President Obama’s second prime-time press conference was even more of a snoozer than his first. At just under an hour, he valiantly braved the press corps and gave non-answers to a grand total of 13 questions, which nets out to about 4 1/2 minutes per non-answer. Can I get a yawn?
Some reactions from around the blogiverse:
Confederate Yankee gives it to us in a nutshell:
Capitalism is a systemic virus that we cannot hope to kill, and as distasteful as that thought is to my Administration, it is something that we can hope to control if you give us unprecedented power.
We need to institute cap-and-trade so that we move from real, but pollution-causing energy sources to environmentally-friendly solutions that presently, err, do not exist….
We’ve going to cut the deficit in half, which is why our national debt will being to skyrocket. It’s simple economics. For growth we need sustainable um, other examples of domestic products… dropping discretionary defense spending to lowest levels since the 60s. Hey, do my critics offer a better idea? Let’s talk about Mexico!
…Invest, invest, invest. And by that, I mean let’s spend your money.
I’m going to give a long and rambling misdirection instead of answering your question about AIG, though I will admit I didn’t voice my opinion because I didn’t know what was going on.
From the LA Times Blog:
It’s worth noting some of the things that did not come up during the Q & A with the press.
Iraq, for one. Never came up. Isn’t there a war going on?
Afghanistan didn’t come up either, though one question about Israel slipped in. (We were glad to hear a question about drug violence in Mexico and Obama’s praise of the Mexican president.) We also noticed that no one asked about the president’s picks for March Madness, but for that we are thankful.
Malkin liveblogged the event, and her comments are, as always, snort-worthy:
AP’s Jennifer Loven gets first question…why pushing for new government authority of financial institutions? “I think there’s going to be strong support for this authority.” AP: “Why should people trust govt to buy up toxic assets?”
BO basically says: Because they will.
Refers to IndyMac as a success story. Hello?
Talks about the “tools” he needs.
Tools = power/control.
Politico asks about mortgage interest/charity deduction limits. Obama still supports. “It’s not gonna cripple them. They’ll still be well-to-do.”
Follow up: It’s not just the wealthy. It’s the charities.
Obama: They’re wrong.
My own contribution to this non-event is the complete acceptance by both the President and the press corps of an extraordinary statistic that was launched during a question by Kevin Chappell, senior editor of Ebony, in which Mr. Chappell made the claim that “1 in 50 children are now homeless in America.”
Where did he get this statistic? He (and many others) extrapolated it from a report released just yesterday by the National Center on Family Homelessness, that’s where. The actual quote from the report is that “one out of every 50 children in America experienced ‘homelessness’” during 2005-2006 (emphasis mine). Which is not quite the same thing. Think about it.
The NCFH also defines “homelessness” in a was that is radically different from that established and used by HUD and other government agencies, and which dramatically inflates the numbers of homeless children (one example: lots of children were homeless during Katrina—they’re still counted in the NCFH numbers). FoxNews wrote a scathing article on the NCFH report. You can read Fox’s article here (highly recommended). For the actual report (not the executive summary), go here.
All in all, I think I’d rather have watched American Idol, or banged my head repeatedly against the wall. Next time…