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.
Posted at 8:34 AM ET on Apr 30, 2009
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