Isn’t It Ironic?

Barack Obama was supposed to be the charming new JFK, but more and more the White House sends out Joe Biden to meet with the media.

Comments: 125

  1. So long as Joe Biden is an accurate conduit of information, I don't see any harm in it. This country has got to let the President delegate some things so he's got time to work through the intricacies of the many major issues facing him.

    Reporters would like the chance to ask, "Ok, you've said thus and so but will you take the time to explain how that works; how to we get to the result you're stating." Joe Biden has some time to explain to reporters who want to actually explain and teach the public rather than merely play ideological demagogue.

    This teaching concept is important. All great leaders, on close examination, have simultaneously been teachers. FDR did a lot of teaching in his fireside chats.

    Look at the Fireside Chat he delivered Sunday evening, September 6, 1936, the day before Labor Day. He taught this nation about what its workers were doing, what programs he had going, what both businesses and workers needed to strive for and, he included a remarkable statement to remind us of what makes us a unique nation.

    He said, "In this country we insist, as an essential of the American way of life, that the employer-employee relationship should be one between free men and equals." In a time of difficult conditions its helpful to remind those depending on you for leadership what it is we're striving for and to use language that strives to get people to work together toward the common goals.

    Another good example was the Fireside Chat on Monday evening, February 23, 1942. President Roosevelt asked Americans to bring an atlas to the radio. The American myth is that after Pearl Harbor all Americans joined together to fight the Axis powers. The reality is that a large minority wanted to pull our forces back to our shores and only fight if we were attacked. Asking Americans to follow him through their atlases, he instructed them in the logistics of war to explain why we couldn't just pull back to our shores and wait.

    American people are a free people, not an obedient people. We have the right to ask, "Why?" and expect a fact-based explanation.

    Why can't we look backwards and prosecute those financial scoundrels who made criminal decisions that caused the financial meltdown? Why couldn't we have single-payer health insurance on the table? Why was that too unrealistic? Why can't we have Glass-Steagal put back into the financial reform laws? What can't we have that kind of firewall between banks, which we expect to trust with our money, and financial transactions with risks and consequences we don't want to be part of?
    Why can't we just transfer the prisoners at Gitmo to a U.S. high security prison and close Gitmo? They're not going to escape and start slaughtering us with atomic assault rifles.

    These "why" questions are going unanswered in such profusion that its created an image that President Obama has become aloof from those who elected him. Again, Joe Biden can sit down and take the time to work through the details to get the "why?" questions answered in addition to explanations.

    It's not President Obama's responsibility to organize this public relationship. That's staff responsibility. That's what I see going on here. President Obama is trying to close his gap in his public relationship by providing a senior, knowledgeable person who has the time and the information to provide explanations and to explain why.

  2. I have never seen a president crash and burn as fast as Barack Obama has. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he said something like "Well at least you won't have Barack Obama to kick around anymore" when his term ends. So much for all those "tingly feelings" certain members of the Fourth Estate were experiencing when Barack Obama played David to Hillary Clinton's Goliath in more innocent times. Obama was marketed like an exciting new flavor of the month introduced by Baskin Robbins and the Fourth Estate fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    Barack Obama clearly isn't ready for prime time and he's in way over his head. He lacks Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" personna. Instead Obama comes across as an irritated college professor whose students turned in failing papers. While there's enough blame in the Big Business vs Big Government tug of war to go around in the Gulf of Mexico debacle Obama's lack of empathy for the workers killed in the accident is disgraceful. It doesn't matter how many staged photo ops he has in the Gulf, the general feeling comes across that this is now a question of too little too late.The Obama Titanic has struck the iceberg. I'm astounded that someone as cool and polished as Obama let a golden opportunity to score a media coup over foreign Big Oil Tycoons polluting the American coastline with their icky liquid crack slip through his fingers so easily.

    Despite the gloom and doom, Joe Biden has been a surprising breath of fresh air, warts and all. Unlike Obama Biden has been around the Beltway for many years so he's had plenty of opportunities to make friends and influence people. Joe Biden doesn't scare anyone to death unlike the previous Vice President. Biden is now the "good cop" to Obama's "bad cop." Obama is like the mythological Icarus whose wings melted when he flew too close to the sun.

