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Why Obama Is Still Smiling

Obama with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. (via CBS News)

How can President Obama be so darn relaxed? It apparently has something to do with taking the longer view.

Obama is confronting a massive economic crisis, an outbreak of populist rage, and an inside-the-Beltway revolt against his budget plan. As far as the Washington media is concerned, he's very much on the ropes. But he was so calm -- even jolly -- in his "60 Minutes" interview broadcast last night that anchor Steve Kroft asked him about it straight out: "You're sitting here. And you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people gonna look at this and say, 'I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money.' How do you deal with, I mean, explain the...mood and your laughter?...Are you punch drunk?"

Obama replied with another laugh: "No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day. You know, sometimes my team -- talks about the fact that if -- if you had said to us a year ago that -- the least of my problems would be Iraq, which is still a pretty serious problem -- I don't think anybody would have believed it. But -- but we've got a lot on our plate. And -- a lot of difficult decisions that we're going to have to make."

But the real explanation, I think, came in one of the first exchanges of the interview. (Here's the full text, and the video, parts one and two.) I suspect it's also a good preview of tomorrow's prime-time press conference.

"The one thing that -- I've tried to emphasize, though, throughout this week, and will continue to try to emphasize during the course of the next several months as we dig ourselves out of this -- the economic hole that we're in -- is we can't govern out of anger. We've got to try to make good decisions based on the facts, in order to put people back to work, to get credit flowing again.

"And I'm not going to be distracted by -- what's happening day to day. I've gotta stay focused on making sure that -- we're getting this economy moving again."

Howard Kurtz writes in The Washington Post: "Kroft, who spent 90 minutes with Obama, says the president was 'very, very relaxed...He did not seem at all concerned about what the press has been playing up as his worst week...My own personal feeling is they sense they're having trouble getting their message out in Washington and wanted a discussion at a more leisurely pace that went beyond a sound bite....The challenge was to try to break through and get him to talk about things he hadn't been talking about.'"

New York Daily News TV critic David Hinckley writes that, by asking Obama if he was punch drunk, Kroft indicated that he "seemed to feel Obama's toe might be slipping over the line.

"But Obama isn't a rookie, and although he hasn't gotten everything right so far, all this laughter seems clearly to be calculated rather than accidental.

"His critical calculation, for TV purposes, is that his important audience isn't Steve Kroft, but tens of millions of people on the other side of the TV screen....

"His laughs last night were designed as laughs of reassurance. They were designed to tell the TV audience he understands the severity of the situation, that it is what it is, and you know what, he's going to take this pair of deuces and turn it into a winner."

The notion that the media's attention span is impoverishing the national discourse is one Obama has raised before. And there's no question that last week's nearly constant media focus on the payment of bonuses to executives at the bailed-out AIG insurance company was not what the White House wanted.

Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane write in The Washington Post: "Senior White House aides concede that the AIG scandal made it difficult for them to communicate their message last week. They said the media failed to take note of the 30 percent increase in home refinancing and paid relatively little attention to the president's small-business proposal, his diplomatic opening with Iran and his legislative agenda.

"Instead, they said with more than a hint of frustration, the cable news programs and major newspapers returned day after day to the bonus story. 'It got in the way for Wall Street,' [White House Chief of Staff Rahm] Emanuel said in an interview yesterday. 'It got in the way for Washington. It got in the way for the media. It got in the way for everybody.'

"In his weekly radio and Internet address...Obama made no mention of the AIG bonus scandal, choosing instead to use the forum to urge lawmakers to pass his budget. He plans to do the same at his second prime-time news conference Tuesday night."

In the Saturday address, Obama spoke about the people he spoke to at town hall meetings in California last week: "At the end of the day, these men and women weren't as concerned with the news of the day in Washington as they were about the very real and very serious challenges their families face every day: whether they'll have a job and a paycheck to count on; whether they'll be able to pay their medical bills or afford college tuition; whether they'll be able to leave their children a world that's safer and more prosperous than the one we have now."

He called his budget plan "an economic blueprint for our future – a vision of America where growth is not based on real estate bubbles or overleveraged banks, but on a firm foundation of investments in energy, education, and health care that will lead to a real and lasting prosperity."

And, he said: "The American people sent us here to get things done, and at this moment of great challenge, they are watching and waiting for us to lead."

But Shear and Kane write: "His call on Congress to take up 'the important work of debating this budget' is unlikely to do much to shift the political conversation away from where it has been for seven days."

One reason for that: "The AIG controversy has prompted Republicans to more directly attack Obama than at any time since he took office. At a Thursday session with reporters, Senate GOP leaders personally mocked him as a dilettante president, busy making lighthearted appearances on television, even talking about college basketball on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'"

Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in the New York Times that what stories like AIG share "is a simple and clear narrative that captures the public imagination by tapping into some larger fear or existing perception — 'a proxy for a bigger concern,' in the words of Ed Gillespie, former counselor to Mr. Bush. If that concern runs deep enough, the side issue becomes the main issue."

But White House aides are less charitable: "'This is the kind of issue Washington chases like catnip,' David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's senior adviser, lamented in an interview. 'What would be a mistake would be to get so distracted by the catnip-chasers that we lose our own path. We are not going to do that.'...

"Mr. Axelrod insisted that the furor would die down — Americans, he said, had bigger things to worry about, like jobs and health care — yet conceded that Mr. Obama, who expects to ask Congress for yet more money to stabilize the nation's shaky bank system, will now have a much tougher time doing so.

"'He has a difficult job,' Mr. Axelrod said, 'because he has to explain to the American people, who are furious, why we need to maintain a strong functioning system of credit so that people can get loans, and businesses can get loans. At the same time, he has to explain to Wall Street why people are legitimately outraged by what they have done. Both are made more difficult by these kinds of stories.'"

Howard Fineman writes for Newsweek on Emanuel's reaction to another unwanted bit of news: A new Congressional Budget Office estimate with grim predictions about federal deficits. "Emanuel, I am told by a source in the leadership, had a characteristically scatological response, involving an anatomically impossible sex act. Rahm denied the remark, but not the sentiment. 'Now is not the time to pull back,' he said to me. 'Those long-term predictions are meaningless—and usually wrong.'"

