President Obama declared in his first prime-time news conference that passing an economic stimulus that creates jobs is more important than fostering the bipartisanship he promised. Obama rejected Republican critics who warn the stimulus will boost the deficit, saying inaction could "turn a crisis into a catastrophe." (The Washington Post)
What the commentators said
The debut of "The Barack Obama Show" was not bad, said Mike Madden in Salon. A "calm, confident Obama" got to make his case to the nation for an hour, and the message he hammered home can only help him: "He didn't cause the mess we're in, but he intends to solve it."
Obama gets an "F" for honesty, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, for saying Republicans want to "do nothing" while the economy tanks. The truth is that GOP leaders in Congress offered two alternative stimulus packages. "The lie is particularly egregious" given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi locked Republicans out of drafting the bill.
The problem wasn't what Obama said, said Walter Shapiro in The New Republic, but how he said it. Obama's long-winded, canned responses made the reporters asking the questions look like "potted palms." No matter—a president "blessed with the good will of almost all Americans to the left of Sean Hannity" can afford to experiment with new ways to deliver his message. Next time, though, he should be brief.
Obama's opening remarks were indeed a disappointing start, said Michael Lind in The Daily Beast. But in his answers to questions, "he gave concise and clear explanations, in terms that laymen can understand," to complex financial issues. What a relief, after the previous president, to see that "the president for a change was the smartest person in the room."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- Israel's quiet doomsday submarines are almost ready
Subscribe to the Week