Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama And Last Night's Press Conference

I've been trying to think of something erudite to say about how last night went. All I can seem to come up with is, ha ha, I was right. Well, and more deeply than that, I am in a complete comfort zone about process. He is exactly who I thought he was.

I did notice that the talking heads on the various shows are trying to play a catch-up game with the polls that say how much people like the president's process. The media's take, in a nutshell: finally he is listening to us, which is changing public opinion. Really, there must be a requirement for a DSM-IV diagnosis of narcissism to be on one of these television news shows.

And I'm loving Bob Herbert's column this a.m. A snippet: "There is always a tendency to underestimate Barack Obama. We are inclined in the news media to hyperventilate over every political or policy setback, no matter how silly or insignificant, while Mr. Obama has shown again and again that he takes a longer view."

Also last night, I think there was some serious writing on the wall for Republicans. Some won't care because they come from states that are so conservative that it won't matter come election time. Some, though, are listening closely and realizing that this odd-man-out routine might just make them man-voted-out down the road. For all the threats about tougher battles down the road, there must be a number of Republicans (Senate side at least, where you have to be more moderate because you are pleasing an entire state's population) who are thinking, huh. I don't think I want to be crossing this amicable Obama guy, especially when he keeps offering to listen to my ideas and inviting me to watch the Super Bowl with him.....

I did love how the president separated out the different kinds of Repubs. There are the three that stepped forward to create compromise on this stimulus bill (he thanked them). There are the ones who sincerely hold beliefs that differ from his own (he respected them). And then there are those who are playing a game (he called them out). For that middle category - the ones who sincerely hold a different belief - those guys just might end up at the discussion table at some point, in part because Obama has been respectful while disagreeing. Besides, I can respect them too. At least they are standing up for something that they sincerely believe.

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