    Sorry Maureen--you have power to influence a great God fearing nation and you and the rest of the mainstream media blew it big time.

  3. Maureen, this goes beyond Barack and Joe.

    It's taken a jolt like the Gulf debacle to remind me of the utter ineptitude of moral government (I don't care whether it's secular liberal morals or spiritual conservative morals).

    For big government not to fall on its ***, it needs to be technical government. That is, technically competent government. It needs to plug the leaks, and plow the snow - and now, regardless of party affiliation.

    Without competence, there is only descent into totalitarianism, where wishing - by the right people - makes things so.

    It was in the mid-seventies, as I looked at the marginal tax rates for myself and spouse the first year we were married, and looked at that imbecile Dukakis in his reindeer sweater telling us our cars weren't really stuck in the snow on 128, that I became a Republican.

    Carter only intensified things for me. The ultimate irony of President Jimmy, of course, is that - as someone who actually knew something about nuclear power - he managed to set that cause back several decades. But he set several causes back several decades, so the nuclear thing got kind of lost.

    It was only when the Republican party devolved to nominating fools and racists that I had to leave - but, by then, the damage had been done.

    Why Bobby Jindal had to present himself as that singsong dolt instead of the hyper-competent wonk he actually is, I'll never know. I just know that it cost him the first chance of a lifetime - though he may get his second chance of a lifetime in 2012.

    It's this simple, Mo.

    A (non-nuclear) explosive should've been dropped several thousand feet into the pipe and set off, ASAP. It was evident from the first videos of the leak that it was spewing large (50-100K bbl/day). If you think I'm a late-coming opportunist here, I'll point you to several comments I left early on after the blowout.

    That the government did not do this (drop da bomb), I can understand - to a limited extent.

    But when Steven Chu is stuffed into the back closet - and the Coast Guard becomes the voice of spill containment expertise, and Carol Browner its hammer - they lose me.

    And the forced silence on the actual flow rate of the spill and its geographic reach has been - well - Orwellian.

    Barack is a decent guy, but he may no longer be the right person for the time. If progress has come to mean two-thousand page bills adjudicated by 5-4 decisions from a court packed with ideologues posing as jurists - we're toast.

    Sarah Palin had enthralled me for a week. The combination of her eighty percent approval ratings, the terms/conditions she'd negotiated for the next Alaska pipeline, her adroit interview with Maria Bartoromo, and her convention speech rushed me to judgment. Then, she crashed and burned - and it was wasn't Gibson or Kouric who did her in. The woman was as intellectually ignorant as she was viscerally smart.

    Well, by presenting herself to me as a comic actor, she redeemed herself. I do not expect her to run in 2012 - but her deft and effective endorsements in the recent primaries tell he she is even viscerally smarter than I first thought. Even more telling, she shows that she can admit to and learn from mistakes. Which puts her ahead of ninety-five percent of the pretenders currently ensconced in DC.

    But - Republican party - give me a choice of two of Bobby, Jeb, or Mitch (in any order). And, in the words of the governator: "I'll be back".

    I never thought Jeb would have a chance, given the debacle that was Dubya. But - how times change.

  4. Maureen.
    As your column clearly indicates that the Press is incapable of asking serious questions consistent with all the facts about a story, but is interested in superficiality and presentation. Asking serious questions require doing a lot of research and the press does not have time for it. Ironically, the press who should be at the forefront of democracy, digging all the facts, is doing a great harm for being so shallow.

    President Obama needs to recognise this and adjust his style that emphasizes real issues and finding real solutions. He needs to know that the media is very arrogant and can do a lot of harm to his Presidency. Their focus is on sensationalism and not on the real problems and solutions.

  5. The press today is nothing more than a middle school rumor mill, very rarely serving any real purpose past making the world a little more entertaining for themselves and the others who enjoy the petty gossip. It is sad this is the reality, but expecting anything else from news organizations that's first focus is profit is going to be the norm for the foreseeable future. Pres Obama serves himself well by staying at a safe distance from the press.

