Feature

Obama's news conference ratings

The reviews are in for President Obama's latest prime-time TV appearance

President Obama has done it again, said Tom Shales in The Washington Post. In his televised prime-time news conference Tuesday, Obama looked tired and at times seemed snippy, but he managed to project all the qualities that made him immensely popular in the first place. Economic crisis and all, Obama is still “every inch ‘President Wonderful,’ as it were, untouched and intact.” (watch the video)

Except that alarm bells go off every time Obama opens his mouth, said John Hinderaker in Power Line, and this second prime-time press show was no different. (read the transcript) Obama gave a “highly misleading assessment of AIG,” and claimed his budget, which multiplies the federal deficit far higher than ever, is actually a step away from the “borrow and spend” era. That’s a “bald-faced lie.”

President Obama has to walk a fine line, said Susan Page in USA Today. “He is on the cusp, he hopes, of unlocking the credit crisis and saving the village while simultaneously trying to persuade a populist throng carrying pitchforks not to light any matches that might burn it down.” So he needs these high visibility appearances to assure the public he feels their pain, and to plead with them for patience.

Not everyone approves of all this exposure, of course, said Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times. Obama is everywhere on TV these days, and “many critics, professional and not, see Obama's high visibility as a sign of narcissism or ineptitude. They complain that the man needs to stop campaigning and start being president. But this is, apparently, exactly how Obama defines being president.”

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