seemed like he was teaching freshman seminar classes in economics and political science.

It was very impressive at first, but by the end of the evening the president's wide ranging answers had become a bit pedantic, with the length of his comments threatening to try the patience of even the most dedicated political junkies.

"You probably felt like you were back in law school watching this," I said to my buddy as we joked about the president's "around the world in eighty days" method of not exactly answering the questions he was posed.

My buddy groaned audibly, as if I had dredged up a painful memory. "Yeah - he's a professor alright."

"Man," I said, "Obama was excited to be there. There was fire and enthusiasm in his monologue. It was like the trip to Elkhart was his warm up, like the day trips used to be back on the campaign for his big night time rallies that were more likely to be on prime time TV for free."

President Obama put the "bully" in "bully pulpit last night, using his celebrity and his breadth of knowledge to shape practically all of his answers to press corp questions into vehicles for his main themes - creating new jobs, easing the credit crisis, stabilizing home values, and getting some kind of expansion in our economy to counteract the current contractions.

If you didn't know these were his main themes, you were probably asleep too.

I was actually surprised when he didn't somehow turn the question about Alex Rodriguez's admission of steroid use into yet another illustration of how his economic recovery plan was going to help the citizens of Elkhart, Indiana, and by extension, the rest of America.

The other thing about the sheer amount of verbiage contained in President Obama's responses is the indirect effect it will have on reshaping the media narrative. In addressing all of the things he touched on for the next few days, the news media will have to jettison some of the "strife between the parties" storylines, effectively removing the Republican message from the forefront of the public's minds at a time that is crucial to the passage of theeconomic recovery bill.

S. woke up after the ninth or tenth question. She got a little perturbed towards the end, when I mentioned that the press conference, the one we'd both figured would be over in half an hour, was coming up on the sixty minute mark.

"What? This thing is about to mess up my shows."


  1. Hey,

    Found your blog through BlogCatalog. I'm enjoying it a lot. I actually kicked the s/o off the computer (well asked nicely really) so I could watch it on live stream. I've not felt it worth the bother with any president before Mr. Obama. I noticed what you did as to him not quite answering questions. However I can't say he wasn't informative.

    I liked very much what he had to say about just because something gets pulled from the stimulus bill doesn't mean it won't reappear later. Also thought he made an excellent point about the so called "pork" (good enough on the education tip that it's got the house dems scrambling to put it back in apparently). I also was thrilled to hear him say that he's going to get this country back on track as regards nuclear weapons. My biggest complaint was that I had to fight not to yell at the screen, "If you like Elkhart Indiana so much then move there but stop mentioning it."

    Anyway I feel he came off very well. I didn't feel like I'd just taken a bath in an oil slick like I always did with Clinton, and I didn't have to check the dictionary to make sure actual words were used, like I did with Bush jr.



    Hey did you hear The One About...? Well you will if you check out my blog.

  2. I watched last night. TWICE. I found President Obama very imformative and a welcome change from politions giving long winded responses with no answer. Ok...he IS long winded but he also answered the questions so I'm ok with that.
    Question: Did he say "ginned up"? I know I heard it, TWICE but there has to be an alternate definition. Has to be!

  3. Yep, he did indeed say "gin up" and it made me laugh out loud.

    The two best definitions given context in my opinion are found at urbandictionary.com

    Definition 1) To create or arouse strong feelings in (someone); move or excite.

    Definition 2) To fabricate, invent or concoct (something), typically with deceitful intent.

    If this is the kind of stuff we can expect from Mr. Obama I'll be looking forward to seeing more of his press conferences.



    Hey did you hear The One About...? Well you will if you check out my blog.

  4. You watched it TWICE? Shit, you'll have enough hours for a master's degree after the next one.

    You've gotta poke some fun at my man sometimes.

    But he lived up to his promise to actually TALK to the American public, and not just give us soundbites.

    If he wants to talk for two hours, I'll be there.

    But to demonstrate at that level the ability to communicate in an in-depth manner about the events of the day definitely shows that he is not simply rubber stamping the recommendations of his aides.

    Yeah, the "ginned up" is his grandmother talking - there was no doubt after hearing that about the influence his grandmother had on him.

    Trust me, any alternate definition would have been far worse.

  5. The answer that took on the question of pork was really good - especially when he threw my home state of SC into the mix - because the "Corridor Of Shame" is for real - we have no gad damn business building new schools in Iraq when my own relatives have to settle for this kind of shit.

    The nation can do better. SC will be reminding him to make good on that promise.

  6. Brown Man, SC needs to give Sessions the boot. That fool didnt want the money, so I hope for SC sake that he has no say in how it is spent. Otherwise, your schools will continue to suffer.


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