January 23, 2009

"Well, you can see why that would catch him by surprise..."

Indeed.

IN THE COMMENTS: Quayle said:
"For heaven's sake - I'm just visiting you in the press room! The last thing I want to do is answer a bunch of questions!"
Joe said:
"You can't ask questions in here — it's the press room!"
LOL....

55 comments:

Host with the Most said...

If the point of the remark is to say that Obama would be expecting nothing but softballs from a worshipful media, well, welcome to the real world, Mr. President!

I didn't vote for him, of course, but I am no fan of the "rude", "gotcha", or apron strings "public's right to know" media either.

Just ask the necessary, probing questions. But be respectful, damnit!

blake said...

HwtM--

Do you think the question in question qualified as "rude", "gotcha" or frivolous?

blake said...

Barack likes to dictate the pace and tempp of every conversation!

There's a parable about hero worship in there somewhere. I think.

Eric said...

I didn't vote for him either, but I can't get worked up about this. He took an unscheduled swing by the press room to say "hi". Since nothing's really "off the record", I wouldn't expect him to answer serious questions without preparation.

AllenS said...

"Why can’t I just eat my waffle?" "Why are you reporters always asking questions." "Why are you people always following me around?"

traditionalguy said...

I haven't seen any confidence from Obama yet, except his sureness that he can charm his way past anything. The buck stops here attitude is not yet part of his self knowledge. Thus could be verrry interesting as Shultze would say.

Jason said...

It bothered me when I heard how Obama put his hand on the reporter's shoulder and stared into his eyes. I imagine he was trying to control his anger. It reminded me of a report that he once cornered Leiberman on the Senate floor, out of range of cameras, and yelled at him. Then I remember his prior drug use, the cult of personality he has struggled to build; and the word "sociopath" springs to mind.

martha said...

Don't like the intimidating image of Obama placing his hand on the reporter's shoulder. That is a real no no.
Remember the Press Conference during the campaign when Obama was asked questions about Rezko buying the property adjacent to the Obama property? Obama stormed out of that press conference after 8 or 10 questions very annoyed with the reporters. I see a trend.

Shanna said...

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Grow up, Mr. President. It's not a campaign anymore. These are reporters. They are supposed to ask you questions.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't like the intimidating image of Obama placing his hand on the reporter's shoulder.

Well to me that was his way of politely saying:

Don't ever fucking do that again. Who the fuck do you think you are? I'm the fucking President and you will show some fucking respect. You will ask questions when I fucking tell you can ask questions. Are we clear?

That's a prime example of what happens when the toughest question you were asked during the campaign was: What's your favorite color?

tjl said...

"It's not a campaign anymore. These are reporters. They are supposed to ask you questions."

Given the media's reverential campaign coverage, O.'s understandably vexed. But even the most starry-eyed Obamaphiles will eventually tire of the role of acolyte. Journalists' personalities and training don't suit them for worship.

jayne_cobb said...

Jason,

I remember a similar story coming from his days in Illinois; there he confronted and shouted at another lawmaker after a disagreement between the two.

Larry J said...

"Why can’t I just eat my waffle?" "Why are you reporters always asking questions." "Why are you people always following me around?"

Now, it's "Why can't I just be President?"

He resents being asked real questions now because he never was grilled during the campaign. That's why so many reporters are now saying they don't know much about him. They only had two years to find out but were too unprofessional to make the effort.

Lawgiver said...

If the President puts his hand on your shoulder. Can you simultaneously put one of your hands on his shoulder or will the secret service put you down?

Leland said...

I wasn't aware the press is doing its job by shaking hands and welcoming the President in the Press Room. Every year, there is a dinner with the White House Press Corps. There, it is a social hour. The Press Room is where those journalist work.

If you just want to have a social, instead of making a surprise visit. Try announcing a social.

Still, I give credit for Obama. A leader engages opposition on their own terms. It was a deflection of the topic, and when he does have that Press Conference, he can be sure to skip that reporter. After all that reporter was rude to him earlier.

Original George said...

He'll never tour that place again, and whoever suggested he make the visit has already been yelled at.

Meade said...

Love the Insty parody.

Eva said...

Oh my, how alarming. He's been rumored to shout at people. And put his hands on their shoulders. How very sociopathic. I'm clutching my pearls as we speak!

Lawgiver said...

