Posts Tagged 'press conference'

Mission accomplished…not yet

I went to the Ojai Friends of the Library meeting last night.  As usual, on the way I picked up Martha.  “Hi Martha, waiting long for me?”  She said “No, I was listening to the President’s talk  and then answer the reporters’ questions.”  Crap, I thought.  I had forgotten all about the press conference.    “How did he do” I said.  “He’s pretty glib” she said.

Not a bad assessment coming from a 92 year-old woman who’s probably seen it all, even with severe eyesight problems.  I made a mental note to click on CNN when I got home.

CNN did a replay of the conference.  But by the time I plunked myself in front of the TV there was only about half of it left.  I watched, was mildly satisfied with Obama’s handiwork, and then prepared myself for the cynical…oops…critical reviews.  On came Wolf Blitzer looking like he was gassing up the Panzers for a frontal assault.  “Didn’t Obama look tired?  I thought he looked tired?  Didn’t you think he was tired?”  Quite incisive.  What did he expect after dealing with a gazillion dollar budget, toxic assets, Republicans who want a repeat of the Titanic disaster,  AIG screw-up bonuses, folks on the breadline and, most importantly, no pet dog yet for the White House.  Who did Wolf expect, Mary Poppins?

Visions of John McCain floated through my head.  I wondered what would’ve happened if the Old Guy had won.  Probably dead by now.  The Snow Queen stepping to the microphone to field questions from guys like CNN’s Ed Henry.  Compared to him, Katy Couric was a cakewalk.   Ed’s a frustrated thespian who wishes he was born during the time of Shakepeare.  Iago, a sinister sort, would have suited him.

“So, Mr. President, how come you waited for days before leaping to the TV camera to proclaim your hatred for those AIG bastards who stole all that bonus money?”  The burning issue of the day.  The issue that should leap front and center to Obama’s agenda.  A relatively composed President replied “Ed, you shithead, I thought I’d check out the facts before I made a fool of myself…like he who must not be named.”  Or something like that.

Yes, the President probably told a fib.  He wasn’t totally transparent like John C. Reilly was, singing Mr. Cellophane in the movie Chicago.  He didn’t tell us, again, that he screwed up.  He didn’t ask Ed to forgive him.  He didn’t promise to never do it again, cross my heart.  He’s like the rest of us.  At least, I thought, he didn’t manufacture the problem, like he who must not be named did when he sent a few thousand guys to Iraq.

We’re pretty lucky to have this guy around.  Mission’s not accomplished yet… but I bet it will be.


A breath of fresh air

Don and I had coffee at the Emporium on Tuesday.  It’s something we do every couple of weeks.  A medium dark roast and half a bearclaw is the norm along with a lot of conversation.  We get down there early and I usually get home before Sweetie is fully prepared to attack the day.

Our subject matter includes the state of the economy, the struggles of the town’s various non-profits, a description of what’s happening to our aging bodies and a handful of pretty good jokes.  And there’s always time to admire the occasional female biker arriving for sustenance.

I got back into my truck around 8:45 and began the twenty minute drive up the hill.  NPR was broadcasting one of Obama’s press conferences during which he announced some new cabinet members.  I listened and found myself comparing the President-Elect with similar events hosted by the current resident of the Oval Office.

Yes, I’m biased.  I thought about the Bush press conferences I had listened to driving up and down the Dennison Grade over the last eight years.  I thought “I’m lucky I didn’t have a stroke yelling at the radio as though he could actually hear me.”  I won’t trouble you with what I yelled.  You already know.

This time I listened as Obama told us about the challenges ahead and that they wouldn’t be easy.  I heard him say in measured tones that it would probably get worse before it got better.  I heard him say that he would listen to those he was surrounding himself with.  I actually believed him.  By the time I got home I was smiling.

A day later I was watching CNN.  Yes, I’m back watching the news.  I was on a hunger strike for about ten days protesting that damn stock market ticker that stared menacingly at me from the lower right corner of every news program.  But I’m over that, sort of.

Obama was hosting another press conference.  Didn’t see the beginning of it, the prepared remarks, but I did hear the questions posed by the gathered news minions.  CNN’s Chuck Henry, a guy who makes his living aggravating others, got up and said “Mr. Obama, you’ve been appointing a lot of folks who are old time Washington pols.  You promised us during the campaign that you were going to bring change to Washington.  How do you reconcile your promise with what you are doing?”

I flashed back to Bush.  In a nanosecond I could see his eyes narrow, his mouth tighten, and that irritating smirk appear on his face.  Then I could hear him say something sarcastic, put the questioner in his place, and avoid a direct answer to a simple question.  Next.

I tightened up waiting for Obama to respond.  I listened and smiled.  Again.

Maybe we’re approaching winter, but I think it’s spring.



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