President Obama

President Obama Press Conference Thread

The president will be holding a press conference any time now. Talk about it in the comments here. I hope he starts screaming and shouting things -- you know, to show "leadership."

I predict there will be a very serious question either about Michele Bachmann or Rod Blagojevich -- or both.

  • Brutlyhonest

    A little late to this thread but I wanted to add a couple of thoughts:
    1) I’ve been in charge of military units and mixed military civilian organizations. The military pretty much had to do what I said but the civilians could always find wiggle room. Based on my real world experience trying to convince people to play nice together and do the right thing, I’ve been mostly impressed with the President’s leadership.

    B) I hope everyone realizes his supporters aren’t the target for the speech; he knows that the children who think of only their party (country first, my ass) and personal gain won’t change unless they are forced to by voters. That’s his target audience; unfortunately it’s a fight I don’t envy. With the right-wing propaganda machine in full swing – with a side of complicit corporate media – always framing the discussion this is his only way to really get the word out. But I think it’s futile since most people just bitch that their show isn’t on, change the channel, and wait for someone to tell them what was said and what it meant.

  • mrbrink

    The President’s temperament is perfect for the job at hand.

    Dealing with children like the GOP takes a calm but firm demeanor.

    Losing his shit in front of the DC press corp is counter productive because then the issue becomes one of: Is the strain getting to Obama? does he have the temperament for the job?

    Consistency is king. Slow and steady wins the race.

    Anyone that tells you otherwise is engaging in negative opinion-shaping sabotage, even if indirectly.

    Republicans are morons and outright liars. Their talking points and actions are turning people off, but this is the result of too much power in the hands of skittish anti-government amateurs. Elections have consequences, and the president of The United States of all America reminding the electorate of their reactionary decision to put these clowns in power is best left to the results, not anything the president says to disparage their poor rationale at a single press conference.

    John Boehner and Eric Cantor are being politely advised by Wallstreet and the Chamber Of Commerce to cut the crap.

    John Boehner stood up last month at the Economic Club of New York addressing Wallstreet executives and forgot that he was speaking to people that know better than your average partisan Wingnut on Fox.

    And Eric Cantor’s little tea tard terrorist caucus is beginning to make the Chamber of Commerce uncomfortable. Whether they heed these polite warnings by their masters not named Koch is another issue, but I believe ultimately, Wallstreet and the U.S. Chamber is on the side of raising the debt ceiling because to do otherwise is bad for business.

    And contrary to contradictory belief, America is still the best place in the world to conduct business for a wide variety of reasons.

    They’re not going to NOT raise the debt ceiling, and all the childish drama is just a way to soften the discussion for the cutting of the safety net next time around and perhaps get some notable concessions in the meantime. But that’s why elections matter. You don’t vote for people who think fucking with America’s well being, with no credible understanding of economics, is good politics.

    The president appeared to be attempting to sway beltway-press-deference in his direction. The same press that allows people like John Boehner, Speaker of The United States House of Representatives of the Free World to get away with a dangerously idiotic articulation of economics, cause and effect.

    The president was reminding the character sketch artists in the Beltway press corp who the grown up in the room is with this press conference.

    It was a press-conference more than an American people conference.

    • I don’t think that there’s a binary choice between what he is doing now and “losing his shit.”

      Again, the idea that forwarding a raft of painful concessions without anything in return and hoping to shame the opposition into throwing in some on their side is not particularly effective.

      I also think there’s a way to show a sense of command and power with both rhetoric and tone that people will respond to positively. This is not “yelling and screaming.”

      • Arguing with brink just makes you look stupid. He is too smart for you.

      • mrbrink

        He should just do it the Josh Dobbin way and display some vague “sense of command and power” for people who know what the deal is– people who cared enough to watch this particular press conference.

        I watch them all. All the weekly addresses, the joint sessions, the state of the unions– all of it.

        You’re nit picking based on a seasoned to taste notion of the bully pulpit, and really, it’s unfair.