  6. Disturbing on two counts, is that number two has become number one go to for sound bites, and that two is not providing as many entertaining sound gaffs as number one who is in hiding and letting number two handle the press with pool parties and water weapons, because number one would rather use real weapons on press members because there isn't a big enough bunker to protect him from the real world and his real gaffs in real waters with real gushers and real world hotspots not able to be telepromptered away with a clever sound-bite, which is now only capable from number two. That sums it up.

  7. True, Mr. Obama isn't JFK, but I wonder if JFK would have been JFK had he faced what Mr. Obama has had to face. Mr. Kennedy had to deal with some pretty serious issues, but he wasn't called a liar by the honorable opposition as he addressed the nation, and he didn’t have to extract cooperation from a completely recalcitrant batch of conservative Republican legislators. As he was a Roman Catholic, many were suspicious of Kennedy’s potential allegiance to Rome. But it was nothing like the accusations and blatant falsehoods circulated about Mr. Obama’s supposed allegiances, heritage, and even citizenship.

    The press was a different animal back then as well. There were no fake partisan news networks to deal with. There were no bellicose, pompous rabble rousers, spewing hate and whipping the ignorant into a dangerous frenzy. There was a sense of decorum, misplaced as it might seem by today’s standards. Mr. Kennedy got up to some pretty randy high jinks behind closed doors, and the press was certainly aware of what was going on. But not a word of it was reported by mainstream news organizations.

    I would not want to go back to those days, as an African-American president would have been unthinkable in 1960. Much is different, and much is better. But all that said, JFK was president when at least a semblance of respect was afforded to the office. Times have changed.

  8. Ahh the Press, and its excessive "need" to be "needed" by those in power and important positions.

    The only entity that really needs the Press is the citizenry to keep it informed with facts and pertinent information. Investigative reporting is what we need - not puff pieces and personality analysis and derogatory, small-minded commentary. (I'm reminded of Dowd's excessive, overblown emphasis on Al Gore's wardrobe colors of brown and beige. Important? Hardly. Meanwhile George Bush ran rampant.)

    Of course Joe Biden is relaxed and friendly. He is approaching the end of a long career and he won't need the Press anymore. (I am sure he will not run again in 2012 for VP - leaving that slot to Hillary. Bring her in from the cold, so to speak.)

    The Press just hasn't noticed that Joe Biden no longer needs them and he is simply saying farewell to all of the Press - the truly needy who will always be so inclined, in spite of the needs of the populace. When will we be able to count on you, the Press, for what we desperately need in a complex world? Shape up. We are tired of shallow and self-centered reportage. Do the job as it is defined in Journalism 101. What, where, when, why, and how. And don't forget the dateline.

  9. It looks increasingly like Obama is resigned to being a one-term president. He has not done press conferences as often and as frequently as he promised he would, and his last performance was lackadaisical and lacklustre. It is ironic that he would say that he was responsible for the spill and for the cleanup, even though he knew that the Feds have no, if any, expertise in drilling or in cleanups.
    When Hillary warned us of the '3 AM phone call' we laughed her off the primaries. How prophetic she turned out to be: the messiah has shown himself up to be incapable of performing miracles such as turning oil into water, leave alone water into exotic wine. Talk is easy; governing, it sucks, What say you, yo?

  10. A string of broken campaign promises, no grasp or action on unemployment and foreclosures, no plan, no leadership, and no progress in Afghanistan, bailout for his Ivy League buddies on Wall Street (who own him), parroting BP's lies on the oil flow, no interest in the damage till pix of the dead birds showed up, surrounded by incompetents - Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Desiree, Van Jones, et al, an elitist attitude, and a gigantic ego, all wrapped in a hyper-sensitive, whiney, thin skin and you wonder why Joe B is the front man? Ever since the "stupid" comment about the Cambridge cops he's 'Obumbled' from one mistake to another and spends most of his time and energy on damage control.

  11. Well, no wonder the wonder boy is ditching the press. Obama has no tolerance for anything but naked admiration and fawning from his interviewers. His love fest hear-to-hearts with the oozing Matt Lauer are exercises in excruciation.

    He has no answers for the press, or us, any more. They won't let him get away with filibustering with his canned talking points any more and the veil of magical gravitas has lifted.

