Monday, February 9, 2009

News Conference Live Blogging

I should probably turn this into a drinking game somehow based on the inanity of questions from the press corps. But let's give this a try. Times are in Eastern.

8:04 Some pre-buttal for the haters who say that the fact that Obama didn't give the greatest speech in the history of the English language; evidence from the Clinton SOTU's is that people like it when the President gets a little bit wonky.

8:09 Obama: "What I've said is what other economists have said" ... when did he get his PhD.

8:13 Obama: "$800B ... that wasn't some number that I just plucked out of ... ". Pause. Oh man, how awesome would have been to have the President say "my ass"?

8:17 Obama: "Iran's actions ... are not in the interest of International Peace". Hippie.

8:20 It took twenty minutes to get to the first question about bipartisanship? That's pretty good by DC standards.

8:22 I'm really getting tired of this "Creates or saves" formulation; it's ripe for fuzzy math. I get why it's being made, but beyond straight transfers to states or programs like Medicaid I'm not sure when you can tell this stimulus ends up "saving" a job.

8:28 Chuck Todd asks about consumer spending being the source of the problem; Obama points out that the real root here is crappy risk management by banks which gave people the ability to up their standard of living in the short term.

8:38 Oh man. Obama says that after employment and credit, his next goal is "stabilizing the housing market". Don't get me started.

8:45 Obama: "I don't remember what Joe was referring to ... Not surprisingly." I'm glad Obama is self-aware of these games.

8:47 Steroids! Can someone explain to me why it is that this ends up rising to the level of a worthy subject for a Presidential news conference?

8:49 Wow. That's two unbelievably loaded questions from Helen Thomas. Since it confused me, let me point out to readers that Obama isn't saying the "Fatah region", obviously Palestinians are not in Pakistan. He's saying the "FATA region" which is where all the trouble is. The other question was "Do you know if any nation in the Middle East has nuclear weapons". Which is, I assume, a proxy for "will you end the polite fiction that Israel does not have a nuclear arsenal".

8:52 Huffington Post gets a Q! Hooray for the Internets! After all, if quasi-niche outlets like Bloomberg get one, and CNN has similar audience size.

8:54 More on bipartisanship! It's been a suprisingly bipartisan-free press conference.

8:58 The reformist wing is going to love this riff on education.

9:00 "Ideological blockage" sounds like something that Congress can fix by visiting a good New Age Therapist.

9:00 I never understand the schmuck who tries to get the last question in, especially at formal conferences. He's the President of the United States. He's not going to take just one more. Jeez.

And we're done. Just in time for me to move my car.
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