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Five questions for President Obama

By Karen Tumulty

With his poll numbers sinking and his party facing a possible debacle in the midterm elections, President Obama is set to hold his first news conference since May at 11 a.m. EDT Friday. Here are five questions that are worth asking:

1. Your recently departed budget director Peter Orszag has taken issue with your position on extending the Bush tax cuts only for those making under $250,000. Endangered Democrats also seem to be distancing themselves from it. That seems to be a formula for congressional inaction, which means all the tax cuts would expire at the end of this year. Would you be willing to accept, as a compromise, Orszag's proposal that all the tax cuts be extended for two years?

2. The Democratic National Committee has announced plans for you to hold a series of major rallies this fall, invoking the spirit of the 2008 campaign. Bill Clinton tried a similar strategy before the disastrous 1994 elections, and later deemed it a mistake that diminished his stature as a president and made him appear to be just another politician. What will you be trying to achieve, and do you think that in these times it is possible for oratory--even yours--to restore the sense of hope and change that propelled your presidential campaign?

3. If your chief of staff Rahm Emanuel decides to run for mayor of your adopted home town of Chicago, will you campaign for him?

4. What do you believe is propelling the "tea party" movement? And how significant a factor do you believe it is?

5. Polls suggest that Americans don't believe that what you've done for the economy is working, and that their confidence in your handling of the most pressing issue in America is waning. Why is that?

By Karen Tumulty  |  September 10, 2010; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Obama did a great job with his press conference-- on tv. On radio, not so much, and in ads, a disaster.

One word can turn this thing around:

"S-P-L-I-T."

The president wants to split the Bush era tax cuts at $250,000 income. Not stop them, split them.

On the stump, he can ask every crowd, "Did YOU make $250,000 last year?"

Everyone shouts "No."

The President then says, "Well, Michelle and I did, and so if you did, we know how fortunate you feel. We feel like we have enough to share with folks who didn't have such a good year. That's why I am proposing that we END the tax cuts for those of us who can afford to tighten our belts to help others."

Then he says, "So if you DIDN'T make $250,ooo last year, do you want to hear what I propose for YOUR taxes?"

Everyone shouts YES!

"You still need that tax break. In fact, some of you need more than that, but at a minimum, you need my word that we are keeping your taxes low, and offsetting that income with revenue from those of us who had a better year."

Tax bill gets moving in time to turn election.

Posted by: revelz | September 11, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT MR PRESIDENT, IM CONFUSED. YOU HAVE SUGGESTED REPEATEDLY THAT AMERICANS SHOULD SHOW THE WORLD HOW TOLLORENT WE ARE REGARDING RELIGION,,WELL THE LAST I LOOKED WE HAVE EVERY POSSIBLE TYPE OF CHURCH, MOSQUE AND SYANGOGUE IMAGINABLE DOTTING OUR WHOLE COUNTRY,,IM SURE I SPEAK FOR MOST IN THE THIS COUNTRY WHEN I SAY AMERICANS ARE ALREADY THE MOST TOLLORENT REGARDING THIS TOPIC IN THE WHOLE WORLD,,I SUGGEST THAT YOUR CONFUSED TELLING US TO BE MORE TOLLERANT,,IF IM NOT MISTAKEN,,ITS THE GUYS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD WHO ONLY TOLLORATE ONE RELIGION,,AS FAR AS IVE HEARD,IF A CHRISTIAN OR ANY OTHER EVEN POKES HIS HEAD UP IN THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES, IT COULD BE HIS OR HER LAST POKE...DONT U KIND OF HAVE IT BACKWORDS MR PRES. SHOULD YOU BE TELLING THEM TO BE MORE TOLLORENT? PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME LIKE IM A 2 YEAR OLD CUZ I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND. MSG

Posted by: mralexva | September 10, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why can danders5000 post his crazy lies every 3 minutes? When I try to post close together, I am denied.

The dems are running very scared. When congress rams hugh bills through without reading them, the people say they have had enough. Only the labor unions have profitted from Obama's foolery. Enough already!!

The reason the republicans only said NO was because Obama and congress would not let them speak or bring any amendments before congress. Remember the healthcare "conference." Obama told the republicans, "I won," and he told McCain they were no longer campaigning!! Just goes to show how rude Obama really is. He only cares about his own Marxist agenda.