        And I clearly stated that a calm demeanor was my particular criteria for dealing with what are an empowered caucus of domestic right wing terrorists holding the country hostage.

        The only concessions he really talked about today were concessions from the wealthy and he did so honestly and sincerely, by appealing to reason.

        Sincerity is a powerful communication tool, more powerful to real people than divisive “rhetoric and tone.”

        He talks to people like human beings, not a partisan talking point robot.

        It’s your sincerity that is in doubt, sir.

        • There’s actually no enemy here. You don’t need to pull out the, “sir” thing.

          I’m having a discussion. If you are having a fight, that’s on you.

          • Your arrogance knows no bounds, does it? You need to learn to STFU or respectfully respond when you’ve been bested.

          • What was disrespectful there? And do you see any irony in calling a comment about not being a foe or in an ideological fight as a call to “Shut the fuck up” and serve notice that I have been “bested?”


          • JMAshby

            Virtually every comment you have made since showing up here has preemptively painted yourself as a victim by including accusations that we’re all blind and that you have 20/20 vision.

            “But the commenters here”… blah blah blah

            “the commenters here are in an echo chamber” .. blah blah blah

            What do you even want? We get it. You’re oh-so-disappointed. Congratulations. What now? Got anything or just more complaining? More disappointment? Got anything else? ’cause you’re boring me.

            You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Start making a personal effort to change things or get out of the way.

          • ranger11

            He’s okay and we suck. Okay.

          • “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Start making a personal effort to change things or get out of the way.”

            I think there are two types of people in the world: those that break the world into two arbitrary groups, and those who do not.

            As for the personal effort stuff; dude. I’ve helped on a local level for more issues than years you are alive, I would wager. You honestly can’t make those kinds of assumptions based on nothing.

            “Since I’ve showed up here.” Ugh. I have read the site since it began, I was one of the first pre-orders on Bob’s book, I used to contribute, back in the day, when Bob was busy and couldn’t maintain a steady post-stream. (These were the “YO, BUSHIE!” days of plummeting approval ratings for our previous president.)

            As it stands, I figured I’d begin actually commenting again, with the new, easier, non-typepad-sign-in, visiting my friend’s blog and offer some opinions.

            The kind of closed-ranks, clique, group-agree tone in the comments does a really awful disservice to many of the intelligent, reasoned and clever posts.

            It is sad to see the same sort of cycles and dynamics appear across genres and topics. This has nothing to do with politics; you substitute “firebagger” and “one of us” for “Kevin Smith” and “Paul Thomas Anderson,” and the dynamic is the same here as it was on nerd-message-board movie discussions when two directors got into a feud in the late 90s.

            A discussion is where people discuss things and offer their viewpoints. Instant name-calling, labeling and invective is an 8th grade lunchroom dynamic.

            If you carry this attitude out in the actual real world where you actually do things like phonebank or sign up unregistered voters or community outreach, you’re going to do *our* side (not YOUR side, **our** side, since whether you know it our not, we’re both on the same one) a terrible disservice.

            I don’t need to tick off my list of bona fides to begin a civil discussion, but suffice it to say I volunteered, contributed and got people to the polls for the friggin’ *comptroller* in my state, last election cycle.

            You’ve created a hostile environment for anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with any given take with what you perceive to be the “team” consensus. And that’s sad. It is a poor reflection on the blog.

          • JMAshby

            You’re shitting me right?

            We’re going to hurt our side by actually supporting the President?

            Okay. How about this. I’ll play it your way. When I phone-bank, I’ll start off every conversation like this:

            “Hello, here’s all the reasons there are to be disappointed with the president, but would you please vote for him anyway? No? Could I suggest another candidate to you?”

            I can’t recall seeing a single comment from you which wasn’t a negative whine-fest, so yes, I ‘can’ make the assumption that you’re part of the problem.

