Obama's Press Conferences

He's having another one today, announcing that Paul Volcker (as Chair) and Austan Goolsbee will be part of a newly created Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Obviously these are respected names and the idea of an "Economic Recovery Advisory Board" is positively New Dealian. But, more than that, I think there is some good psychology to Obama trotting out every day to discuss the economy.

It sends a simple but powerful message - the light at the end of the tunnel is near - the nightmare years of the George W. Bush Presidency are almost over. It's a good message to send.

Speaking for me only

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    People like Obama (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:04:23 AM EST
    His press conferences may not be fireside chats, but they convey a sense of competence and reassurance.  I've heard more than one comment from people who don't follow politics obsessively to the effect that Obama really seems to be doing great so far - even though, just between us, he hasn't actually "done" anything yet!

    Obama is smart to put himself out in the public eye so often.  This type of solid first impression is key to hitting the ground running in January.

    More than that (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:06:11 AM EST
    I think it is good for the country in these economic times.

    On fireside chats (none / 0) (#5)
    by Faust on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:14:53 AM EST
    Is it possible to do "fireside chats" anymore? By which I mean haven't Presidents been doing variation of them for some time now? Doesn't Bush do "weekly radio addresses?" Is it a question of labeling? Or is there so much information bouncing around out there that no one cares unless there is a crisis?

    I don't know the answer to any of these questions, I'm curious what people think about how the public will view such addresses going forward and if the Obama admin will try and push something equivalent to the fireside chat into public consciousness going forward.


    It can't just be radio any more. (none / 0) (#10)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:18:39 AM EST
    We are a TV nation, a visual nation and increasingly a blogger nation.

    Gotta update those fireside chats with video.


    Well (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:20:53 AM EST
    I guess the modern equivalent would be podcasts or something.  Or maybe Obama could periodically record a 15-minute address and they'd post it on YouTube or something.  I have no idea what they have in mind, obviously, but these are pretty innovative folks.  Obama is a better communicator than Bush, so why not let him do some communicating?

    He Does (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:28:14 AM EST
    His weekly chats are posted on youtube.

    Weekly YouTubecasts (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by brodie on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:57:37 AM EST
    are probably a good idea in this dicey interim period, and are an improvement for the public over the little-noticed and too-frequent presidential weekly radio address.  

    Though I'd recommend that after a decent interval in office, he cut back on all the weekly personal communiqués, webcast or radio, and let his surrogates do the talking in between chats to the public.  Too much exposure, leading to overfamiliarity, can tend to dim the star power and magic of a charismatic pol like Obama.  Both FDR and JFK took this into account, and didn't do weekly chats or even monthly.  


    So ultimately it will become a question (none / 0) (#25)
    by Faust on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:51:42 AM EST
    of how those postings are amplified through other various media streams. If the media (including bloggers) find those weekly addresses usefull in producing material then they will become an important platform.

    They Already Have (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:57:38 AM EST
    Become an important platform, imo.

    Here's what I'd like to see. More blogger (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:58:30 AM EST
    conference calls.  

    Exactly what I've been thinking. To me, it feels like medical personnel or somesuch standing by the victim of a carwreck and talking them through the wait  until help arrives.

    I watched some of the morning news shows where they were bemoaning that Obama's wearing out his welcome and omg! everyone's going to get tired of him and etc. How out of touch are they anyway?

    It looks like some form of theatrics (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by wurman on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:14:40 PM EST
    CNN & MSNBC--they continue to put rightwingnutz on camera when "discussing" Obama's statements, alleged & announced high-level personnel choices, & some of the wild-gluteus maximus guesses by the beltway villageurs.

    I'm sick of it.  None of the GOP strategists, former McCain staffers, or regular provocateurs of the commentariat have any knowledge, whatsoever, of the Democratic party plans, the immediate goals of the president-elect, or the views of the people who will advise Mr. Obama.  It's beyond idiotic to watch about half of the airtime occupied by bloviators who are so far out of the loop that they don't know it's no longer a loop, but a straight line.

    For me to observe some rightwingnut talking about the spendthrift Democrats getting ready for a spending spree is no longer funny; they're insane.  I did see one program (Larry King, I think) on which Carville gave a vicious reply & laughed for 2 minutes while some McCain gasbag prattled on about "responsible conservative fiscal policies."  Yup, from $5 trillion surplus to $10 trillion in debt during 7.9 years.  Wow.

    Then the final straw of dumbnuttery was a steady stream of blowhard comments about how the GOP will be able to stop or modify the straight line Democratic agenda because of the possibilities that Franken & Martin may not win senate seats & some of the Blue Dogs may bolt.  Apparently, no one has told these conservative commentators that only a simple majority is needed for budget votes in the senate, & the Democrats have enough members in the House to ignore the Blue Dogs.