Posted by: annnort | September 10, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The term or word "Idiot" is a description. If it offends you then I suggest you try to recall what the left and the media have said about president Bush before he was elected, during his presidency and still now after he has left office and what names they called him. Idiots have short memories too.
"An idiot, dolt, or dullard is a mentally deficient person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way."
Somewhere in that definition is the left and the mainstream media.

Posted by: nychap44 | September 10, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have spent the last 20 months hammering the American poor and unemployed at nearly every turn. From the economic stimulus, to extension of unemployment benefits, Republicans have tried only to stand in the way of offering any help to those who borne the worst of the Great Recession. But what if, instead of tea party types, Republicans are met at the ballot box by the very people they’ve been attacking? Yes, what if unemployed and low-income Americans come out in November and turn GOP dreams into nightmares?
Don’t think it can happen? Don’t be so sure.
We’ll make sure that unemployed workers get out and vote. That’s just the unemployed. How about the rest of the low-income Americans who can — and should — vote?
• Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services reported more than 84,000 voter registration applications completed at its offices in just the first five months of data reporting following a settlement agreement with Demos and its partners, an average of almost 17,000 registrations per month. Ohio’s public assistance agencies reported an average of only 1,775 registrations per month in the two years prior to the filing of the lawsuit.
• In Missouri, 235,774 low-income citizens applied for voter registration at the state’s Department of Social Services in the 21 months following a successful court action to improve compliance, an increase of almost 1,600 percent over the number of clients the state was previously registering.
• In North Carolina, well over 100,000 low-income citizens have applied to register to vote through the state’s public assistance agencies since the State Board of Elections worked cooperatively with Demos and others to improve NVRA compliance, a six-fold increase over the state’s previous performance.
• • Similarly, the number of voter registration applications from Virginia’s public assistance agencies increased five-fold after Demos worked cooperatively with state officials to improve their procedures.
• Voter registrations from Illinois’ Department of Human Services increased to an average of 5,266 per month under a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, compared to an average of only 446 in the preceding two years, an increase of more than 1,000 percent.
So, tea partiers, feel free to come to vote in November, but be warned: you may be standing in line behind a bunch of unemployed and poor neighbors even angrier than you.

NOW I'M GONE...CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE THIS PEANUT GALLERY JOB

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

You idiots on the left think that Obama is giving you a tax break.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
If the GOP is doing sooo great why do I always smell fear coming from their base. If you're in such good shape....Why go on the offense with all the name calling?

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW,
May I ask?...You whom are mostly white, conservative, rich folks. Do you believe deep down that...The American People are going to let the GOP win so that they could make you triple time rich by extending Bush tax cuts?

Do you honestly think we are going to let John ”Orange man” Boehner who made more deals on the golf course instead of congress become Speaker of the house?

Do you honestly think we are going to let “Big Cow-eye” Ryan become the leader of the budget…So that he could cut our grandparents Social Security checks and privatized the rest for you greedy hands to get on it?

Do you honestly think we are going to let the GOP win just so they could kill off the elderly by killing Medicare and replacing it with “vouchers”? Not to mention they want to repeal Healthcare Reform,

Do you honestly think we are going to let the GOP win just so they could eliminate unemployment benefits all together ...and….they want to keep us in Afghanistan for another 20 years so the contractors get government contracts (tax payer money) in exchange for giving the GOP candidate million for his campaign…

If you guys believe all that will get pass the American People come November without anyone going in the ballot and chopping off their head just to vote GOP…..

Then you have confirmed for me. The rich gets the best drugs on the market!

John Roberts Courts will ruled the day the GOP comes back into Power

United States of America would become United Corporations of America

Remember everyone in the Media had Harry Reid dead in the water....Baby look at him now!!!

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing...got five minutes before I get start gettting ready for work

You have some character traits keep them. You can answer a question with a smile if you like. I am proud that you let the reporter know that just because your signature smile came out doesn't mean you not serious too!