    We now see a guy frantically droppin' g's and assuring us of his populist roots and his mystical connection to the ocean in Hawaii, while working the back room with BP to rig fairy tales about the details on the rig in an attempt to save his bacon by letting them save theirs.

    His wooden pragmatism has overtaken his fairy dust, and what we see now is a vain, under qualified, elitist poseur in way too far over his head.

  12. What do we expect from a president that has backed Wall Street over Main Street, the health care industry over common citizens and took big money from BP and is loyal to big oil over the devastated environment economy of the Gulf Region. How does he go up and face the press when he has turned his back on the people that elected him?

  13. "The press traveling with Obama on the campaign never had a lovey-dovey relationship with him. He treated us with aloof correctness, and occasional spurts of irritation."

    The issue was not as the press was treated -- but as the press treated Obama, rarely venturing behind the "great speech" to place in better context Obama's record on voting "present," signaling an unwillingness to take sides on big issues that we all see now; naivete in expecting (and promising) a dazzled DC to all of sudden blossom into bipartisanship that surely the "working press," like all people who have worked in DC, knew would not happen; soft ball questions to Obama during the debates that prompted the SNL skit and has perhaps made Obama distrust the press even more. You set him, and us, up.

  14. Maureen's comment should be read by everyone at the top levels of this administration. Without a better relationship with the press, this crisis in the Gulf is going to slowly eliminate Obama's prospects for 2012 and any possibility for a significant legacy.A better working relationship with the press is the only means by which the administration can shift the emphasis from oil disaster to something positive such as development of a real energy policy without oil as the central focus.

  15. For all the MBA business school culture in America, their idea of how best to use the President's precious time and energy is a theater of the absurd. They expect sending the President down to the toxic fumes of the oily gulf coast is going to make a difference in fixing the oil spill problem.

    There is a thing called delegation and completed staff work taught at all the MBA schools.

    It is an excellent idea to offload some of these chores to the Vice President, such as dealing with the press. Have Joe Biden talk to some fishermen in Louisiana instead. But don't make him get too close to the toxic stuff, even if it is good photo-op.

  16. I completely share President Obama's frustration with the media. Despite all of the challenges this country faces, the media continues to act as if it is all fun and games.

    Much of the media has no interest whatsoever in discussing reforms and actions that could have a real impact on the situation in the Gulf of Mexico or any other issue for that matter. The media is well aware that the Obama administration is doing everything it possibly can to address the oil leak. But talking and writing about that doesn't provide television ratings or generate internet page views. So we end up with a constant stream of debates on whether Obama is emoting enough. Or how about discussing the details of health reform? No, the media is going to focus instead entirely on the FreedomWorks-backed tea party faux outrage. Okay then, lets discuss the important issue of Israel and Palestine. No, we're going to focus on what Helen Thomas said until we drown out any further discussion.

    The constant titillation and trivialization of the issues is frustrating, but it's nothing new. How else do you explain the media's fascination with Sarah Palin's daily moves for approximately two years now despite the fact that she has nothing to offer in any intelligent discussion. But she's a polarizing figure who provides ratings and internet hits, thus we must suffer the non-stop Palinazation.

    Lets face it, Glenn Beck doesn't get those ratings by discussing reforms. And certain political websites fall short when it comes to discussing issues, choosing instead to trivialize political discussion for the sake of page views. Sadly, every issue is destined to the same fate. How can anyone in the media expect President Obama or anyone else to respect them for what they bring to the table?

  17. I dont think Obama is that cerebral afterall. Look at his pick of Kagan. Look at his take on off shore drilling. Look at his ignoring of habeas corpus. Look at his war mongering in Afghanistan. I dont think he holds the press in disdain. I just think he doesnt believe in spontaneity. He is waiting to see where the middle road is before stating an opinion. I would say that Obama is a post-modern relativist who waits for the focus group to find the center and then states that as his opinion.

    As for Biden. I think he is charming. Too nice to knock heads with anyone including Obama although he actually seems to have more set opinions than Obama who has none!

