Presidential press conference: my quick and dirty take

Posted on March 24, 2009

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Unlike millions of saddened American Idol fans, I freely chose to watch the Presidential press conference tonight. Reoprters tonight pressed a little bit harder tonight than they have in the past, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. President Obama renewed his call for the power to seize businesses, amazingly arguing that this lack of authority is the reason for the AIG situation. He dismissed repeated concerns about the size of his budget, saying it was important to invest now for potential savings down the road. The only problem is that spending government money in this fashion isn’t going to lead to spending less government down the road. Characterizing the massive spending as an investment is a bit disingenuous, in my opinion.

The President answered 13 questions in 1 hour, a low number, but not surprising considering the length of most of his answers. At one point, Jake Tapper of ABC asked bluntly, “Would you sign a budget that didn’t contain the middle class tax cut and your cap-and-trade proposal?” Obama responded with a lengthy retort that didn’t really clarify his position.

I give Obama credit for playing down the softball race question, saying the American people are judging him just as he should be judged. He stands by the reduction in deductions for charitable giving, saying only 1% of givers are affected. But, as Dick Morris, those 1% give a large majority of charitable funds, and it doesn’t make sense to me to propose and vehemently defend a policy that in any way makes charity less attractive.

I’m sure a lot of the analysis will boil down to, “My, my, look how regal and Presidential he looked. Good show, Mr. President, good show.” I just thought I’d give my own two cents, sure to be lost in the swirl of opinion. Michelle Malkin liveblogged the presser, and RedState has an open thread to check out if you’re interested.

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Posted in: News, Politics