Used your hands. Don't no one gives a darn about white people talking about that's offensive. That's how you express yourself. We shouldn't have to do how the boring "white GOP" do when they answering question...sitting really uptight looking, like their holding a fart in. Everytime I see Ed Rollins I get this feeling

President Obama

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA....HELL I HEAR THEIR NUMBERS ARE LOWERS THAN THE GOP

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

You idiots on the left think that Obama is giving you a tax break. He is just leaving the Tax break that president Bush gave to you in place. The only reason the tax break expired was because there was a lot of objection from Democrats. I do not think the Democrats were in favor of passing it in 2003. If they were there would not be an expiration date on it.
The vote for Bush Tax Cut in the House in 2003 was 224 GOP voted yes and 7 Democrats voted yes. In the senate 48 GOP voted yes and 2 Democrats voted yes.
You can thank Bush and the Republicans for your tax cut and thank the Democrats for the expiration date.
Get it fools?
In 2001 and 2003, President George W. Bush proposed and Congress passed a series of tax cuts to reinvigorate the economy and reduce the government's burden on workers' paychecks. Because of opposition to these measures from some in Congress, they were implemented as temporary tax cuts, all of which will expire by January 1, 2011.

Posted by: nychap44 | September 10, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Skeptic1

You just got me cracking up with a couple of your comments. I can't stop laughing. You just had to go there on the abotion thingy with Rachael.

Thank you for lifting my spirits before I go to this lousy job that is part-time with no benefits or health insurance.

And I still barely gets by.....Do you know it has been three years since I ate a steak? Once a banker, now a bum!

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

OMG!

President Obama I love you...but when you keep trying to think and talk at the same time your message become less effective. Just make a statement and let it go at that and speak from the heart. Don't say in one sentence "The GOP want to see me fail"...then the next..."I don't know why the GOP didn't sign onto this bill"

Darn....talk about people real problems and don't do what cost John Kerry the election...when someone ask you a question answer it so that the American people (whom mostly don't have a college degree) understand.

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but I had NO IDEA that so many Americans made over 250K as to constitute a deciding force in public policy.

Such as: "extending the Bush tax cuts only for those making under $250,000. Endangered Democrats also seem to be distancing themselves from it. "

At this moment it's called Democrats...get out the vote time.

Posted by: jato11 | September 10, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What you really mean is that Obama is going to continue with his lying and hope that people will believe him again. Some foolish people will believe him others will vote in a GOP congress for change that we can really believe in.

Posted by: nychap44 | September 10, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"I HAVE EVEN STOP WATCHING RACHAEL AND KEITH...WHY DO LIBERALS ALWAYS WANT TO BEARER OF BAD NEWS"

Rachael Maddow was going on and on about abortion the other day, and I found myself thinking "Rachael, stay out of this discussion. You should leave the question to women who might have the need for an abortion, not for guys and other people who will never need an abortion"

Posted by: Skeptic1 | September 10, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's problem is that he is too black and too smart for most Americans"

That's one possible explanation.

Most people can think of far more likely explanations, but if it makes you feel more secure, keep on believing what you want.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | September 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama's problem is that he is too black and too smart for most Americans

Posted by: robfield | September 10, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Americans

97 percent of us make less than 250K a year and will be getting a tax-break under this President. However, everyone in the media mostly makes over 250K so I ASK YOU

WHY IN THE HELL ARE WE EVEN LISTENING TO THE MEDIA...THEY HAVE JOBS THAT KEEPS THEM IN THOSE LUXURIES CONDO OR HOMES

OBAMA -

THOSE PRESS CONFERENCE PEOPLE AREN'T CONCERN WITH AMERICANS THEY ARE TRYING TO KEEP THEY TAX-CUTS....SO AS MUCH AS I LOVE YOU....I AM CHANGING....I ALREADY KNOW HOW I'M VOTING!

LETS PROVE MSNBC WRONG AND STOP WATCHING THIS STATION...

I HAVE EVEN STOP WATCHING RACHAEL AND KEITH...WHY DO LIBERALS ALWAYS WANT TO BEARER OF BAD NEWS

RACHAEL MADDOW....

I DON'T WHAT "DON'T ASK DON'T TELL" FUTURE YOU LOOKED INTO...BUT PLEASE KEEP YOUR BAD NEWS ABOUT DEMS LOSING IN NOVEMBER TO YOURSELF.