    What a bunch of airheads.  And the self-styled newscasters let that blather go unchallenged. . . .


    ha! (none / 0) (#8)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:18:34 AM EST
    are you kidding?  what shows where those??

    I am guessing you don't mean The Today Show, which is barely a news show...they had a shrimp walking on a conveyer belt the other morning...so exciting...which pretty much tells you all you need to know about them I think.


    Although they fashion themselves as such. You know the sort - Today, Morning Express, blah blah blah.

    omg!!! they are just sooo worried!


    I never watch Today. I think (none / 0) (#30)
    by Blowback on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    the last time I saw Today was a few months before Katie Couric took over for Jane Pauly. (is that what hapenned? not really sure about these things.)

    But I saw the shrimp news elsewhere and I do think it was real news, global warming, ocean acid & all.


    Reminds me of that prophetic Onion article in 2000 (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by blogtopus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:19:28 AM EST
    Obama's Press Conferences Are Smart... (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:23:22 AM EST
    First and foremost, Obama is filling a leadership vacuum.  Bush has been fairly non-existent during the interregnum.  Bush has let Paulson do the heavy lifting.  I don't know what the story with Bush is.  Maybe Bush and Obama agreed to the concept that Bush would go silent and let Obama take the center stage.  

    Obama is also using the press conferences as a way of establishing and reinforcing  central themes for his Presidency.   And he is trying to get some control over the news cycles.  Rather than idle speculation about nominees, he can give the news outlets something real to chew on.

    He does run a danger of making small errors here or there but I'd give him an A for trying to be more open and up front than Bush.    

    The people complaining that he's too visible (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by hitchhiker on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:37:32 AM EST
    ought to do a thought experiment.

    Imagine Obama refusing to be seen in public while the Bush administration flails its hapless way toward January 20th.  Imagine utter silence from the president elect as layer after layer of the financial catastrophe reveals itself.

    Or, imagine him giving jolly hellos with no substance--talking about his plans for the holidays and trying to look reassuring.

    We have a president-elect who isn't scared to speak, who isn't scared to act, who isn't scared to get in front of cameras.  

    I read somewhere yesterday that the spontaneous street celebrations on election night were like what happened when the French occupation was over . . . a similar sense of having survived a long, humiliating, infuriating siege.  I feel a little of that joy every time he does a press conference or an interview.

    We're not just done with something dreadful, we're moving forward into the repair stage.  The message is that there's no time to waste, and that's real.

    spontaneous street celebrations ?? check this (none / 0) (#31)
    by Blowback on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:10:51 AM EST
    out in Rochester, NY; Eastman School of Music students were arrested for celebrating Obama's win! They played music in the streets and went to jail for this!

    I kid you not!



    Jeri, or somebody, please (none / 0) (#32)
    by Blowback on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    Easiest Way (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:17:49 AM EST
    Is to just put brackets around the text + link

    [linkhttp:www.democrat.....] becomes this


    when the complete link is added


    thanks, squeaky (none / 0) (#34)
    by Blowback on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:22:43 AM EST
    Looks like my second try above worked anyway. Don't know why; same link paste.

    Actually (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:29:56 PM EST
    It may have pasted and is a working link, but, TL often deletes comments that have long links because they skew the site format.

    If you add brackets around the text (in this case the word "link") combined with the url, you will not have to worry about your comment being deleted because of a long url.


    And highlight the first word after (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:47:46 PM EST
    the initial bracket.

    No Need To Do That (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:53:28 PM EST
    That is akin to uttering an incantation before pushing the post button.

    Oh, the time I'll save! (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:54:58 PM EST
    Why's That? (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:56:01 PM EST
    Were you also uttering a long incantation?

    They were playing patriotic songs. (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:44:07 AM EST
    Plus, knowing they were Eastman students assures me they were playing quite well.

    Beaudrault explained that the officers "have an obligation to uphold the law," especially when it comes to quality of life issues and public disorder.

    "Officers could not just walk away," Duffy said. "If they let it go and a car came down the street and hit one or more of the musicians...officers would've been held accountable."

    [Emphasis added.]

    Legal analysis:  even in California the officers had no duty to take the band off the streets in case they were struck by a moving vehicle later on.


    oculus, are you (none / 0) (#39)
    by Blowback on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:57:21 AM EST
    giving a legal opinion about Mayor Duffy & the street band? Cause I know Bob Duffy pretty well; he was police chief before he wa mayor. Me & Chri Maj ran aginst him in 2005; Chris for mayor, me for City Council on a legalise drugs platform; I am actually writing Duffy as we speak about enforcing the noise laws in Rochester. The local plumbing yard has guard dogs barking all the time & backhoes beep, beep beeping all the time.

    I am interested in your analysis about Duffy and the band getting hit by a car. Is he corect?