Fineman writes: "While the Beltway is getting its populist freak on over AIG, a bigger, more fateful drama is underway....It's about nothing less than whether the Obama administration can reverse a generation's worth of skepticism about the role of government in our lives. The federal budget is the Rosetta stone of American public philosophy, and Obama and Emanuel want to re-chisel it in expensive new ways: quality health care for all; better, more innovative public education; a rewritten IRS code that taxes the wealthy more heavily to channel benefits to lower-income Americans; and a new global effort to slow climate change.....

"'We believe in the affirmative role of government,' Emanuel says. 'Not "active" for its own sake, but affirmative in the sense of being a force for good in everyday lives—education, health, a lessening of economic and social schisms in society.'"

Can Obama break through the chatter to make this point directly to the people?

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in his Washington Post opinion column: "President Obama's biggest task at his news conference tomorrow will not be to defend Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner or to push aside the administration's bungling of the AIG bonus imbroglio. It will be to challenge Washington's habit of evading substantive issues by transforming them into procedural questions.

"A deep narrative is taking root in the political class, and it goes something like this: Obama is biting off way more than he can chew, 'overloading' the system and dealing with all sorts of 'side issues,' when he should be focusing solely on the broken economy. He is said to be asking Congress to do too much.

"Note that anyone who makes an argument of this sort is freed from responsibility to mention any of the specific problems Obama is proposing to take on. Insisting the economy trumps everything means you don't have to say a thing about health-care reform, energy, education and taxes.....

"The AIG flap and Friday's dismal report from the Congressional Budget Office predicting the deficit will surpass $1.8 trillion this year will only strengthen the forces of evasion....

"Already, his lieutenants are signaling how he will cast the choice: between 'taking on the country's long-term challenges' or just 'lowering our sights and muddling through,' as one senior aide put it."

But in Newsweek, Eleanor Clift explains why it won't be so easy for the press to let go: "Obama hates what he calls 'process stories,' but they are a staple of Washington reporting, and the backstory of this first major Obama blunder has consequences. First, it undermines the president's credibility with his own party on Capitol Hill. Democrats voted almost unanimously for the stimulus package and now Republicans have a weapon to use against them with this Treasury-inspired provision that benefits AIG. Second, the controversy undermines the trust that the American people have in government at a time when it is spending billions upon billions. Obama promises transparency, but the layers of bureaucratic double-talk look like business as usual."

(What should reporters ask Obama about tomorrow night? I'd like to know what you think -- so post your proposed questions over at my White House Watchers discussion group.)

Another big problem for Obama in the message wars is that some of the most effective of his likely supporters are currently in the throes of tremendous disillusionment about his bank-rescue plan -- the latest details of which were unveiled today.

Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times opinion column: "It's as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Mr. Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone."

Krugman calls the plan "just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets."

Nevertheless, he writes: "All is not lost: the public wants Mr. Obama to succeed, which means that he can still rescue his bank rescue plan. But time is running out."

And Frank Rich writes in his New York Times opinion column: "Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans' anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed."

He agrees with a letter writer who proclaims that Obama's "Katrina moment" has arrived.

Rich writes that when it comes to the inequities fueling the rage against AIG, "No one is more commanding...than our president. In his town-hall meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Wednesday, he described the A.I.G. bonuses as merely a symptom of 'a culture where people made enormous sums of money taking irresponsible risks that have now put the entire economy at risk.' But rhetoric won't tamp down the anger out there, and neither will calculated displays of presidential 'outrage.' We must have governance to match the message.

"To get ahead of the anger, Obama must do what he has repeatedly promised but not always done: make everything about his economic policies transparent and hold every player accountable. His administration must start actually answering the questions that officials like Geithner and [White House economic adviser Larry] Summers routinely duck."

Meanwhile, it's worth remembering that Obama doesn't just have the bully pulpit going for him -- he also has 13 million e-mail addresses.

Peter Slevin and Michael Laris write in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee opened a new chapter Saturday in their ambitious project to convert the energy from last year's campaign into a force for legislative reform on health care, climate change, education and taxes.

"More than 1,200 groups from Maine to Hawaii spent the day gathering signatures in support of Obama's economic plan, the first step in building what the White House hopes will be a standing political army ready to do battle.

"Seeking to create a grass-roots force on a scale never seen before, Obama called the volunteers into action in a video message reminiscent of the 2008 contest. In defense of his budget, under attack from many quarters, he asked his supporters to go 'block by block and door by door.'"

Historian Joyce Appleby writes in a Los Angeles Times op-ed: "In similar circumstances, [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt recognized the limited horizon he had, and he shared the same sense of urgency about moving the country in a new direction....

"An astute politician, FDR saw the days ahead bringing schisms among his supporters, comebacks from the opposing party and public disenchantment with the government's effectiveness. It was then that he looked beyond the politics of Congress and the Supreme Court to the fourth, informal branch of American government: the public. He would defy the odds of losing in the 1934 off-year election by carefully cultivating the ordinary men and women who had voted for him."

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 23, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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The man is cool.

I love it.

Posted by: sherardg | March 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Gallows humor?

We are getting hung while he makes on publicity appearance after the next and millionairre Michelle models her latest designer fashions. We go broke while the Obamas get rich.

Not cool - more like cold hearted and cruel. Definitely I am not laughing on my way to the bank.......

Posted by: mgd1 | March 23, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It felt detached. Out of touch. Lacking the gravitas I feel. He's living his Cinderella story, but so many others aren't through no fault of their own. And, the ones at fault are whose bread he's buttering with the no faults' money. He can say he feels outraged too, but talk is cheap. "Oh, no, we can't let our 'justified' rage propel us to tax taxpayer funded mega bonuses."

What then? Hard working people need more than a patronizing speech. That's what got him elected. People need him to do something to close the gap between the rhetoric and reality.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 23, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I was really, truly put off by Obama's jocular tone during the Kroft interview, not to mention Obama's financial flip-flopping last week.

Posted by: laloomis | March 23, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

In other words: Shut up and sit down. I'm the Unitary Executive and I make the rules. I'm really getting quite tired of Obama acting as if problems were being solved. THEY ARE NOT. Congress can't put together a paper airplane and Wall St. is stealing us blind with Obama's help. If this situation does not provoke a public uprising, then one is not possible in The Corporate States of Amerika.

Posted by: davidbn27 | March 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

We are getting hung while he makes on publicity appearance after the next and millionairre Michelle models her latest designer fashions. We go broke while the Obamas get rich.