  18. More time is passing by as President Obama shows his true colors and attitudes, not just with the American and international press, but with the major issues. Right now, I see a man who is very calculating and is politicaly expedient with our major issues. He doesn't have the courage to lead, and he has lost his inner vision of a much greater America in the 21st century that focuses upon the actualization of human potential and solving the many crises of that we face. Perhaps, he's staying in the middle of the political road to increase his chances of being a two-term president. But ironically, he's demonstrating mediocrity and ineffectiveness, and decreasing his chances. A real American President would have had an all-hands-on-deck meeting a couple days after the oil spill happened, and together, their group would have created a a 14-10 day timetable for trying 4-5 solutions at capping the spill using all our incredible resources. After that, they would have had a similar timetable to try the next 4-5 solutions, and they would have attempted to aggressively contain the spill. There also would have been honest reporting on the scope of the spill instead of both the BP and governmental creating a conspiracy to reduce it and even keeping independent scientists at bay who wanted to measure it. Instead, it's taken 7-8 weeks to implement a handful of attempts to stop it.

    But the worst environmental disaster in America continues unabated.

    Basically, the American People are inveterate fools if they don't reinvent their own political system in the near future moving from a corrupted representative democracy to a viable populist democracy.

    The only question is: Are we?

  19. How quickly some have forgotten the incompetence of the Bush administration. For eight years we had a president more than willing to put on a Barbie-like costume and play-act and pretend rather than actually take action and lead.

    Now we have a president and an administration that has taken action from the very start and is doing everything conceivably possible to address the largest oil spill in our history. And yet, it's just not good enough. Maybe some would feel better If Obama spoke in bullhorn and said, "I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who leaked this oil will hear all of us soon."

    We wanted an adult in the White House, and we have one. The costumes and faux-swagger and empty slogan banners are gone, as is the empty rhetoric of "I feel your pain". Obama spoke to the country as adults about the pressing conditions of the BP oil leak and what actions the administration has taken and what they are presently doing. And after relaying this information, what does much of the media focus on? His short conversation with daughter Malia. Yes, we have an adult in the White House, but unfortunately, much of the media remain children.

  20. Songwriter/Maestro-In-Chief; Peeling Onions; Lexicons, and Change Marches on.

    Our government is making progress warts and all. For all of the complaints, which are helpful in our system, it’s happening. You may not like every bar and note, but at the end of the day there is wheat and there is chaff, and someone has to separate them out so we have something to eat and a place to live.

    Ask yourself the questions: 1) What do all of the onions, which for the moment we’ll label our big problems, look like when you peel each of them back? And 2): Are we beginning to use real problem solving techniques of one sort or the other when we get inside them and then do what’s needed to break up the inertia so we can move forward? I think we are.

    You also need to ask which individuals in our government and private sectors are working to make things better vs. be roadblocks? Which of our representatives are competent and working on our necessities?

    Running our country involves a lot of moving parts and entails grunt-work problem-solving, dwell time, and leadership from our chiefs, and presidents. It takes getting a lot of control towers and teams working together. And it requires priority setting and presidential attention and leadership.

    When you peel back each onion, President Obama is helping to write some of the recipes and compose some of the music and lyrics, but not all, hire and inspire the best chefs and musicians, and then on a day-to-day basis, make sure all of the players know their parts, play on cue, and that in the end we hear “Bon Appetite” and that it still sounds like “Oh Beautiful…….. ” All the while doing what is best for a nation even though you don’t agree with every item.

    He is trying to do this in a make-or-break moment in our history following a tragic period of dumbed-down amateur government. I mean what if George W. Bush said he would like to run for a third term? A whole bunch of people would vote for him because he represented their party. Being clueless is not important.

    Consider also the GOP chosen path of inertia for the Summer-Fall season.

    The List and Problem-Solver Lexicons.

    The only yard stick you can use with President Obama and our sausage government is to ask: "Is he and it working to solve our problems and getting our kitchens and orchestras to cook and play their parts?" I think they are.

    Is he and all of our control tower operators, cooks, and musicians working on flight paths, better menus, and a new symphony that Bush-Cheney and now McConnell-Boehner-Steele could never see or imagine because of infused and paid-for bigotry to change? The GOP guys, and it’s mostly guys, simply don’t want any of the planes to land while Barack Obama is president. You can tell by their scripted lexicons.

