The Obama Presser

I suppose I should say something about last night’s Obama press conference.  Like Andrew Sullivan, I did not watch it live.  Unlike Sully, I did not DVR it and do not intend to watch it at some future point in time.  (I did, however, watch the previous night’s “Heroes.”)

My reasons are these:

    1.  The man’s on TV constantly.  Didn’t we just have one of these?! He’s overexposed.  It’s simply not a big deal that he’s on TV.  Now that I watch entertainment programming entirely via DVR, it’s not even a nuisance that he’s interrupting the regular programming.

    2.  I forecast, correctly it seems, that I would learn nothing new from watching and that, if actual news were to break, teh Internets would catch me up.

Sully has a good roundup of various blogger reactions at the link.  From what I’ve gathered, the assembled press asked him the wrong questions, he gave fairly sober, unremarkable answers, and there were “no big announcements, no new positions, no surprises of any kind.”

Looks like watching “Heroes” was the right call.

Photo: Reuters

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    I watched it–only because I was feeling a little constipated and thought it might help.

    You missed nothing but a whole bunch of liberal clap trap.

    The guy’s presidency has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster. He has plunged us into an economic downturn, allowed us to be invaded by Mexican drug gangs, helped the Iranians get nukes, and caused more violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He is a typical liberal failure.

  2. Hoodlumman says:

    I had a fantasy baseball draft last night. It went well. I like my team going forward.

    And Triumph, I think you’re being a partisan hack. He inherited everything that was wrong. It’s all Bush’s fault.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m sorry, Hoodlumman, but the position of resident satirist at OTB as already been taken and Triumph is it.

  4. Bithead says:

    Agreement, all points, James.
    One additional:

    For all the descriptions I heard of it from folks who DID watch it, is that it took on the appearnce not of a preser involving the POTUS, but of a campaign appearence. An example of how orchestrated this thing was;

    He’s been getting a lot of heat for leaning on the teleprompter so heavily. So, it wasn’t in the view American saw, last night. This morning, via the blogs, we learn taht the teleprompter screens up front have been replaced with one hudge flat screen in the back… somethng most of the reporters there didn’t dare mention, despite their sitting next to it, as the pictures we saw this morning showed.

    Obama’s approval ratings are coming down …. fast… and this is Obama nd his people retrating into the far more comforting and familier campaign mode. He’s not offering anything but his face. That’s not the position of a presdient and a leader. That’s the position of a candidate… and a poor one at that.

  5. I watched about 5 minutes of the speech while I was on the stationary bike at the gym.

    I strongly suspect that my enjoyment was a lot higher for the fact that I had no headphones with me, and hence no sound.

  6. Christopher says:

    Didn’t watch it? On TV too much?!? What are you talking about, James!

    This is the messiah! This in The One. Every word he speaks is golden, every utterance profane, er, profound. Just look at the reporters straining to hear each syllable, searching for eye contact so that they have something to tell their grandchildren. Listen for the explanation as to why Obama’s deficit is W’s fault and how we have to double our debt in order to cut it in half; why we have to stay in Iraq in order to leave; why the same war in Afghanistan is now a better war; why the war on terror isn’t really a war at all; why tax cheats make great treasurers; and why a failed Congress should still lead the way.

    You’re really shortchanging yourself, James.

  7. steve says:

    The folks from the WSJ and Fox were there, as well as the Washington Times. If he was reading his answers off the screen, why dont they report it?


  8. Bithead says:

    The folks from the WSJ and Fox were there, as well as the Washington Times. If he was reading his answers off the screen, why dont they report it?

    Most liekly, Steve, because they wanted to be invited BACK, you see. Now, if Bush retaliated like that, say not inviting Helen Thomas back, or dissing her in the slightest, the angst machine would be at peak revs before the echo died. Not so with Obama doing the same thing to someone who dared ask HIM an embarrasing question. I’m waiting for example, for Jake Tapper to get the boot. Mark well; it’s going to happen.

  9. pylon says:

    Ummmmm – perhaps the reason they didn’t report that he read his answers from the screen was because he didn’t. He used it for his prepared opening remarks.

  10. just me says:

    I generally don’t waste my time watching political speeches or press conferences anymore. I find I can generally find the information I need on the internet the next day without actually wasting an hour or so of my own time.

    I think Obama is campaigning more than leading anyway, and comments on the speech/press conference confirm that.

  11. steve says:

    “Most liekly, Steve, because they wanted to be invited BACK, you see”

    It would be a blockbuster report for a network like Fox, which has no fear of not being invited back and as at no risk of being a favorite anyway. Now, I could be wrong, and all the right leaning news organizations are spineless beyond belief. Even then, that makes no sense. These are the same organizations that were claiming he is a Muslim, not a US citizen, calling him a socialist, and those are some of the nicer things they have said about him. Now, they are hiding his teleprompter use? Why? Makes no sense.


  12. DL says:

    Was Obama on last night? I thought it was just reruns.

    What do you know. I suppose I should have noticed that the halo had slipped a bit.

  13. Joe says:

    I like his strategy. He needs to keep up the appearances and talk to the American people regularly. You might not have noticed but there are a lot of blogs and opinion websites out there that want to lie to you.

  14. Floyd says:

    Pappa oom “Mao Mao”, this guy’s image is everywhere.
    They must be using blue screen though, to hide his starving Brain Slug… Dave.

  15. odograph says:

    Heh. I stopped watching Heroes sometime in season two for similar reasons.

  16. Wayne says:

    After reading his opening remarks, he basically ignored the questions and kept repeating his talking points. Anytime he got stuck he would look down at his notes and repeated his talking points. Not sure why he needed his notes because he just repeated his talking points. He never elaborated on anything or gave specifics he just repeated his talking points, repeated his talking points. Oh, sorry flashbacks.

  17. Wayne says:

    Anyone catch the line when Obama said something close to “I will do it from day one”?

  18. anjin-san says:

    Hmmm. The President talked. 31 million people tuned in. The DJIA (a leading indicator, after all) is approaching 8000 after a sustained rally. While this may have Bit and the rest of the Bushies contemplating jumping out of a window, most Americans think it is good news.

  19. Floyd says:

    You should watch Richard Burton’s last film!

  20. Alex Knapp says:


    You’re still watching Heroes? I jumped off that train a while back. I recommend Dollhouse instead.

  21. James Joyner says:

    You’re still watching Heroes? I jumped off that train a while back. I recommend Dollhouse instead.

    I’ll give Dollhouse a whirl. I often don’t start watching shows until a critical mass has built up that I can watch in rapid succession via Netflix or other means.

    Heroes is still pretty good, although I liked it better when it was a story arc rather with a forced end point than as episodic television.

  22. hcantrall says:

    Is Dollhouse actually good or is it just a vehicle for Elizabeth Dushku’s boobs?

  23. James Joyner says:

    Is Dollhouse actually good or is it just a vehicle for Elizabeth Dushku’s boobs?

    Arguably, a distinction without meaning.