            Don’t worry. After you get tired of insulting everyone and move on, someone else will come along thinking they are god’s gift to the masses and attempt to exercise us of our POTUS-supporting demons.

          • ranger11

            You didn’t know that we had to be shown right and wrong by our betters?

        • Brink, maybe you’re right. In fact, I hope you are right. Let’s see how it goes and I will be the first one on here giving you total credit afterward.

          • mrbrink

            See how what goes?

            It’s not going to go well, whatever “it” is.

            They’re disenfranchising voters all over the country.

            They’re money bombing the meek progressive competition that does show up to pose a challenge in unprecedented fashion thanks to their friends who decided Citizen’s United and affirmed the rights of already hegemonic corporations.

            They’re dismantling unions and union power, democracy in the workplace, eroding the strength of the only counter weight to absolute corporate power and corporate power will always rally around fascist principles.

            Foreign interests can buy American elections with ‘dark money.’

            60 million confused and manipulated people voted for McCain/Palin and they threw the bums IN last election without any concern for the warnings and pleas and this particular blog’s consistent declaration that elections matter!

            Some people sitting at the Last Supper table of progressive influence chowing down on their fast food politics thought the Democrats needed to be taught some sort of lesson, or proclaimed, “Just Like Bush!”

            It’s a matter of degree of pain and suffering, now.

            The only hope we have is people see the Republican over reach and hard selling shit eating grin driving home the idea that the wealthy 2% are “the majority of Americans” and realize that there is in fact a difference between the two parties.

          • ranger11

            The pain will indeed spread. Next year I might be tested for drugs for food stamp benefits. It’s like the end of “Reefer Madness”. They’re coming for you and yours next. I really wish people would start firing their guns where they need to be fired at this point.

    • As always, you nailed it, mrbrink. Thank you. 🙂

    • MrDHalen

      BAM!!! That just happend!!! 🙂

  • I think that Obama’s natural temperament is just not suited to the job at hand.

    He assumes too much good intentions and collegiality and frames everything as a series of philosophical arguments. He’s also unfortunately bought into the David Brooksian notion of “tough choices” being the hallmark of seriousness; that “belt tightening” as a household is a model for government.

    The when the chips are down, “I believe leaders will lead” isn’t what I really wanted to hear.

    There’s an implicit notion that giving up concessions at the beginning to show reasonableness will *have* to shame the opposition into similar action.

    Only the press/media doesn’t frame things in those terms. They frame in terms of who “wins.” This is the real reason why the Republicans are able to get away with what is, on its face, hypocrisy and infantile tantrums. Because they work for them, and that’s the story.

    The growing chorus of voices that are frustrated with the president’s lack of actual leadership aren’t just the shrill, reactionary ones that are easy to pigeonhole. I wouldn’t count Krugman, Digby or Waxman in the same camp as Hamsher, who *does* take perverse glee in being angry at the president and his administration.

    Henry Waxman’s comments were telling. “To a person, they said the president’s going to cave. If you’re not going to cave, eliminating that misunderstanding is very, very important to the negotiations. And if you’re going to cave, tell us right now.”

    The commenters here seem to have gone to the mattresses and think that it is a matter of perverse, personal glee that people disappointed with Obama’s strategies — and results– with the opposition have in being disappointed.

    That it is all Veruca-Salt bean-feast wig outs; not so.

    I get that this was confrontational *for President Obama,* and as such, that’s the frame that the media is walking away with, soundbite wise: OBAMA TO REPUBLICANS: TAX MILLIONAIRES!

    And I’m all for that. I just think that he hasn’t yet figured out just how much the other side truly and completely doesn’t care about what it dismantles or who it hurts to get what they want.

    There’s an assumption on his part that at the end of the day, we’re all Americans and that will bind us together.

    But the interests behind the republicans are not just multi-national companies, they’re EXTRA-national entities with agendas that have little or no overlap to the idea of America as we see it, but rather as a market. In their shitty terms, they’re perfectly willing to “move their cheese” into other markets that rise as ours declines.

