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Obama Grants Five Network Interviews

By Anne E. Kornblut
President Obama might have wished he had picked a different day for a round of interviews.

But with five major network sit-downs scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Thomas A. Daschle's surprise withdrawal as the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Obama had no choice but to face the news. And so, in rapid-fire succession, he did -- answering questions about Daschle, the economic stimulus package and, yes, the as yet unfulfilled puppy promise.

The content of those interviews belongs to the networks themselves, and the material is embargoed until they air (in most cases, transcripts are about to be released any minute now). But reporters sitting in the White House briefing room were able to catch a few sentences here and there, and heard some of the banter between the network anchors and Obama. (Grandchildren, cars and vacations were discussed). And for a few hours, the briefing room had some added glamor, as CBS's Katie Couric, ABC's Charles Gibson, NBC's Brian Williams, CNN's Anderson Cooper and Fox News' Chris Wallace traipsed through for their interviews.

Each of them had about 15 minutes to talk to Obama. Transcripts are on their way. And yes, Obama made news, so stay tuned.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 3, 2009; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Our president is making poor choices and these choices are scaring the life out of me. I do not want to live in a socialist state. He is a politician not a statesman. He is an intelligent man but intelligence does not equate to intelligent choices. He is reacting to the state of affairs on an emotional plane, not an intellectual plane.

Posted by: pennydonovan | February 4, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The GOP pretend to care so deeply about the stimulus, when it is patently obvious and a derelict of their duty to the public, that the GOP are working furiously for the next elections and not the peoples' economic crisis looming so large at this time. Some Republican Pundits charged with this task, call the Stimulus a stinking corpse, instead of what it is -- a valuable work in progress for this country. Like any creation, in the early stages, it is chaos and not fully formed, such as a fetus, a painting, any work of art, and yet the artist ploughs on knowing the beauty to be eventually created. Why in the world, would some Pundits criticize the early form instead of giving support, is beyond the pale, especially when they know to publically criticize it is to get the ball rolling to derail it. May be they do not love this country more than their party affiliation! These pundits sit in their high-paying jobs, so lofty, and pick apart every little thing someone says or does, Wears...., with nothing good to say, like their word is God or gold -- as they no longer report the news but give their Opinions about the news. There was a time when we were taught as Americans, if you have nothing good to say about anyone, say nothing at all. We have lost that. These Pundits are a part of the problem and not the solution.

At this critical stage in our rapidly-crumbling economy, it would seem that the Republican Senators would do everything they can to do something, to tell the American people, I am on your side, and not always to quickly say no to the middle class and the little people; no to schools, education, infra structure, green jobs, all of which have too long been denied and neglected and Yet, always yes to the Special Interest Groups, to wars, to big oil and their tax breaks.

It is a sad fact that for average American citizens, the GOP is becoming the party of NO! We can not depend on the GOP to help us, they never have. In 2010, we will know what to do.

Posted by: dsoulplane | February 4, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

JakeD is currently confined at St. Elizabeth's, despite the best efforts of the John Birch Society Legal Fund.

Posted by: nodebris | February 4, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

JakeD is an inmate at St. Elizabeth's.

Posted by: nodebris | February 4, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

It's been a long time since I've heard these words from any politican, much less from a President:

"I'm here on television saying I screwed up, and that's part of the era of responsibility. It's not never making mistakes; it's owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that's what we intend to do" - Prez Obama

When the nation watched horrified while the Department of Homeland Security fumbled painfully in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Michael Chertoff blamed it on phantom headlines, George Bush assured Brownie he was 'doing a heckuva job,' and right-wing pundits eagerly acquitted the Whitehouse by trying to lay the whole mess at the feet of the victims and any democrat within 1000 miles. When George Bush and his merry band of neoclowns stampeded a panicked nation into an ill-conceived war against Iraq and rolled snake-eyes on catching bin Laden it was all because of 'bad intel' and blown all out of proportion by biased, 'liberal reporters' feeding the progressive pathology of 'Bush Derangement Syndrome.'

On and on it went like a runaway freight train. The economic meltdown was brought on by the unbridled greed of middle class wage earners; politicization of the Justice Department was an artifact of an overzealous congressional witch hunt; Sarah Palin was a superbly qualified candidate unfairly slimed by savage bloggers. If excuses were arseholes, the conservative beast would be studded with ugly sphincters oozing an endless stream of foul crap from head to toe.

I'd prefer a President who is flawless. But after eight years of conservative 'blame gaming,' endless Republican evasion and stone walling, and crazed wingnut finger pointing, I'd have settle for one that can construct coherent sentences and tell the truth at the same time. I'll happily support a President with enough basic respect for We the People to look us in the eye and own up. We'd almost forgotten what honesty looks like. It looks like change.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 3, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Anne! Maybe now we can get someone like Bernstein back to investigating?

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

WayneinSF, to the point of your post, this wasn't Chris! Notice the byline.

It was actually by Anne Kornblut, about whom, by the way, we learned some pleasant news earlier today from the Fix. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | February 3, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse


The Supreme Court has not ruled on the merits.

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

To the point of Chris's post...good for the President for facing the press on a day like today. Think about it for a minute: Had Bush had a similar day, he'd have railed against the opposition and the media for bringing his nominees down.

Obama was the epitome of class. He admitted to NBC's Brian Williams that he "screwed up."

Two words you never ever never heard from the former president's mouth!

Posted by: WayneInSF | February 3, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

JakeD...that argument is tired and has been debunked by no less than the radical right members of Supreme Court of the United States.

I wouldn't say a John McCain presidency was "illegal" had he won, but his case holds more water than the ones being thrown Obama's way.

McCain, after all, was born in Panama.

Posted by: WayneInSF | February 3, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The "Honeymoon";

Is OVER! :-(

Miss America hitched a Eunuch!

In an Empty Suit! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | February 3, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The "Honeymoon";

Is OVER! :-(

Miss America hitched a Eunuch!

In an Empty Suit! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | February 3, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is still not legally President, despite the fervent hope of Kornblut, Couric, Gibson, Williams, Cooper, or Chris "Tingle" Matthews.

Posted by: JakeD | February 3, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

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