Oh yeah, he's getting rich, did you know that the President's salary is $400K a year...that's up from $250K before Bush gave himself a raise 4 years ago. Do you really think that Obama or Michelle can get rich off of $400K a year? Being the President is not a get rich quick scheme; it's a call to public service. Obama can make much more money a year writing books or on the public speaking circut. As a Senator, he could get paid for public speaking gigs, but as President he can't. So please don't blame him for you inability to make a living; he couldn't have had anything to do with it unless you lost everything in the last 60 days.

When he smiles you people have a problem with it...when he becomes outraged you have a problem with, when he speaks you have a problem with it...if he picks his favorite teams for the final 4 you have a problem with it...when he have guest over at his house you have a problem with it...when he puts forth a plan you have a problem with it...when he speaks to the nation you have a problem with it...when he travels to hold town hall meetings with U.S. Citizens you have a problem with it...I'm sure if he stayed in the White House and never spoke with anyone you would have a problem with that too...let's face it, you hate him because he exist and nothing that he does or does not do will be satisfying to you, because in your mind, the only way he can please you is to just die and take his wife with him...right?

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 23, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Patience, President Obama asked for it on the night he was elected, then again at the inauguration, and several times since. Give this man and his plans a chance. This twenty-four/seven news cycle is killing us. They didn't have this in the l930's.

Posted by: anne41 | March 23, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

60 Minutes was a good interview. The basketball thing was fine. The appearance with Leno, the campaign town-hall meeting, and the number of appearances together made one wonder if these were the most important things President Obama had to be doing.

I get that his popularity is an asset that can be used to sell policies not wildly popular on their own. Use of that popularity can step over the line into overexposure pretty easily, though, and that will happen if this White House is not more careful.

As for what the President should be asked tomorrow night: the first, second and third questions should all be about filling positions in his administration and why this is taking so long. The key department, obviously, is Treasury. In other departments, like State, an important issue is whether the plethora of coordinators, czars and special envoys Obama has designated to handle specific portfolios will circumscribe the authority of sub-Cabinet officials subject to Senate confirmation -- especially since most of those officials will come to their jobs after the czars and special envoys have been in place for several months.

Posted by: jbritt3 | March 23, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What if Bush had joked about the Katrina aftermath and claimed he was just engaging in a little gallows humor?

Posted by: Compared2What | March 23, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

You know, the guy just can't win. If he acts dour or worried or freaked out, then we get freaked out and the market supposedly falls. If he acts like yes, life can go on, we can still find things to laugh about while we work at this, then he's frivolous. Do you see him out golfing with his rich buddies? Clearing brush at the ranch every weekend? Looking for WMD under his couch? Reminding us endlessly how scared we're supposed to be of terrorists 24/7?

I appreciate that he's willing to cut out the middle-media and speak directly to people in venues that people pay attention to. When was the last time you heard anyone talking seriously about policy on The Tonight Show? Far preferable than having to translate the melodrama of headlines or listen to pundits whip up populist froth or depend on blog-ravers to know what I'm supposed to think. I don't want reactions, I want information.

Geez, we gave Bush an extra four years despite a truly dismal record during the first four. Since when did we become insta-fix? Chill out, everybody.

Posted by: BlueDog1 | March 23, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The nation is in crisis and it is the duty of every American to support the President who was elected to save our Republic. Anything else is treason, and anti-American.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 23, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I like that he's steady, cool and relaxed. It's what we need, rather than knee-jerk reactionary lashing out at problems we still don't fully understand. Yeah, I am pissed about AIG, but Obama is absolutely right...we need to take the long view. This isn't going to get solved in a 24-hour news cycle.

Posted by: DCTee | March 23, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Compared2What: Hey dimwit, Bush did joke about Katrina. He also joked about his search for WMD's. What if Obama started a needless war resulting in the loss of troops and treasure, and then put out a video lampooning it. You, sir, are the treasonous American Taliban that is the bane of our Republic. You twits came within a hair's breadth of destroying our great nation, and you're lucky not to be in prison for it.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 23, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Because most of us do not understand the complicated investment vehicles-e.g., Credit Default Swaps (CDS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO), Structured Investment Vehicle (SIV)--being used by most of the investment houses, we focus on what we do understand. Again, the media has lost an opportunity to provide information on the "new" investment vehicles. It's imperative that the public understand these new investment vehicles so that we do not let ourselves be whipped into a frenzy by "talking heads" and other "public intellectuals."

Posted by: cdearman | March 23, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely LOVED the remarks from "Beingsensible" [thank you!] because they were SO true:

"When he smiles you people have a problem with it...when he becomes outraged you have a problem with, when he speaks you have a problem with it...if he picks his favorite teams for the final 4 you have a problem with it...when he have guest over at his house you have a problem with it...when he puts forth a plan you have a problem with it...when he speaks to the nation you have a problem with it...when he travels to hold town hall meetings with U.S. Citizens you have a problem with it...I'm sure if he stayed in the White House and never spoke with anyone you would have a problem with that too...let's face it, you hate him because he exist and nothing that he does or does not do will be satisfying to you, because in your mind, the only way he can please you is to just die and take his wife with him...right?"

Give the man some time and space to govern. Just because some critics would not laugh under these circumstances doesn't mean that it's inappropriate for anyone to do so. Maybe it's a telling sign, instead, of his high maturity and deep sense of perspective.

Posted by: candomarty | March 23, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a cool character. he doesn't get flustered easy. We need a steady hand at the helm right now.

It's natural for republicans to be upset, antagonistic and downright ugly. What else should be expected of a party that ruled with an iron fist for so long that now finds itself on the edge or irrelevance?

Like when Bush was the american Fuehrer, the republican populace should just concern themselves with making sure the beer is cold and that the cable works.

All else is way, way over your heads. Relax. America will be a better place for all. Toss your buddies a cold one in the meantime.

Posted by: jfern03 | March 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

hiberniantears wrote (to me): "You, sir, are the treasonous American Taliban that is the bane of our Republic. You twits came within a hair's breadth of destroying our great nation, and you're lucky not to be in prison for it."

Dude, chill. I just posed a hypothetical question. If you think that's enough to land me in prison, then we have very different views of what makes a nation great. My view is, the U.S. is a great nation because it allows people like you to make outlandish accusations like that without recriminations.

