4 p.m. ET: Wondering what the big takeway from Barack Obama's first press conference as President-elect was for many conservative blogs? That's right, it was his little shot at Nancy Reagan, which he may well have regretted the moment it came out of his mouth.
In case you missed it, Obama was asked whether he had spoken to "any living ex-presidents" for advice, and he said: "In terms of speaking to former presidents, I've spoken to all of them that are living. Obviously, President Clinton -- I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances."
Now, Obama was obviously trying to make a little joke. The problem was that his joke was at the expense of a beloved 87-year-old widow who has had health problems. Yes, she famously did consult an astrologer while in the White House for advice about Ronald Reagan's schedule, a practice that has been the butt of plenty of jokes over the years. Still, one could argue that poking fun at her at a press conference might be a bit, well, unpresidential.
As the Little Green Footballs blog put it: "A cheap shot at Nancy Reagan, who is currently recovering from a fall in which she broke her hip. Classy." Conservatism Today, also calling the comment "classy" says: "Good to see Obama is already showing that spirit of bi-partisanship he's so famous for. He takes his first press conference as President Elect to attack the wife of the most widely-loved President of the last half-century?"
You get the idea. But is this really what Obama's first ever post-election presser will be remembered for, or will most people focus on the economy and the agenda ahead? No one knows what the future holds. Maybe we should consult a psychic.
8 a.m. ET: It's time for the president-elect to meet the press, as Barack Obama holds a news conference today, shortly after he huddles with his economic advisory team to discuss how the cratering economy is going to make most of his agenda impossible to enact.
Okay, Obama may not choose to phrase it exactly that way, but that's the reality. Beyond the economy, what else will come up at the press conference? Probably Iran, whose president congratulated Obama yesterday (NY Post hed: "SLIME IN THE MAHMOUD FOR LOVE." What?) And probably lots more questions about Cabinet picks, which Obama won't really answer. Treasury Secretary appears to remain the first order of business, with speculation still mostly centered on Larry Summers and Paul Volcker, with a smattering of Tim Geithner.
The bar has been set for what is considered to be blockbuster news out of the Obama administration, as a remarkable amount of coverage has followed the selection of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff (anyone remember an avalanche of stories when Bush picked Andy Card?). The reactions have gone in two directions: Some follow the line that "this means Obama is serious," and others are shocked that after vowing to change politics, Obama picked a politician (gasp!) to run the White House. A Democratic politician, who sometimes fights with Republicans! Clearly, the dream is over.
Republicans, meanwhile, continued their soul-searching. Roy Blunt stepped down yesterday, allowing Eric Cantor to step up. A host of conservative leaders -- not the elected kind, the think-tank kind -- met yesterday in Virginia to strategize about a comeback. On CNN this morning, Grover Norquist was on, with the chyron noting that he "attended secret GOP meeting" -- so secret that he's talking about it on CNN. Norquist said nothing had been decided at the gathering but "there's an awful lot of thinking going on."
November 7, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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