    Also, I wish he’d have put that guy in his place who asked the question “Why didn’t you use the word VICTORY?” and explained to him that Afganistan isn’t a place where some titular leader can hand over a sword and sign a declaration of surrender with terms and conditions.

    • Josh, I agree. I think the framing wasn’t done in a way that will help the negotiations one whit. And it may be that no matter how Pres. O framed it the media already had a “take” on it. Or it may be that Pres. O really doesn’t get how willing the R’s are to sabotage their own country for their corporate overlords. I’m very down about things now. I was really hoping I’d feel better after his press conference, not worse.

      • I’m sorry IG, but I disagree with 99.9% of Dobbin’s post. He is a junior firebagger with no understanding of the reality of our situation, and too much ego to consider that perhaps he is wrong.

        • I imagine if you were to stub your toe on a rock, you’d yell “FIREBAGGER!” at it.

          Seriously, it is a pathology you’ve got going on.

          • Get over yourself. That would certainly be a start to the ability to recognize when you yourself and you are a bratty dumb-stupid.

          • You know that thing where people name the demons driving them and project them onto people?


            I’m a lifelong passionate liberal, I’ve written for this blog back when it was RBN, I attended a friggin’ DUKAKIS rally by myself when I was 16. I’ve contributed to and volunteered for every Democratic candidate for president *since* Dukakis and I do even more for local and state races.

            But holy living shit, if I had to spend 4 minute with you on an elevator, it might be enough to make me a conservative, just to not be identified as living in the same Venn Diagram circle as you.

        • Okay so we see no change afterward. So 1) he failed to communicate what was needed, or 2) no matter what he said it didn’t matter, or 1 and 2. What do you think?

          • 2

            Nothing he says will change their course. I think that’s pretty much a given.

            Adding…….you are referring to the Pres, correct?

  • Fucking fascist corporate shills.

    Immediately after the president’s news conference, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the chamber will “not agree to a debt limit increase that raises taxes.”

  • The huge difference between the Pres and the Idiot Bush, is purely mind-boggling in terms of intelligence and knowledge especially, but also in terms of policy and work ethic.

    Adding …. I think he made the point about Republicans and the debt ceiling.

    • I only watched some segments after the fact on CNN. I didn’t see what I wanted though. He needed to say….something like, ‘This has to originate from the House. I have provided an ton of guidance and suggestions but it has to originate there. ‘ That puts the onus back on them…then follow that up with clear, concise arguments that the economy has to grow and the ways we know it can grow…through govt investment.

      • He basically did do that, IG. You can watch the whole thing at c-span.

        • Thanks! How do you feel it went?

          • Like you I would have liked to see more bluster, maybe, and I suppose, since I’ve been told that the 17% in tax increases he’s demanding isn’t enough, I’d like to see that ramped up or cuts decreased.
            But, we have to work with what we have, IG. I try hard (and some days it’s really hard) to put aside my personal feelings on many things re O & the Democrats. I feel it’s necessary to do that right now because we are, as I always say, at a crossroads, and after all, the most overriding concern, at least in my mind, is that we navigate that crossroads, and focus on holding back the fascists as best we can. We won’t hold them back if we don’t give our complete support to the Pres at this particular time in history.

            It is easier for me because I firmly believe that Obama is in it for the people. Not the wealthy, but the middle class and the poor. So what if we disagree with him on issues where it could be said he is doing the best he can in the face of a perfect storm? To me, it isn’t worth upsetting the applecart right now. Fraught with too many dangers.

            Read this short piece and tell me if you learned something about O. (h/t mrbrink)

  • Now, now Bob. If I didn’t know you better I would say you’re being sarcastic. 😛

    I don’t want him to scream and yell but I would like to see the same man that I saw during the 2008 Election Victory speech. That man was serious and sharp and direct. He was magically compelling and authoritative. That’s what he must be today.