Not to mention the fact that you have no idea whether I am an American citizen, if so, who I voted for, etc, etc.

Posted by: Compared2What | March 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I would rather have a President who is calm, relaxed and self-assured in making critical decisions than someone who is flummoxed, lost and puzzled by the turn of events that it takes 7 minutes before he can actually move.

Posted by: sr_1945 | March 23, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

We're still in the first 100 days, and already Republicants are ranting about the problems that Obama hasn't fixed yet. The very problems they created and ignored for 8 years.
Everyone needs to relax and help each other through these trying times. As Obama has said, it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be quick, and everyone will have to sacrifice a bit. But the shear posturing of politicians on both sides of the aisle is not helping, and creates friction and obstacles to solving our problems. Remember America, they are our problems.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | March 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is a wonderful person and very optimistic. When he told us the truth about the dire state of the economy - he was critized for being too stern and serious. His smile is wonderful - we need to see more of this. One does not have to stop smiling becuase one has problems. This man is smart and will help us out of this mess.
Unfortunately, the Dan Froomkin's must justify their existence. These folks sound so dated. Some say he is doing too much others he is in the media too much now he is smiling too much. What will come next from the media.

Posted by: kjones4 | March 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

President Barack Hussein Obama is smiling because the DJIA is up almost 500 points. All those whiny righties blamed him for every point drop and he knows they are going to give him credit for every point gain now. Right?

Besides, what is he supposed to do, read My Pet Goat? Ponder about how many good OB/GYNs can't practice their luuuuv on women? Wonder how many people can't put food on their families? Chop brush? Massage the German PMs shoulders?

The man is cool. Get used to it.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 23, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What if Bush had joked about the Katrina aftermath and claimed he was just engaging in a little gallows humor?

Posted by: Compared2What | March 23, 2009 2:34 PM

People lost their lives and property from Katrina.
Unless AIG and Madoff have gone around strangling people, it's not the same.

Posted by: edlharris | March 23, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"What should reporters ask Obama about tomorrow night?"

Doesn't matter, because the press will not ask any intelligent questions anyway. The will ask important questions like "Mr. President are you out of touch?" Then they'll all strain their ears forward like a comical seen from a Dr. Seuss cartoon yearning for the answer that confirms what they want to hear.

The WH Press Room should be turned into something useful like a day care center, because the people employed by the MSM covering Washington have not been performing any relevant service to the American people, in a long, long, long time.

Posted by: troyd2009 | March 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

There is no reason for any politician to have a modicum of respect for the people during these trying times.

The American people, with their passivity and their contentment with the lies passed as explanations by the 'leaders', have earned the ridicule these leaders are making of the people.

Obama have shown this disrespect since the campaigning.

A people who believe that this man is the messiah, the One, that he is guided by God...can't be but made fun of and taken advantage of.

Posted by: cintronlourdes | March 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

We should be thankful to have at this critical point in time a President who is thoughtful and calm; who appears very poised to confront any problem head on, unlike some president we had who not only spent one third of his presidency on vacation but created so much mess that we had never seen before, for the current administration to clean up. Thanks also to the opposition party whose sole aim is to obstruct any and all proposals WITHOUT ever providing an iota of constructive idea.

Posted by: Bangkokian | March 23, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC's "Morning Joe," played a clip from the Steve Kroft 60-minutes interview. Based on that clip I was as shocked as "Joe" about BHO's smiles and joking answers in response to Steve Kroft's very serious questions.

It was more than disquieting. I hardly ever agree with Joe Scarborough..... so what was Obama thinking when he answered in that manner? And Joe and Co. were also is not the time to be joking about the NCAA results or showing up on Jay Leno.

A commenter above mentioned that the Kroft interview was like a "Cinderella Moment" for Prez Obama.

If Obama wants America to think of him as "Entertainer in Chief" he is doing a great disservice to himself and to our nation.

Posted by: cherubino1 | March 23, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama is amused at how inane and bordering on "stupidity" the questioning about the bad economy. He has talked nothing but the tanking economy, the horrible jobless ness of millions of Americans, he has berated the CEOs ad nauseum, talked non-stop about the economy, economy, economy. Pres. Obama smiles and the stupid press zeroes in on that nanosecond laughter. For over 2 months, Pres. Obama talked, walked, flew to the small towns losing jobs.. . Is the media/mainstream press that obstuse?

Posted by: mstratas | March 23, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Jocular replies when the stock market plunged and when it goes up...sounds more like the result of a medication schedule...note his smoker's cough is back!

Even though Katrina wasn't BUSH's responsibility, but a pack of Dem's who ran the N.O. and Louisiana government the Media demanded he do 'something' immediately.

The media now rules the country, when they say 'jump' you JUMP.

It's Obama's time to jump; and you can't blame Bush...only a DEM dominated congress and a White House filled with amateurs who are overruling cabinet level appointees...swell, just swell!

Posted by: poppadata | March 23, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

To me, Obama's laughter was disturbing. His laughter was certainly not an act-he genuinely thought the problems he spoke of were humorous. He barely concealed his snickering.

I can't understand why he finds citizen outrage of his and other's mishandling of the economy so comical.

I am no body-language expert but Obama was laughing because he was amused.

Obama has always been above it all and now he is supremely above it all in his latest performance.

He laughs at the peons discomfort, let them eat cake.

I hope someone rounds up some body-language experts to analyze his actions.

Posted by: spamsux1 | March 23, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama has displayed a sincere concern for all the unemployed people and those who are losing their homes. He was laughing at the irony he has been dealt with when he stated that his advisers thought they would be deaing with the "IRAQ PROBLEM" and they were prepared for Iraq and Afghanistan, Bushs' wars. Instead, Obama is saddled with Bush's economy! Ironic and it's good to laugh about it. Obama is the right leader for our time.

Posted by: mstratas | March 23, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I find him very reassuring, so he laughed, I like that, he's one calm cool cookie, he's smart, and as you can tell, he couldn't care less about what Washington insiders think, the press and the criticism of his job. He's our President for 4 years, he's above the laughable BS that is Washington. It's way pass time to have someone this bright and focused leading America. After 8 years of sheer incompetence, he's a very welcome change.