    Here’s a list of what our government has accomplished since early 2009:

    1. Stimulus bill
    2. Afghanistan-Iraq-Pakistan plan
    3. Sotomayor infusion
    4. Healthcare Reform
    5. Financial Reform
    6. Reshaped Foreign Policy
    7. Education Reform and Stimuli
    8. Stimulating economic development and energy conservation R&D
    9. Energy policy
    10. Global warming countermeasures and world initiatives
    11. Re-energized Homeland Security policy
    12. Getting our auto industry back on track
    13. Searching for and investing in new kinds of jobs and occupations
    14. Inspiring a nation to work on problem solving instead of making Rand Paul and Tea Party dumb
    In the works:
    15. Immigration
    16. Israel-Palestine conflict resolution: “Israel please give us a break!”
    17. ……… More to come

    You can fault anyone of these items but each was accomplished by combined efforts far beyond any one person’s individual capabilities or perceptions including yours and mine. It‘s progress that was sidetracked by lots of narrow causes and special interests for a long time.

    The list goes in the right direction, all things considered, where “the all things considered” is a hard thing for the tea people to understand.

    President Obama has had to learn a lot but he did not have to start every agency and build all of the ideas and dreams from scratch. A lot of these have been gestating for years in both the private and government sectors and across party lines before he showed up. They simply are not Democrat exclusives and Mitch McConnell knows this and is just telling falsehoods when he says there are no Republican finger prints within this progress which happened when people worked together.

    Obama is just trying to change our obsolescent government systems and talkers using the same approach that Jeffrey Immelt uses at GE. Sure there is politicking there too, but his men and women have to make sure that all sides get on the table and are used to make decisions.

    Obama has a plan and vision just like Roanld Reagan's consistency regarding winning the Cold War, and he is on the same kind of track. Get used to it.

  21. Perhaps if the Press were in the habit of treating our many national issues less like entertainment and more like the serious matters they are, both the People and the President would be more welcoming. The NYT may do better than many media, but in a number of subtle and unsubtle ways, still often feeds the entertainment monster rather than concentrating on the thorough and focused reporting that holders of the public trust have a duty to provide.

    For example, there was the whole immediate frenzy on the spill possiblybeing "Obama's Katrina," instead of hard-hitting investigative journalism. It's not Obama's anything, except for a royal pain. It's ours, we all own it. There's the whole way the health care reform process was portrayed more as a sport than anything else. Where were the major networks with documentaries, with challenges to the lies that were being spread? Where's the Press commitment to fact checking and truth exposing?

    Never before has information spread so quickly, and it's mostly a good thing, but also a challenge to say the least. Misinformation and partial information spread just as fast as facts do, which is a real problem. One of the solutions would be to have a Press we can count on to put things in perspective. We need to know that when some politician speaks a horrendous falsehood, that we will be told, along with the outrageous statement, what the facts really are. (Sen. Blah Blah says the earth is square, not round. This is reported as a statement, along with pictures from space, showing a sphere.) While not all lies are that easy to illustrate and debunk, some credible investigative reporting could bring balance to discussions about many important topics. The Press as a whole has been sadly neglectful in this regard. Fringe and extreme utterings are too often reported without any comment providing context and perspective. Constant polling takes the place of fully developed reports, and what seems to pass for fact is found wanting if presented in full.

    So yes, there's reason to be grumpy, and it's not just our President who feels that way. While there are many decent folks in the Press, it's a minefield, and the instant information techonolgy has changed the whole process of analysis and judgment. What used to take a few days to take in and ponder is now served up in hours (or minutes) and something is lost in the flurry. Sound bites delivered as they hit the ether often don't show the whole of a situation, and create a forest/trees problem. It's all tougher than ever, and I think the press needs to step back and take a good look at how things need to change to accommodate new dynamics.

    It's understandable that VP Biden is more relaxed now with Press interactions. He is far less under the microscope than President Obama, and his role is different. In addition, he has the advantage of his years. He is also not personally under attack from as many closed-minded opponents as the President is.

    It's probably true that President Obama would benefit from being a little more tolerant of some Press situations. Perhaps a bit of breathing room for a man who is plagued, as no president has been before, by "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" on every tiniest little thing he says, how he says it, and so on. Yes, a large amount of that comes with the job, but he's been served extra helpings.

