Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama's first press conference

President Obama held his first press conference yesterday to talk about the stimulus package. I listened to almost the whole thing, mostly because every radio station ran it.

Here's what I didn't know about Barack Obama: he is incredibly long-winded. He only took 13 questions in the hour, mostly because he went on and on and on in his answers, sounding like he was giving a campaign speech. His answer to the very first question lasted over ten minutes!

He claimed that the package was without a single "earmark." Laughable! The whole thing is one giant earmark.

Many of his answers were standard-issue demagoguery, which was disappointing. Talking about the stimulus, he'd say things like: "They question why we have money to build schools. I was in a school in South Carolina that was built in 1860 and was so run down that...."

That's not a policy statement, it is just campaign style demagoguery, and it was disappointing.

The saddest part of this whole thing is that President Obama blew a wonderful opportunity to live up to the rhetoric of his campaign. Leaving aside the question of whether this kind of stimulus is good or bad for the economy - that is debatable, and will be debated for a long long time.

But Obama campaigned saying he was going to change how Washington operated, that he was different, that the politics of fear was over. So the first thing he does is hand off the architecture of a trillion dollar stimulus bill to Nancy Pelosi! What did the think she was going to do with it?

Then he tries to scare us into accepting this toxic waste dump of ridiculous spending programs, a good bit of which will just go directly to the federal government baseline, which will have to be rolled up year after year, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions in future commitments.

Had Obama told Pelosi "if you send me a package with a bunch of crap in it, I will veto it," he would have gained so much credibility with the American people. He blew it. Now he has this pig he has to try and put lipstick on (which what his press conference was for) and everybody knows that the Democrats just used the crisis to pass off all their spending wet dreams, and Obama went along.

So the New Politics lasted about two weeks.

13 comments:

David Appell said...

> Here's what I didn't know about
> Barack Obama: he is incredibly
> long-winded.

Exactly.

Obama clearly thinks things through in depth, analyzes issues and positions from all sides, and realizes that the world is far more complex than black/white.

After eight years of a president who was capable of nothing more than shooting from his hip, it's small wonder that a real, thinking, intellectual president would appear anomalous. Consider the putrid state of the country left him by Bush, Obama's depth is a breath of fresh air.

Rob Kremer said...

Don't confuse long-windedness with thoughtfulness.

I think Obama is a smart guy. But he just doesn't have the life experience or field vision to be able to do this job without making monumental mistakes because he's gullible on things like Cap & Trade.

His long answers, if you listened, were quite often not thoughtful at all. .They were filibusters.

I will grant you that he did at times display a pretty good breadth of knowledge on some issues. But this canard that Bush was a dope is pretty old.

Anonymous said...

It's much harder to say something meaningful in a short period of time then a long one. Ask any speech and debate professor - long answers are a crutch and not to be admired.

David Appell said...

Rob Kremer said...
> I think Obama is a smart guy. But
> he just doesn't have the life
> experience or field vision to be able > to do this job without making
> monumental mistakes because he's
> gullible on things like Cap & Trade.

As if GW Bush somehow did have the requisite life experience because... what, he spent a year or so in Alabama dodging legitimate Vietnam service?

From what I can tell, Obama has as much legitimate life experience as any politician of the last 20 years -- primarily a heady education at Harvard and years toiling in the political swamps of Chicago.

And in any case, he is our elected president -- by a wide margin -- and he is lucid, clearly thoughtful, and well-spoken. I'll take him.

I mean, what the fuck did GW Bush ever do for this country?

Troutdale Canfield said...

If you don't know the difference between bloviating and thoughtful incisive explanations, there's no help for you.

Rob Kremer was right. The press conference was nothing more than campaign rhetoric dragged out into a 60 minute filibuster. The guy is nothing without his teleprompter. Nothing. Nada. Just like most Hollywood actors.

MAX Redline said...


I mean, what the f did GW Bush ever do for this country?


I edited the content, Davey, because as is the case with so many Kool-Aide drinkers, you seem unable to express yourself without resort to profanity. Pathetic, really.

In any case, key words here are From what I can tell. That pretty much says it all, because as a resident expert on man-made global warming and any number of other human-caused ills, you generally can't tell much.