Posted by: kburnett1 | March 23, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I really hope the long view of history eviscerates our contemporary media outlets when the current chapter is written. We need an examination into the daily horserace-style coverage that is disassembling our democracy from the inside one anonymously-sourced, uncritically reported claim at a time.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 23, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course the guy is smiling....he just pulled the greatest con ever. That, and he's probably an idiot

Posted by: luca_20009 | March 23, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The most important thing to understand is that President Obama is confident and comfortable with himself. He understands who he is and is content about it. This is why he appears so relaxed.

Reporters and journalists, on the other hand, are a contentious and restless bunch. They can not relate easily to some one like Obama.

The reporters and journalists, as always, are more concerned with the little stuff and they have no real responsibility for what they say. Obama is not interested in the small stuff. He focuses on the important, big stuff. And, his responsibility for the lives and welfare of 300,000,000 people is ENORMOUS.

President Obama occasionaly engages in gallows humor. Why not?

President Obama goes around the Washington media and direct to the people to get his message out. Why not?

The media folks need to get rid of their petulance and their affair with the small stuff. Otherwise, they will be left out.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | March 23, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The nation is in crisis and it is the duty of every American to support the President who was elected to save our Republic. Anything else is treason, and anti-American.


Pure BS!

Posted by: furtdw | March 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The man is cool.

I love it.

Posted by: sherardg | March 23, 2009 1:47 PM


I don't love or admire his "coolness."


Posted by: furtdw | March 23, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It was my impression he was laughing at absurdity of the situtation and the economic mess created by Bush, Cheney, and the corrupt, stupid Congress.

And I can't blame him, either, some people so STUPID you just have to wonder how they ever were able to get power.

But here they are, dying now as a result of their brilliant plans, Darwinism in action.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | March 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The President's future looks very good. With Robert Rubin's students in place in the White House and at Treasury, Obama will get very wealthy. Just like Bill Clinton did;by him do the bidding of Wall Street's muckity-mucks and Obama too will be worth at least $100 million ten years after his presidency is over. Its just the rest of America that will go to Hell. We really need a labor party in America. Both parties are completely corrupt.

Posted by: sperrico | March 23, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama is in way over his head. He came in complaining of the deficit. He has tripled the deficit in two short months.

He is working towards a socialist society. By creating fake outrage at the AIG bonuses, he is fanning the flames of class envy. Today, we hear mention of limiting salaries of executives for companies that the government has NO financial interest in. Everyone should be scared about this.

Look at Geithner's involvement, he has been working with AIG since last fall. They knew.

As for blaming Bush, this is all on him now. Since his election in November, the stock market has lost 1/3 of it's value. That's not Bush that is a direct result of every word that has come out of his mouth.

Biden and Hillary were both right when they said he isn't ready to be President.

Posted by: jcyr4 | March 23, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

We seem to have an unusual number of witless morons with us today, giving aid and comfort to those working hard for America's failure. I see the new theme is Obama getting rich. Is this just for today, or will it be used the entire week?

Posted by: lowercaselarry | March 23, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I love that term "American Taliban." It is the perfect discription of the rabid right. And probably the best way to put those people down is by laughing at them, given that their leader is First Clown Lamebaugh.

Posted by: writer33 | March 23, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep the two "P" words in mind - patience and perspective. George Bush liked to remind the American public that he was a war president, yet he set presidential records for vacation time in Crawford, Texas. While Obama is is new to office and so far invites no comparison to FDR, he is nonetheless, attempting a modern model of fireside chats - complete with FDR-like optimism.

It has taken years for the US and other global markets to hit the economic equivalent of the "emperor's new clothes" (dating back to the hubris, toward the real estate feeding frenzy, and finally the subprime CDO debacle). There are no overnight solutions, and attitudes die hard (witness the AIG entitlement mindset). What Obama and the American public cannot abide is a continuing series of AIG type disclosures that sap attention from a broad, long term and positive response to a crisis which is in need of innovative solutions and out of the box thinking.

Posted by: MillPond2 | March 23, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Why is he cool and collected?

Maybe because he's been in tough situations before and got out of them by clear thinking and hard work?

Maybe because he hasn't had the advantages of birth and class handed to him his whole life, so pretty much everything he has is an object lesson to him in how to survive and thrive when the going gets tough and no magic rescue is going to happen?

Maybe because he's smart, can take the long view, knows how to get there, and knows you don't get there by giving in to setbacks of the moment?

Maybe because he can show the American people he's not about to panic, or give in to rage, or indulge it in his policies?

Personally I find myself liking him more now than ever. This is a man who doesn't get freaked out by problems; he gets to work SOLVING THEM.

Imagine if Shrub's response to 9/11 had been the calm assessment of going after those who attacked us, no matter how tempting it was to give in to anger? Where would we be today in reducing Al Qaeda to an inconsequential group of merely historical importance? Where would be be in harnessing the enormous flood of world support after 9/11? Marginalizing extremist groups of every stripe? The squandered opportunities are staggering.

Nothing wrong with anger in its place. But it has no place in governing, formulating public policy, and solving big problems. You've got to move past that. Obama has mastered that. I applaud him for it.

What, Obama has never had anything in his life to be angry about? I bet he has, same as any of us, and probably more than most. But he found a way to be effective, to do something, to get results. It's a useful skill in statesmanship -- and life.

Posted by: jpk1 | March 23, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

The schmuck is smiling at his special Olympics "joke".

Jackie Mason nailed it.

Posted by: craigslsst | March 23, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama is still smiling because of all those uneducated voters that supported him strictly because of his color. As an African American friend reminded me the other day, Obama has never walked in her shoes. He was raised by a liberal white women and never grew up in the inner cities. He never had a relationship with his Kenyan born father. And the majority of his friends in college were Muslim. She is sad so many do not take the time and learn more about his liberal views and background. She compares liberal democrats to drug dealers that promise just enough to minorities like extended unemployment or increased welfare programs. These sad and helpless folks have given up on life and chosen dependency on the government, so liberals give them the fix they need for their vote. Sadly, their life will remain in the gutter until they decide to pull themselves up and make better choices for themselves. Instead of raising their chilren to believe in hard work through education, they are taught how to work the government welfare gravy train for life.

Posted by: tdl62 | March 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I just love to see the repubes fuming over their irrelevance in Congress and in the White House, man that was a long time coming....8 long years. So just get comfortable and admire our cool President turning the Country around.

