The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Lots of Headlines, Little News at Obama Presser

By Ben Pershing
What was the headline from President Obama's 100th-day press conference? Depends on whom you ask.

The news, such as it was, came from his assertion that waterboarding is "torture," his fears about Pakistan, his optimism on Chrysler, his bluntness on abortion and his repeated assurances that he wants to run neither banks nor auto companies.

"Far from electric, this was a tranquilizing performance," Politico suggests. Adam Nagourney says Obama made neither "jaw-dropping news" -- how often does that happen at a press conference? -- nor any "obvious mistakes." Tom Shales writes that Obama demonstrated he can answer any question "earnestly, disarmingly, enchantingly, even -- and most of the time convincingly."

Obama repeatedly warned viewers to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough, and not to leave the dinner table without being excused. (Sure, that last one has nothing to do with swine flu, but at a time of crisis we can't afford to forget our manners.) Obama's scoldings suggested to some that he was "doctor-in-chief" or even "mom." The "enchanted" question is also getting its fair share of mockery this morning. Prize goes to the first blogger who successfully Photoshops Obama onto a Disney poster.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:34 AM ET on Apr 30, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Barack Obama may not be the "messiah," but he's surely a disciple of Solomon.

The impatent "progressive" left wants him to declare "torture" a crime -- when his unstated message is that it is not for him to decide.

By acknowledging that waterboarding is torture -- but by refusing to declare that the Bush administration broke the law -- Obama placates his critics while he provides the political cover necessary to allow his Attorney General to fairly and impartially enforce the law.

(He also may know of pending "hi-tech" torture revelations to come -- that, in hindsight, may make waterboarding look quaint.)

Add to the Solomon-like wisdom a Kennedyesque display of wit, charm and "swaggah" -- the Obama version of JFK's "vigah."

"Enchanting," Obama deadpanned, when a New York Times reporter asked a classic four-part "touchy-feely" question (and a good one, since it elicited a seemingly heartfelt -- and politically savvy -- response about how he is emotionally moved when he meets with the troops.

Looked at through the optics of politics or cosmetics, it was another bravura performance by a young, confident President who makes "swaggah" look smart, indeed.


A special request to both POTUS and FLOTUS:

Please re-read, and heed, Dwight David Eisenhower's farewell address.

And please...

...beware of hawks bearing "photo ops."

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 30, 2009 9:15 AM

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