YOU ARE JUST AS PREJUDICE AS ALL WHITES ON TELEVISION .... WHOM THINKS ONLY WHITE PEOPLE HAVE OPINIONS AND THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WHOM VOTE

BLACKS AND HISPANICS ARE GOING TO TURN OUT AND THE NEXT DAY WHEN ALL THOSE GOOD OLE WHITE BOYS AND MEAN WHITE GIRLS IN THE GOP LOSE IN GENERAL BY A HIGHER THAN EXPECTED TURN OUT BY MINORITIES

MSNBC WILL PROTRAIT IT AS SUCH AND THEN EVERYONE OF THEM WILL GO TO THEY "ONLY TWO BLACK PUNDITS" EUGENE AND MELISSA TO EXPLAIN WHY AND HOW THE BLACKS TURN OUT

MSNBC IS PATHETIC

AT LEAST I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CNN AND FOX...BUT MSNBC IS JUST PLAIN LOUSY

Posted by: danders5000 | September 10, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

There is no comparison between the President's current situation and Bill Clinton's in 1994. Unlike Bill Clinton or even John Kennedy, the President actually managed to move a legislative agenda forward. But he is taking the blame for being the one in charge of dealing with worst economic problems in half a century. His efforts have been less than perfect. But these suggested questions are not even vaguely related to his real problems. It is hard to know what the prospects are for him to make a contribution to the fall campaign. But perhaps there is some chance that he can at least remind to media of the reality of our economic problems, where they came from, and the contribution that his administration has made to stabalizing our financial system. Then perhaps they might at least be able to ask a few sensible questions.

Posted by: dnjake | September 10, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The biggest and most important question is the obvious one:

"Mr. President, why are you only addressing the economy at the point when your party is in danger of being thrown out of Washington? It makes you seem terribly arrogant that your agenda is more important than what the country wants and needs"

Posted by: Skeptic1 | September 10, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Too little too late. And besides who could trust Obama, hidden in this new tax cuts will be bribes and gifts to his union buddies at the taxpayers expense. Just say NO Repubs to bad policy. Better to have nothing done, than more bad policy to bring the country down. I am sooo tired of this marxist clown who incites class warfare over business. Then wants to pretend he is for small business. Can't fool me anymore.

Posted by: carla2 | September 10, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This is a president who has never run a business, never been in the military, never held an excecutive position, and we wonder why he is a failure. Come on folks he didn't run against McCain he ran against Bush and soft economy. Thanks to all the idiots that were blinded by the rhetoric. DON'T FALL FOR IT AGAIN!

Posted by: bandsposs | September 10, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

America has had her Marxist president - and her Marxist economics lesson - and she’s had enough.

“Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes to a more active one that offers more services and higher taxes.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/america_s_best_days

It no longer matters what the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, CNN or even Clueless Comrade Barry himself has to say about anything. The voters have seen how this president operates and now they know it’s not working and it’s not going to work.

They watched the Clueless One take over anything he could get his hands on, borrow as much money from the Chinese as they would lend him, pay off every deadbeat Democrat that would line up for a handout, suck up to every anti-American despot who would give him an audience, call everyone who disagreed with any portion of his agenda a racist, clown with every TV talk show host and pose for every Magazine cover that would have him all the while throwing nightly dance parties at the White House as if a newly minted rap star had been anointed President-for- a-Day... all this, of course, when he wasn’t taking his entourage on yet another Air Force One-hosted vacation.

There is no resurrecting Clueless Comrade Barry.

Americans have taken a good hard look at Comrade Barry and are now firmly convinced this fool has no business running anything they have a stake in much less holding court in the Oval Office.

You can put a fork in him. Clueless Comrade Barry is done. The only thing left for the Marxist Democrats to do is start their rewrite of history… it really wasn’t our fault… it would have worked out if…

Sic semper tyrannis!

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | September 10, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

obama is stuttering through his speech as always, what a creep.

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | September 10, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It'll never happen. Our media's questions are more like:

How tall are you?
If you had to pick one person to be stranded on a deserted island with, who would it be?
If you were a cookie, what flavor would you be?
Why are man-hole covers round?

Posted by: ADNova | September 10, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It'll never happen. Our media's questions are more like:

How tall are you?
If you had to pick one person to be stranded on a deserted island with, who would it be?
If you were a cookie, what flavor would you be?
Why are man-hole covers round?

Posted by: ADNova | September 10, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

America has had her Marxist president - and her Marxist economics lesson - and she’s had enough.

“Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes to a more active one that offers more services and higher taxes.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/america_s_best_days

It no longer matters what the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, CNN or even Clueless Comrade Barry himself has to say about anything. The voters have seen how this president operates and now they know it’s not working and it’s not going to work.

They watched the Clueless One take over anything he could get his hands on, borrow as much money from the Chinese as they would lend him, pay off every deadbeat Democrat that would line up for a handout, suck up to every anti-American despot who would give him an audience, call everyone who disagreed with any portion of his agenda a racist, clown with every TV talk show host and pose for every Magazine cover that would have him all the while throwing nightly dance parties at the White House as if a newly minted rap star had been anointed President-for- a-Day... all this, of course, when he wasn’t taking his entourage on yet another Air Force One-hosted vacation.

There is no resurrecting Clueless Comrade Barry.

Americans have taken a good hard look at Comrade Barry and are now firmly convinced this fool has no business running anything they have a stake in much less holding court in the Oval Office.

You can put a fork in him. Clueless Comrade Barry is done. The only thing left for the Marxist Democrats to do is start their rewrite of history… it really wasn’t our fault… it would have worked out if…

Sic semper tyrannis!

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | September 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It'll never happen. Our media's questions are more like:

How tall are you?
If you had to pick one person to be stranded on a deserted island with, who would it be?
If you were a cookie, what flavor would you be?
Why are man-hole covers round?

Posted by: ADNova | September 10, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Are you a GOP spokesperson? Sounds like it!

Posted by: rocks11 | September 10, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

One of the reasons Dems are about to lose the house is because Barrack Obama is the most devisive president of the last century. Not once has this pretender reached out the Republicans to say anything but "my way or the highway."


Today, his poll numbers reached an all time low.


http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll


Without his super majority, he will be what he has always been. An empty suit.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 10, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The media won't toss anything but softballs at their hero. I expect more questions like, "Do you believe that the obstructionist Republicans who created this economic disaster can fool people into voting for them?"

They'll never ask him about his failures, his tone-deaf politics, or his amateurism.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | September 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

1) Orszag is afraid of his own shadows and afraid of fighting with the millionaires in Senate about the bill. But a majority of Americans is for letting the special deal for the rich expire. Obama would be a fool to surrender to the selfish Senators under these circumstances!

2)Trying to pretend that the last two years didn't show that the call for change was a fraud is probably a bad idea. Obama should listen to Clinton and stay at the WH. Most Dem candidates don't want to be seen with him anyway.

3) Who cares? Tough luck for the Chicago folks, good for the rest of the US!

4) The TeaPartiers themselves can't find a consensus on the reasons. And that also answers the question about their impact.

5)Because what Obama has done for the economy isn't working, and thus their confidence in his handling of the most pressing issue in America is waning!

Posted by: Gray62 | September 10, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

OOPS!! WE CAUGHT US ANOTHER BLACK CAUCUS FRAUDSTER. DO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE OBEY THE LAWS? HEY OBAMA WHAT'S WITH YOUR BLACK BUDDIES?

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) awarded three scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to his stepdaughter and wife’s niece between 2003 and 2005, according to records from the nonprofit group.

Bishop is the second Democrat found to have funneled CBC Foundation scholarship funds to relatives, threatening to turn the program into a larger political problem for the party. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) recently paid back $31,000 to the foundation for scholarships that she improperly awarded to various relatives and children of a top staffer.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/41953.html#ixzz0z8fBY1Wi

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | September 10, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

OOPS!! WE CAUGHT US ANOTHER BLACK CAUCUS FRAUDSTER. DO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE OBEY THE LAWS? HEY OBAMA WHAT'S WITH YOUR BLACK BUDDIES?

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) awarded three scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to his stepdaughter and wife’s niece between 2003 and 2005, according to records from the nonprofit group.

Bishop is the second Democrat found to have funneled CBC Foundation scholarship funds to relatives, threatening to turn the program into a larger political problem for the party. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) recently paid back $31,000 to the foundation for scholarships that she improperly awarded to various relatives and children of a top staffer.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/41953.html#ixzz0z8fBY1Wi

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | September 10, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone believe that obama will answer any of these questions? I doubt it, because the answers will make him look even worse.

Posted by: rimantas1 | September 10, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone believe Obama will answer any of these questions? He will not, because the answer to each will make him look even bad.

Posted by: rimantas1 | September 10, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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