Obama held another filibuster disguised as a press conference, answering about five questions. For some reason the White House web site had this announcement along with the video,
Why would they need an Arabic translation again? Is this now standard? It certainly has nothing to do with Iran, unless it was designed as a subtle jab at the Mullahs. Oh well, surely there's a good reason.
As to reaction, the righty pundits have weighed in and pointed out the lack of questions on North Korea, none on the wars, none on why the big guy fired Gerald Walpin and the other two IGs. OK, Politico is not 'righty'. Good point.
Adding here--there were no decisive follow-ups on how we're going to afford cap and trade as unemployment rises to 10+ percent; no explanation of how he could have been consistent on his Iran rhetoric from day one while at the same time saying he was measuring his comments to avoid becoming a 'foil' or leaving the impression the US was 'meddling' (when this dichotomy was pointed out the reporter was cut off, and quite brusquely); and no questions about the Gitmo detainees. What about the Uighurs! But we are all up to speed on Obama's smoking habits.
The big guy singled out a Huffington Post reporter for an Iran question (those pesky neocons at Politico again). Imagine Bush singling out Ed Morrissey or John Hinderaker, or perhaps Matt Drudge. Yes yes, we know, "Jeff Gannon".
Health care got the most attention and some of these twits managed to ask a few pertinent questions, such as how private insurers might compete against a government subsidized public pool, or whether companies would have any reasons not to dump their current plans and let their employees sink or swim with Uncle Sam. Obama's answers were almost reminiscent of his AIG pitchfork populism, subtly bashing the private insurance companies and taunting them about competition, as if they could actually fairly compete against a publicly-backed political monolith.
On the same note, Jake Tapper managed to crack the veneer as to what might happen if a person who likes their current health care, which Obama says they can keep, ends up being on the receiving end of their employer deciding to dump that health care for the public pool (which of course will happen, especially with struggling companies). Not a real coherent answer but surely one Charlie Gibson will unravel tomorrow night while entertaining America live from the White House Blue Room.