Posted by: BFranco | March 23, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

BHO is smiling because he is (1) still fooling most of the people most of the time, (2) using phony indignation to keep the American media and public focused on non-issues, and (3) because he is an idiot and has no idea of how much he has already screwed-up in his first couple of months! Pretty soon those two knuckleheads on the the Hill (Reid & Pelosi) will start to look like, nah, never happen, they're too far gone for anything socially redeemable to happen.

Posted by: traveler11 | March 23, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It is nice to see a person with a level head running the government during these times. McCain would be this way today and that way tomorrow, always suspending something to take care of something else. When there are so many brush fires, Obama is the right man in charge.

Had Bush not been so trigger happy and had he taken a long-range view, things in the ME and around the world would have looked a lot different in 2008. As it was, Bush's approval rating nationally was what America's approval rating was around the globe. Cut Bush's approval rating in half and you have Cheney's approval rating, yet this disaster dares to complain.

I'll stick with Obama until I see his analytical skills wane. He is one smart fellow.

Am I worried about the country going over a cliff with the large amount of borrowing? Heavens no! The Republicans taught us how to borrow and spend. At least the Democrats plan to do something with the borrowed money to help middle-class America. Remember, Bush and company have already taken us over the cliff. Obama is trying to give us as soft a landing as possible. Ask a firefighter what it is like to fight a catastrophic fire. I bet he has few kind words for the arsonist who set it. But I bet it is also a "dirty" and dangerous task. We need to have all hands on deck (sorry for my Navy phrase) to bring this ship of state safely to the harbor. Too many sour-grapes politicians are too busy trying to remove the plugs from the holes to be of any help. They want to ship to sink. Well, let them go down with it!

Posted by: EarlC | March 23, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

remember the roman emperor who played the violin as rome burned, well obama is doing the same by smiling as America goes down...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 23, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Folks, we have a disaster on our hands, yet some of you are too busy counting the "pennies" that we may use. When I see a person in need or in trouble, I do not sit down and look at my bank account. I do what most average citizens do, I pitch in and help. So I may have to charge something, the person needs help now, not when I can afford it.

It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I am very fortunate. I can still afford to pay my part of the national debt to get us out of this crisis, even after my 401k became a 201k. I, for one, did not put all of my eggs into one basket. I was taught this a long, long time ago. I resisted my retirement guy trying to have me put everything into the stock market. I am very glad that I did. My savings may not have grown fast, but I'm not complaining about 6%. I do like the turtle and rabbit (tortoise and hare) fable. As they say, so much for the get-rich-quick group. By the way, I never earned more than $50,000 per year. I never escaped any payroll taxes. There is no need to go further, because it would seem like bragging. I do get a bit steamed with anyone making over $250,000 a year who cannot makes ends meet. Apparently, these people have not had finance management classes.

Posted by: EarlC | March 23, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

DwightCollins said above:

"remember the roman emperor who played the violin as rome burned, well obama is doing the same by smiling as America goes down..."

_ _ _ _ _

However, Nero was alleged to have set the fire before he started playing that fiddle. Obama did not set the fire. I remind you that fires are not predictable. Bush and company did a lot to start this fire, or at the very least they threw fuel on it.

Obama is the fire brigade chief who is trying to coordinate all the folks who are trying to put the fire out. As Bush said on more than one occasion, "You are either for us or against us." Which are you?

Posted by: EarlC | March 23, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

jpk1, you are right-on!

Posted by: EarlC | March 23, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

What if Bush had joked about the Katrina aftermath and claimed he was just engaging in a little gallows humor?

Posted by: Compared2What

What if Bush had joked about not finding WMDs in Iraq? Oh my bad, he did joke about that once.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | March 23, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am glad he's keeping his sense of humor, as we saw on 60 Minutes.

It's not as though Bush/Cheney left anything in good shape. It's been like handing the keys to a burning building over to the next guy and then trying to blame him for the fire. I think Obama realizes that.

Posted by: gce1356 | March 23, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

What if Bush had joked about the Katrina aftermath and claimed he was just engaging in a little gallows humor?

Posted by: Compared2What | March 23, 2009 2:34 PM

Or even worse, what if Bush had joked about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Now that would really have been bad. That --

Oh. Wait. Can I un-post this?

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | March 23, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

arancia12 - It's even better than that. I was listening to Rush the other day and he blamed Obama for every drop in the market SINCE HE WAS NOMINATED. [Wish one could do italics here.] I'm guessing Rush took today off so as to not eat a few healthy heaping platefuls of crow.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 23, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

So the rightwingnut talking point is that Obama is going to get rich. If you invest in stocks while the market is low, you will get rich too.

And let me remind you, Big Dick Cheney got pretty wealthy off his relationship with Haliburton. You know, the company that got so many no bid contracts in Iraq? And BushCo got pretty wealthy off of oil prices. Remember that one of the Saudi princes is so close the Bushes he is called Bandar Bush?

So I think you've made your point. Rich Republicans = Good. Rich Democrats = Bad. Gotcha.

Posted by: agolembe | March 23, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Get To Know Joe Biden
Since Joe Biden has been selected by Obama to oversee the implementation of the Stimulus plan, I thought it would be good to refresh our collective memories on Joe Biden.

In September 1987, Joe Biden's Presidential campaign ran into problems when he plagiarized a speech by Neil Kinnock, who was then-leader of the British Labour Party.

It was also discovered that, when he was a law student at Syracuse Law School, he had plagiarized a law review article. While the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, played down the seriousness of the incident, they did find Biden drew "chunks of heavy legal prose directly from" the article in question. Biden said it was unintentional due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, (after 4 years of college one should know the rules of citation) and Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F, which was later dropped from his record.

When questioned by a New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school, Biden had inaccurately recalled graduating in the "top half" of his class when he actually graduated 76th from a class of 85, and he also falsely stated that he had received a full scholarship, and had earned three degrees. The truth is that he had received two majors, History and Political Science, and a single B.A degree, as well as a half scholarship based on financial need, not academic achievement .

When he was confronted with these truths, Biden withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his past mistakes.

Now aren't you glad Joe is watching over the Stimulus for us????? I'm not smiling!!!!

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 23, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

So a whopping two months in office, and Obama's "time is running out." Two months in office and he is "facing his Katrina moment."

(Not to mention the Republicans accusing Obama of being a dilettante while they twitter away during the psuedo-State of the Union speech. Please. Those clowns were blaming Obama for the *before he took office*; I think it's safe to ignore their "opinions" in this case.)