    I know absolutely nothing about (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    NY state tort law.  But in California, known for its liberal tort law, case law establishes an officer is not liable in tort for failing to arrest someone who is later injured by a third party or who injures the third party.  No duty running between the officer and the third party.  

    Keep the press conferences coming! (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:43:42 AM EST
    Anything that pushes Bush out of the spotlight is good news for America and the world.

    I really believe Bush is very happy with the situation now. I never thought he wanted the job in the first place. And his performance hasn't proven me wrong!

    Admit it. You enjoyed the pics of (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:59:46 AM EST
    Bush in a poncho in Peru.

    Bush and his minions (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by lucky leftie on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:22:48 AM EST
    have been comedy gold, I'll admit that.  Everything else sucked for the past 8 years but late night comedy got better and better.  

    The first thing Obama should do is (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:34:36 AM EST
    Spell out for those of us who are not economists, just exactly what this "economic melt-down" is all about. It seems to me; nobody knows. All you keep hearing is, "nobody knows how deep it is, how long it's going to last, what started it." It just seems that the Government is throwing money at it in a state of unrestrained panic; sort of like a fire department arriving at the scene of a blazing inferno and turning on the water hoses full blast.

    When one newscaster after another says thing like, "what happened to the 700 billion? It doesn't seem to have done any good; things have only gotten worse since they announced it. Does anybody know what's going on? Paulsen just seems to jump from one panic plan to another. So we've shot past "millions," didn't even slow down at "billions," and now we're talking "trillions."

    What come after "Trillions?"

    What do they mean, "Nobody knows what happened to the billions?"
    Are you kidding me? Where are we, Iraq?

    Somebody gets it. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by DeanOR on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:45:27 AM EST
    Guardian America certainly gets the picture:
    "While Obama led the US television networks yesterday and today, Bush has been largely invisible, apart from pictures of him in a poncho at the Lima summit."

    Also, lots of pics of Bush drinking (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:02:37 PM EST
    a pisco sour, along with speculation maybe he is drinking alcohol again.  

    Pisco sours are w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l! (none / 0) (#43)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:14:59 PM EST
    And I looked good in my poncho but it was Argentinian.  Never saw a poncho in Peru, actually.

    Travel story: I wasn't fond of (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:18:16 PM EST
    Pisco sours--too sweet.  So, in Puno, I asked if I could order a glass of white wine.  Answer:  yes.  Sutter Home, in an airline size screw top bottle.  My bill:  $10 U.S.  My friends' bill for numerous Pisco sours was much less.  When in Puno, . . .  I don't remember seeing any ponchos in Peru.  Bolivia:  yes.  

    Too sweet? So, did you try (none / 0) (#45)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:24:58 PM EST
    Inca Cola?


    Loved the sales slogan, though:  "Es nuestras!"

    Take that, Coke and Pepsi!


    Inca Cola resembles the (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:04:41 PM EST
    stuff one must drink before a GTT.  

    Goolsbee on CNN yesterday (none / 0) (#1)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:02:59 AM EST
    did a pretty good job as a spokesperson re Obama's economic plans.

    I agree that these regular rollouts send the right message:  "We're on it!"  They also act as something of a warning to the Rs and the Bush administration in their final daze.

    Obama was a little undisciplined (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:03:17 AM EST
    in answering a question about "change" and "retreads" from CNN's Ed Henry.

    A small mistake, but a mistake nonehteless.

    Need to refine the message... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    'Change is what you do (or don't do) and the results you get...not just the people you hire to do it.  The best people to make change are the people who know how...who have done it and can do it again.  I want the best people with the best ideas talking to one another, challenging one another, inspiring one another...'

    Or something like that.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:18:35 AM EST
    I think they are working on that message for next week (what with Gates, Clinton and Jones being announced) and Obama had it on his brain.

    But he let Henry lead him to discuss the issue before he was ready.

    As I said, a little bit of indiscipline (is that a word?) from the President-Elect on that question today, but not a big deal.

    In some ways, he can see where he went wrong today on the question and improve his answer for next week.


    Yep. Surely Axelrod (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:22:51 AM EST
    and the staff will be all over it.

    Although I hope Obama doesn't (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:26:23 AM EST
    spend alot of time reviewing his game films.  

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:28:18 AM EST
    But I disagree - communication RIGHT NOW from the President-Elect is critical.

    The staff does that... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:30:01 AM EST
    never let the pol see themselves fouling up in front of a camera.  They lose confidence and sometimes their nerve and become wary...the opposite of what you want.

    Good point (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:43:16 AM EST
    Obama Should Have Cut Henry Off... (none / 0) (#20)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:28:20 AM EST
    The guy asked three unrelated questions in one breath.  But Obama should have a ready response for the question about change.  He ended up saying the right things though.    It was all the muddle in the middle of what he was saying that was the problem.

    Mostly good then? (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:20:22 AM EST
    The geniuses at the Politico would rather talk about who got to ask questions.