"Please don't touch me like that Mr President it makes me feel uncomfortable. Can we talk without touching? I have a thing about people invading my personal space without my permission."

"You're going to kick me out of the press pool because of that? I can't help the way I feel, I mean I voted for you but I just don't like to be touched by anyone except immediate family. I was molested by a priest when I was 9 and then by a policeman when I was 10. I just don't like to be touched by people."

"No, wait, please, I'm not kidding, DON"T TASE ME BRO,ARRRRGGGGGGG!"

Der Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Der Hahn said...

AllenS - don't forget "Hold on a second, sweetie."

blake - That seems to be the root cause of the fumbled oath despite all the pixels and ink spilled speculating that CJ Roberts is a 'grammar snob'. Obama evidently expected Roberts to use the stilted and oft-parodied "I, state your name -pause-" format to allow him to speak his name with dramatic flourish. Roberts followed a more natural style in keeping with how the oath is actually written and punctuated by taking a half-breath after reciting Obama's name, and aiming for a logical pause at the end of the first phrase (...President of the United States,...). CJ Roberts should have recovered after Obama started walking on his line but he wasn't mentally editing the oath. I don't know if Obama's second pause was pedantic, expecting the CJ to correct himself, or if Obama was trying to figure out if he should just say the phrase correctly despite Robert's errors. He decided to vote 'present' again by repeating the incorrect words.

waterdarling said...

And I thought Obama supporters had unrealistic expectations of him...and here are opponents expecting him to not experience the common human emotions of annoyance and anger!

Boy, does he have his work cut out for him...

k*thy said...

He'll never tour that place again, and whoever suggested he make the visit has already been yelled at.

Yes, he'll never be doing that again.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Answering questions from reporters is part of a president's job. Annoyance and anger at being called on to do your job is a common human emotion only at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Shanna said...

And I thought Obama supporters had unrealistic expectations of him...and here are opponents expecting him to not experience the common human emotions of annoyance and anger!

It's not that he's not allowed to be angry (I certainly don't quibble when he looks mad at Biden, even though it's his own fault bc he picked him). But to be angry that a reporter asked you a question? That's what they're supposed to do!

Palladian said...

"Oh my, how alarming. He's been rumored to shout at people. And put his hands on their shoulders. How very sociopathic. I'm clutching my pearls as we speak!"

Clutch tighter. In fact, pull them tightly around your neck... tighter...

waterdarling said...

or the police dept., or any of the assorted federal tax offices...or most gov't jobs. :)

I agree he should've answered the question, if he'd had a good answer he probably would've. I'd like to know the answer myself. But, don't think him sociopathic or otherwise unjustified at being annoyed that such a weighted question was asked not at press conference...even had it been one he could answer.

Ophir said...

That's a prime example of what happens when the toughest question you were asked during the campaign was: What's your favorite color?

To be fair, there was that one 'gotcha' moment when he was asked "If you could be any kind of tree, what tree would you be?".

waterdarling said...

there's a time and a place...
ask him serious questions like that when he is in the hot seat, not walking by, shaking hands.

Ophir said...

there's a time and a place...

Yeah, like during the primaries.

AllenS said...

The last time we heard about a hot seat in the White House, is when Bill Clinton was sitting at the Oval Office desk, having his ashes hauled.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Finally, something to replace that old pretend-you-can't-hear-the-question-over-the-noise-of-the-helicopter cliche. "This isn't a press conference! How DARE you?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

If you just want to have a social, instead of making a surprise visit. Try announcing a social.

It should be an ice cream social too.

AJ Lynch said...

This happened on the 2nd full day of his presidency? Has Althouse called him a pussy yet? Heh.

k*thy said...

After looking at the video, there really seems to be no there, there. Chalk it up to the wishful thinking of a reporter.

traditionalguy said...

My attention was drawn to Pres. Obama's ritualistic way of greeting everyone of his subjects [the "reporters" have certainly submitted to him so far]. It reminded me of a Papal tour. And yes, the hand lain on the shoulder is a display of personal authority. You have not been really humbled until you have had to deal with this form of soft but total authority used by many empowered Black office holders who "never speak any way except softly", but also never give you an inch of real compromise beyond the pleasant personality. These victors closely keep all spoils for themselves which they have won by being non-threatening Blacks.

Jamie said...