I know that politicians (and many political columnists) are spectacularly short-sighted, but this is absurd. Krugman--a supporter of Clinton during the primaries--has always been pretty bearish on Obama, so I'm not surprised he's not happy. But Rich is usually a little more positive with Democrats who are actually, heaven forfend, showing forward motion on an issue.

And don't get me started on other media folks.

The American people show support of Obama in poll after poll. They also show that their patience is measured in large chunks of time, rather than 60 days. The impression I get from the press is the same as when Clinton was being impeached and continued to have high favorability numbers: they're disconnected from the "real folks." One would think that they would have learned.

Posted by: dougom | March 23, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The movie "Kings Row" was on TV over the weekend. The climactic moment involves the Bob Cummings character telling the Ronald Reagan character news that Cummings fears will destroy Reagan: that his legs were amputated unnecessarily. Reagan's response: laughter, followed by renewed resolve to live his life to the fullest. Most Reagan fans would consider his laughing in the face of incredble adversity a mark of character.

Posted by: jb1949 | March 23, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

You want to think about a chilling possibility...... President McCain and VP Palin.

Posted by: quavaduff | March 23, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama because I thought and still do think he is the best hope we have for repairing this country. And basically, what other choice do we have at this point? Even if you don't like him as president you can't possibly want the country to slide further down. We all need to do our part and be supportive. I fear our media have no idea of how to do anything except tear things down in order to get ratings. Based on Obama's high poll numbers it's pretty clear most of the public has noticed the media is out of touch and ineffective. I believe by this time next year they'll all be scurrying to explain some of their negative columns just as they've had to be defensive about their cheering on of the Iraq war.

Posted by: bgormley1 | March 23, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

the dude is scool. catch some.

Posted by: katman13 | March 23, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama is quite serious, and he and his white house team are methodically digging us out of our hole. The goons at Fox news and the pathetic remnants of the republican party in congress are, on the contrary, unserious. Isn't this obvious to everyone? (This is not to say that all critics of Obama should be ignored. Krugman in particular raises important questions...)

Posted by: bertram2 | March 23, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I asked what people would think if Bush had joked about Katrina. Some posters (hellslittlestagegel1, horace_simon1) pointed out that Bush had joked about WMD and said how callous that was. I agree (although the hundreds of assembled MSM journalists who laughed at his joke apparently did not). So presumably you all would agree that Obama laughing about the economy was callous. That was my point.

One of you said this was different than Katrine because there people lost lives and property. Please note that people have lost property here, too. And there have been suicides.

Posted by: Compared2What | March 23, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama is smiling because Bush and his Administration left him with a pile of manure, 10 miles high and 10 miles wide.

He has no choice but to smile, so that he can keep the stench out of his nostrils. Go try it for yourself.

Go to the mirror. Now, while looking in the mirror stop breathing for a few seconds; and do not use use your thumb and finger to pinch your nostrils shut.

Now see, does it not look like you are smiling, too.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | March 23, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Byrd Worried By Obama - Byrd Isn't Smiling.
On the Wednesday morning after President Obama's State of The Union Address, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)—the longest-serving member of the Senate—accused Obama of trying to steal power from Congress by appointing White House “czars” to handle issues that would otherwise be handled by departments subject to congressional oversight.

President Obama is circumventing the legislative branch of the government and Sen. Byrd and we have a right to be concerned. We in the Public and our defenders in the press need to keep a watchful eye on the Obama administration lest they try to pull more of the reigns of power into the White House under the guise of "its necessary due to the economic crisis." It is a dangerous precedent and he must be broken of this habit of control early on in his administration.

We didn't let F.D.R pack the Supreme Court so he could do whatever he wanted to, so why would we grant similar power grabs to Obama?

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 23, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama is all "show" "as if" person. He is incapable of empathy. His persona was created. Need I say more.

Posted by: mjno | March 23, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Kessler

Former ACORN Employee: More Than Half Voter Registrations Invalid

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More than half the voter registrations turned in by ACORN canvassers during the last election were not valid, according to testimony to be presented before a House Judiciary subcommittee.

The testimony is from Anita MonCrief, a former employee of an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations. MonCrief, who was fired for improperly charging personal expenses to the ACORN affiliate, originally testified under oath as part of a request by the Republican State Committee in Pennsylvania for an injunction against ACORN. The request was denied. The FBI has been investigating the liberal community organizing group for possible voter registration fraud.

MonCrief will appear at the congressional hearing Thursday with Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Republican committee in the civil suit and is on the executive board of the Republican National Lawyers Association. She will provide a legal analysis of MonCrief’s testimony.

“We will be presenting evidence that ACORN is engaged in voter registration irregularities and fraud,” Heidelbaugh tells Newsmax,

According to MonCrief, ACORN considered 40 percent an acceptable level of accurate voter registrations turned in by its workers. She said ACORN barely trained its workers in how to register voters properly and would fire employees if they did not meet a quota of 20 new voter applicants daily. If the registration cards turned in did not meet the quota, supervisors were told to “fire them right there; don’t let them waste your money for the day.”

If a canvasser was caught committing fraud, ACORN threw the individual “under the bus,” MonCrief said. ACORN employees were briefed on how to deny that voter registration fraud existed, she said.

According to MonCrief, the Obama presidential campaign called her in October 2007 asking for coordination in soliciting donations from people who had already made the maximum contribution to Obama allowed by election laws. MonCrief testified that she was given a massive database of Obama donors who had already reached the limit. Her task was to cull it for potential donors who would then donate to Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate which targets individuals and entities to solicit donations.