And in any case, he is our elected president -- by a wide margin -- and he is lucid, clearly thoughtful, and well-spoken. I'll take him.

Actually, Mr. Biden, he didn't win by a wide margin, and this time around you left out the term "clean", which I believe was one of the terms Joltin' Joe used early on in describing him.

President Bush had a higher gpa at Yale than did your previous hero, Senator Kerry.

And what, exactly, has President Obama ever done for this country (besides run for office)?

Huck said...

I'll agree. As a pretty big Obama supporter, I'll admit to being pretty disappointed in several parts of not only the presser, but in the last few weeks in general. He is longwinded, made several mistakes that I thought were surprising, and did play politics wayyy too much. Some change, but not much.

I'm ambivalent about the stimulus from a realism perspective, not an ideological one. I do think it will help to the extent that it increases current economic activity, regardless whether they are the best ways to increase activity.

I think Repubs are being a bit disingenuous about the plan, for two reasons: 1) I think they actually believe they're getting a great deal - they're trading pretty basic federal expenditures that would have been made at some time in the future, and they're getting back tax cuts! 2) I think that much of the $ is going to similar things it went under the pork-laden bills of the last 8 years; and 3) big chunks of this spending isn't bad at all, it actually really will be good infrastructure investment (regardless whether it would have been better spent by the localities benefitting rather than the federal government - I'll give you that).

Stimulus is a short term concept, and must be paid back during the good times. The true test will be whether the Dems will suck it up and pay down our debt when they can.

David Appell said...

MAX Redline, digging deeply, said...
> President Bush had a higher gpa at
> Yale than did your previous hero,
> Senator Kerry.

Sure, let's just Barack Obama based on the GPA of two past presidents who had absolutely nothing to do with him and who have no relevance today whatsoever.

And, by all means, let the final judgement of GW Bush be his GPA at Harvard, and not what he did or didn't do in eight long years in the presidency.

And, what again, did he accomplish there? Nothing, as far as I can tell. He spent ~1-2$T to remove a dictator from office, who, it was always clear, was not a threat to us in the first place and who never had any of his supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Bush did, though, get to impose several military bases in the heart of Iraq's oil-land, and saw oil company profits rise by multiple times during his administration.

Other than that, he completely ignored his own citizens and left the country in one of the most dire economic depths since the Great Depression.

Anonymous said...

Typical lib who has to use inference instead of spitting it out.


"Bush did, though, get to impose several military bases in the heart of Iraq's oil-land"


Ok so spit it out David.
What were you saying that you had to infer it instead?

Bush is somehow taking Iraq oil? What?

Did you even embellish with the "impose" the "several" and "in the heart of Iraq's oil-land"?

As for our depression he left us in?

I wonder what was congress and all of the many big government agencies doing while this was being done by Bush?

Were they busy fiddling?

A Gore or Kerry president would have made it all work?

Anonymous said...

Does Appell troll everywhere? It's so frustrating confronting that partisan twister of words and facts. Make a point and he changes subjects. Throw out facts and he'll throw out his own set from some weird study. Use logic and he'll use emotion. There is no constructive dialogue with an ideologue like him.

Steve Plunk

Anonymous said...

Ape-el,

What did Obama do for his district in Chicago? What did he do for the state in general? His district is rampant with drugs, violence, unwed mothers and gangs. Just how has he made change where it was needed?

I love how libs choke on their tongues when I ask that question.

I am Coyote said...

David you are a complete idiot.

And, by all means, let the final judgement of GW Bush be his GPA at Harvard, and not what he did or didn't do in eight long years in the presidency.

You were the one who freaking brought up the idea of test scores. Moron.

Max was merely responding to your absurdity by being absurd and you do not posses the comprehension skills to figure it out.

So back to your absurd statement about test scores from college.

Why don't we, then, just simply, every four years, see who is about 38 years old and find out who had the best grades at Harvard, then anoint them president.

Because, using your absurd level of reasoning, that is all that matters.

Moron.

yip yip

Anonymous said...

Coyote,

Exactly where did David mention anything about test scores?

It was Max who brought up the issue of grades.