Listening to Obama’s press conference, I am wondering why he is so revved up. He usually speaks in a slow way – halting, looking for words, stumbling. He’s like a guy rushing to finish cutting the lawn on a scorching day before somebody drinks all the beer.
Is he speaking so fast so we won’t understand that he’s not saying anything or is he on something? Or is Michelle wanting to hop on that plane to the Vineyards a little early and she’s put the hammer on him? It’s remarkable.
We’re getting the usual I, I, I and I. The press laps that up. They also like that he deflects blame and responsibility for problems by hot potato-ing them to other agencies. That’s what he does on the four point plan he lays out. Is enumerating something they taught him in college? It’s getting old.
Here they are:
1. He says he’ll work with Congress. When has that ever happened? He said the government is not listening to your phone calls. He already started that mantra.
2. I’ll work with Congress to promote confidence. See point 1.
3. He wants more transparency. Like that promise that laws will be on line three days before voting starts? He wants a website that will serve as a hub for transparency. That’s like a kid figuring that a new computer will finally make him into an A student.
4. Obama wants an outside group of experts to review the program and technological processes. With him, outside means inside. He underscores independent, but every big donor of his trots home with some big reward. He reminds us: intelligent people are working hard every day for you, you ingrates!
The first reporter (from AP) gives him an easy one. She asks if Putin is to blame for our relationship with Russia. Obama basically says “yes, I’m a saint to put up with that fool!” Then he reassures us that he won’t boycott the Olympics (no president ever will after Jimmy Carter’s big flop). Obama manages to work in his pro gayness (guys it’s just because you’ll give him money) and boy does he suck up. “No one is more offended than I am” he said of the Russian stance. He’s hoping gay and lesbian athletes bring home the gold. Obama should get gold for that much pandering.
Second reporter, NBC’s beloved Chuck Todd, asks his opinion on leaker Edward Snowden. Is he a whistleblower, hacker or patriot? He worms in a second question: how can you get stuff done with Russia with a bad relationship with Putin? O didn’t like the addendum because he put his hand to his cheek with a finger stuck up like he wanted to flip him the bird.
Obama actually says that the body language Putin gives off is bad. “He has a slouch like the bored kid in the back of the class room.” Yeah, that will certainly flatter Vladimir and help our relationship. Frankly, I couldn’t blame Putin for being bored. I am. As for Snowden, he says hey, I asked for a review of these programs before he came along. So there!
Steamrolling Obama seems to haave slowed down at this point. Since the teleprompter isn’t rolling and the questions are getting little harder, we’re back to halts and ‘aaannnndds.’ He mentions information comes out in “drips and drabs.” He uses that phrase quite frequently, I’ve noticed. By now the answer is droning on so you don’t notice that he’s really not saying anything. You’re probably slouching in the back of the classroom. He’s making Putin look a lot more human, isn’t he?
Wow – he’s got Republicans on the brain. Obama talks about leaks and the international community and says “rather than have a trunk come out here, a leg come out there and a tail come out there, let’s just put out the whole elephant out there (sic) so people know exactly what they’re looking at.” Is this a random choice of example? I think not. “Let’s examine what’s working and what’s not and let’s move forward.” I guess the idea of a Republican autopsy grabs his imagination. He works in his 2012 slogan – let’s “move forward.”
Major Garrett, previously of Fox News, got the next question. His choosing Garrett looks like an attaboy for that decision, doesn’t it? Garrett then has a stemwinder and flattering question that is frankly embarrassing from a journalist. He notes that there has been a lot of debate on the blogosphere concerning the choice of a new federal reserve chairman. Is it Larry Summers or will Obama break the glass ceiling with the choice of a woman and are you annoyed by the kind of roiling debate going on, seeing it as unseemly?
Obama had to take a sip of water during that question and I can’t blame him.
Obama then says how it’s one of the most important decisions I’ll make and I’ll and I’ll – you get the picture. Then he gives a history of why it matters and spanks the press for criticizing Summers and the woman, Janet Yellin. I tend to defend good folks, Obama says. Obama as hero. Was there an answer in this? No. But he did say “Major, I’d defend you (in the press corps)” and in fact, I have! Doesn’t apply to Fox’s James Rosen, does it? Or his parents.
Next up it’s Carol Lee. Guess she just had a baby because the Preezy of the United Steezy asked if she had pictures. What a guy! Back to the surveillance issue. Why should the public trust you when you’ve evolved in your opinion of these programs? Obama fires back that he’s been critical before, when he was in the Senate. Now they need to “tighten up some bolts” and the government didn’t abuse and didn’t listen into people’s phone calls (again with that. Methinks he doth protest too much). But the ordinary Schmoe on the street reads about these things and actually believes what he reads/sees, but he shouldn’t because I, Barack, tell you it’s OK.
This is when I would ask why I should believe this when Obama’s Senate campaign in 2006 got sealed documents in the Jack Ryan divorce that made that viable candidate drop out. It doesn’t make me want to trust him.
Jonathan Karl asks if Al Qaeda has been decimated as Obama told us. What I said in May, Obama says, was that core al Qaeda has been decimated. I said the others still had the capacity to go after us. If you go back and read the transcript, you’ll see, Obama scolds. Shocking that Karl doesn’t remember every pearl that falls from O’s lips.
Ed Henry of Fox manages to get a two-fer with these: October first the Health Care act was supposed to start but you delayed it. If you can pick and choose which part of a bill to implement, won’t other presidents do that down the road? And, the anniversary of the Benghazi attack is coming up. Where are the killers?
Obama says we now have a sealed indictment out there to get them (wasn’t that just like a day or two before this presser? and didn’t eleven months pass before we even got that?). So there! If there’s anything we can have faith in, it’s an Obama sealed indictment with DOJ AG Eric Holder in charge.
As for health care, Obama says he didn’t do it on his own (true; others wrote it for him), but businesses around the country needed more time. “In a normal, political environment it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker and say, ‘you know what? This is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law.'” Then, after insulting the GOP, he riffed on how he had to use executive orders to do it.
He had to to save lives. Republicans don’t want to save lives. Blocking people is their “Holy Grail” and obsession. He then mentioned how a 26-year-old man came up to him to thank him for Obamacare saying it saved him from cancer. Believe that if you like. Obama didn’t want to mention the worries of the elderly who won’t get operations but will get death panels.
The last question from CNN’s Jessica Yellin posed the dilemma of shutting down the government to stop Obamacare. Obama basically said he will blame the Republicans.
It has worked before, hasn’t it?
With that, it ended and we get a break from him until he returns from Martha’s Vineyard. Nothing on the IRS, nothing on shutting the embassies, nothing on his No. 1 priority, jobs, but you didn’t expect anything unflattering, did you?