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Thus saith the President, on Day Two. It surprises me that (1) he seems to believe it's appropriate for him to be, not just cordial, but friends with the supposedly adversarial-by-mission Fourth Estate, and (2) he didn't have at least an unresponsive but pleasant response such as, "Can you save that question for the press conference scheduled for (blank)? I'd like this just to be a quick meet-and-greet." And then be SURE to follow up on the question later. Isn't that the kind of change we were hoping for?

(I myself wasn't so much hoping for change. I preferred the open acknowledgement that "change," per se, is not necessarily beneficial. Unfortunately for me but I (er...) hope not, in the end, for the nation, I was outvoted.)

TosaGuy said...

Our last president was never asked rude, gotcha questions when he was just trying to be friendly with folks. Never ever.

holdfast said...

"It bothered me when I heard how Obama put his hand on the reporter's shoulder and stared into his eyes. I imagine he was trying to control his anger. It"

-I had assumed that Oabama was trying to "glamor" the reporter like the Vamps do on True Blood.

-Ok there little reporter, show me on the anatomically correct doll where the bad president touched you...

Jason said...

Eva,

I'm not diagnosing anything. Lots of people are off a little. But the way reporters are writing about him I wouldn't consider him dating material. It sounds like he has some parts of his personality that I wouldn't like.

Tibore said...

Off topic, but still relating to Obama: Looks like he was given a Sectera Edge after all.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/22/obama.blackberry/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

The annoying part?

"... The press secretary refused to provide more details about the new president's device, already being called the "BarackBerry"".

This election resembles less the second coming of Lincoln and more the second coming of the Beatles.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I had assumed that Oabama was trying to "glamor" the reporter like the Vamps do on True Blood.

Nah. Vulcan Nerve Pinch, without a doubt.

Did everyone watch the video at Politico? He said "you know" about as often as Caroline Kennedy would have.

Big Mike said...

The outgoing Washington Post ombudsman had been pushing the meme that once Barack was in office that reporters would revert to their traditional hard-hitting questioning (Good Golly Miss Molly, I want to gag just typing this!). I send an Email to call BS on her, but her response was very gracious and she thinks it really will happen.

Maybe it will.

But even if the Great One stumbles in office and the MSM actually report it without sugar-coating it (well, folks, the Brooklyn Bridge was getting on in years so maybe it's a good thing that al Qaeda blew it up during rush hour because that lets us build a new and better bridge as part of the infrastructure initiative) then in 3 1/2 year expect to see editorials describing how Barack Obama has "grown in office."

Joe said...

Obama is president not a monarch. The office deserves respect, but not the man. He has to earn it. I thought the question entirely appropriate, especially since it pointed out the hypocrisy of the new administration (hypocrisy that would have been harped on even with Clinton, so it's not just a liberal/conservative thing, but a press-to-busy-sucking-Obama's-cock sort of thing.)

holdfast said...

"Nah. Vulcan Nerve Pinch, without a doubt."

He does look a bit like Tuvekh (sp?) from Star Trek: Voyager. Of course, Tuvekh was half Vulcan and half black, whereas Obama is half hippie and half black.

Quayle said...

"For heaven's sake - I'm just visiting you in the press room! The last thing I want to do is answer a bunch of questions!"

Joe said...

It's more "You can't ask questions in here--it's the press room!"

raf said...

"You can't ask questions in here--it's the press room!"

Perfect.

Meade said...

Hey, you can't make wisecracks in here. This is a blog!

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael H said...

"You can't ask questions in here--it's the press room!"

Okay give the guy a break. It's the third day, he doesn't yet know his way around the entire complex and he thought he could go to the press room and get his pants pressed.

GWB probably told him the ironing lady was named Helen Thomas, so I blame Bush for this dust up. Texan humor.

Albatross said...

"Of course, Tuvekh was half Vulcan and half black, whereas Obama is half hippie and half black."

Just a quibble: Tuvok was full Vulcan. Apparently the planet Vulcan has African-Americans as well.

Florida said...

LOL,

Sycophants.

Really ... I mean, how would you like to be among a group of people known as sycophants to some Illinois state legislator turned accidental president.

How degrading! Someone should grow a set of balls. I mean, really, there's not a shred of dignity in the room.

Jim C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim C. said...

Michael H said... GWB probably told him the ironing lady was named Helen Thomas, so I blame Bush for this dust up.

Well, if Helen Thomas was the ironing lady and the ironing lady was a reporter, the reporting would improve, but the ironing would go to pot.