Posted by: mjno | March 23, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Ain't it funny Mr. President44, Barack Obama, USA, Can Laugh his Anger Away

Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough opened this morning, trying hard to tear down, President Barack Obama, because he laughed at himself, on 60 Minutes, Sunday Night. If I was Scarborough, I wouldn't tell anyone that I(Joe) has a college Degree in Psychology.
President Obama's laughter on 60 Minutes is justified as well as a great challenge against the Anger, America and the wide-world held over the AIG situation.
Mr. President 44, USA, should be congratulated for being able to use laughter as a measure of discharge, at this point.
Should America be wearied. No President Obama should be highly appreciated for the way, he (President Obama),handles or challenges his anger, light or heavy.
America, let me know, if President Obama, yawns, stretches, scratches, break out in cold sweats....
Perhaps, we should write Morning Joe, a letter of laughter or send him a letter referring Joe to Psychology 101.
Mr. President 44, USA, knows what medicine is necessary to fix America. America trusts Mr. President Barack Obama. That's a good thing. President Obama's laughter, in these crucial times in America is a great thing. It will challenge Americans to laugh more, rather than , escalated anger.
Gloria Keith


Posted by: gloriahnt | March 23, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Laughing all the way. ACORN gets more money, Obama and Michelle get to keep the bonus, and life is good...If Obama didn't have a privileged life through his entire education--the most expensive, exclusive private school on Oahu, to Columbia, then Harvard, what more could he have? Because his mysterious father was Kenyan, and somebody paid the tuition that only the elite can afford, where does this romanticized poor man makes good story come from? It's all part of the myth. Even the staunch Obamites are grasping at the old straws. Wait until tomorrow nite and hope his teleprompter is working!

Posted by: surfbum | March 23, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he's smiling because he knows everything is going to be all right.

You know who had a big smile? Roosevelt. Check it:

Get your tarp on ... hee hee.

Here's another one:

And Roosevelt didn't even have no helicopter -- heh -- plus, check out Michelle, that girl can dig some garden. Dude, the man has an important job, beautiful wife, great house, two fantastic daughters he's proud of, and like almost 80 nuclear powered submarines in his Navy and stuff -- the man is happy, is that bad? Cut him some slack. You think you're gonna get to be President and then we're all gonna watch you mope around all the time and act grouchy. No, I don't think so.

Here is what he feels like on the inside:

Stand back and light up, baby, you the greatest.

Posted by: pressF1 | March 23, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse


How many of you would follow the POTUS into Combat. How many are willing to put your life on the line for Obama. Would you take a bullet for him. Do you have that much trust in him as an individual.

Here is a guy that had DONE NOTHING in his life to warrant being the POTUS. But because he was not vetted by the DNC, MSM or anyone else... he spent 750 million dollars buying your vote.

Most of you appear to be rabid Obama supporters. Yet know nothing about him except the 'face time' that he is always concerned about. You believe everything he says, and you shall walk through the shadow of death.

I for one have had POTUS's that I would go into Combat with and for. I have had some I would take a bullet for.. but Obama is not one of them.

Folks you are beginning to see some of the change he wants.. why should he not be smiling.. he has pulled the wool of 52 percent of the voters... He still has to provide proof that he is a naturalized citizen, or release all documents related to his years in the academic world from High School through Harvard.

It seems that NO ONE CARES that he MAY be in violation of the Constitution, or may not be a citizen at all.

You see he has a lot to smile about... he eats the best food, has the best parties, travels on Air Force One. (tune of 100,000 dollars per hour). And has received a 2.5 advance on his first book AFTER THE WHITE HOUSE.

Want to bet that he pays his fair part of taxes on that one. On the millions he and Michelle will make in endorsements and etc.

Folks take a look at him as the ACORN ORGANIZER.. he is organizing himself into the top echelon as a wealthy man AFTER he is impeached.

Posted by: miller51550 | March 24, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Quick, somebody get a straight-jacket for miller51550. He's having violent flashbacks about ACORN and how Obama "may not be a citizen at all."

Another case of got post-democratic election stress disorder.

Posted by: HughBriss | March 24, 2009 4:28 AM | Report abuse

Stimulus Hypocrisy

Where are the hearings on State irresponsibility and mismanagement, prior to doling out billions to States that have been inarguably irresponsible with their own budgets?
Where are the sensational televised public humiliation of one governor after another as they ask for the money and reveal how they will right size their State budgets to stand on their own in the future?

Where is the deadline for a formal plan of restructuring?
The answer to these questions is that none of that will happen. Despite the fact that the Auto Companies had to go through all of that to ask for far less, our Governors will not be asked to tell us how they will fix their State budgets long run or spend the stimulus.

This bodes ill for our State governments independence and self reliance. Any incentive those States had to make the hard choices to solve their problems long term, have been removed and there will be a precedent set to look to Washington for more money to solve self created deficits.

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 24, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Stimulus Hypocrisy

Where are the hearings on State irresponsibility and mismanagement, prior to doling out billions to States that have been inarguably irresponsible with their own budgets?
Where are the sensational televised public humiliation of one governor after another as they ask for the money and reveal how they will right size their State budgets to stand on their own in the future?

Where is the deadline for a formal plan of restructuring?
The answer to these questions is that none of that will happen. Despite the fact that the Auto Companies had to go through all of that to ask for far less, our Governors will not be asked to tell us how they will fix their State budgets long run or spend the stimulus.

This bodes ill for our State governments independence and self reliance. Any incentive those States had to make the hard choices to solve their problems long term, have been removed and there will be a precedent set to look to Washington for more money to solve self created deficits.

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | March 24, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

All the critics can say is "Acorn! Acorn! Acorn! ... !" or, "birth certifate!" What's most incredible is that some on the right liken him to Bush, who was their "One". Now they see how utterly clueless Bush was? I love Frank Rich, but calling this a Katrina monent goes beyond hysteria.

Posted by: nita3 | March 24, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Amusing.. nearly every negative thing said about Obama in the comments could be applied to Bush with a x10 multiplier.

"He's circumventing Congress!" - welcome to the years-long debate on presidential signing statements that you probably dismissed as partisan politics until now.

"He's tripling the deficit!" - well we could always go back to the Bush accounting rules and literally pretend that Iraq/Afghanistan won't cost any more money. If accounting tricks are all you need to feel safe, we can probably accommodate that.

"He's violating the Constitution!!" - if you didn't have a problem with the "unitary executive", signing statements, rendition and torture, you can just sit back and enjoy a nice hot cup of STFU on this one.

American Taliban... I like that.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 24, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I would ask him if he ever met Sherman Skolnick.

Posted by: hankomatic1 | March 24, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan was notorious for flashing the smile and saying things like, "There you go again," a comment which says, "I will not listen to what you are saying." If a Democrat found this insulting, they could just suck wind and shut up. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. A charming, smiling and energetic President, riding a wave of popularity is not listening to the strident voices on the other side of the spectrum. Perhaps, as the old karmic saying so elegantly expresses, "What goes around, comes around."

Posted by: thoughtful11 | March 24, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

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