    I challenge each member of the Press to hold themselves and their colleagues to much higher standards. If you all can do that, you'll see a better relationship with the White House.

  22. Joe Biden has become good with the press because he knows he's approaching elderly status, and is trying to get into Heaven, despite a life spent in Washington, a place not normally associated with a training ground for paradise. That the White House would send him out to do press duty is simply enabling this effort, much as municipal transportation workers nearing retirement are assigned enormous overtime to increase the retirement pay that is based on the last two years of their careers.

    And it's far too late for Barrack Obama to change ingrained habits to avoid damaging his presidency: alas, he was a far better candidate than he is a president, and the failings that make him so cannot simply be wished away. If the Republicans put up somebody even half-credible in '12, that worthy will win in a walk.

    Finally, most of us would rather not have had the image of a 67-year-old, bathing-suited, dripping-wet VP painted for us so colorfully, accompanying grandson notwithstanding. We'd much prefer the image of flame-haired pundit posing on the diving board.

  23. Finally after all the ridiculous make believe comparisons between Obama and some of our former great Presidents by a besotted and utterly undiscerning media, Maureen appears to be finally waking up to the reality that Obama is in so many respects just another Nixon. Remember how obsessed Nixon was with leaks. Only a few days ago, the NYT described how Obama has pursued leaks with more zeal than any Presidency in our history.

    Watching Obama's much hailed race speech, it seemed to remind one so much of Richard Nixon's Checkers speech given its patent dishonesty. And sure enough only mere weeks later after promising in that speech that he would no more throw his long time spiritual advisor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus than he would his grandmother, Obama proceeded to do just that thus placing that place in the same category of dishonesty as Nixon's Checkers speech. And still the media conveniently ignored this striking similarity lest it shatter its own delusion.

    But at least Nixon was interesting as we watched him repeatedly struggle with his tortured self. By contrast Obama is utterly boring as his narcissism prevents him from ever seeking to engage with his tortured self. The depth of Obama's chronic narcissism is well illustrated by these observations from Maureen: "Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is. He’s holding out for the media world that he wants."

    And yet Obama has resonated so much with the media and others as his narcissistic delusion connects with the media's and many others' massive tendency for delusion. Unfortunately, when the real world intervenes and shatters that delusion, we eventually come to the painful realization that our delusion has once again delivered us a dud in the form of Obama.

    And boring to boot.

  24. It may be time for some self examination by the press. It is not that the press has covered the President with ill feeling or has intentionaly erred in its coverage of the President. But instead it's what it hasn't done. And that it has not exposed the lies and misinformation given by the extremists in the republican party during their interviews.
    The mainstreet media has consistently given press coverage to outlandish attacks from the extremists in control of the Republican party. The Press' lack of real journalistic integrity has made it possible for all the misinformation on health care to continue. The press has a responsibility to not only report what someone says but to vent it's accuracy.
    What role did the press play in the recent Democratic primary in South Carolina? A sin of ommission is still a sin, and the Press needs confession and absolution.

  25. Many former Easterners (I am from Philadelphia) from "back in the day" as they say have fond memories of Biden's dedication to his constituency. He fulfilled his Delaware Senatorial mandate in the face of great personal adversity, the loss of his spouse while shopping for a Christmas tree to a DUI driver for heaven's sake, following the advice of none other than Ted Kennedy. For years, he Amtraked daily between Delaware and Washington to fulfill his obligations to the voters. Reporters forgot that as they mined good copy from his sincere gaffes. We know that the Two would not have been electable by a generation calling Twitter and Facebook "social" instead of a knock on your door, a telephone call or a handwritten note; a generation who likes politicians to be like Chance the Gardener in Jerzy Kozinski's "Being There" - nodding sincerely, listening intently (or so it seems), taking in nothing, lacking affect. We know that The Two should have been The One.

  26. We have to be realistic in what we expect our #1 to concentrate on. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an ongoing environmental disaster, but there is little that he can do short of what he has actually done: putting the Guard in charge, making sure he the boot is on BP's neck to resolve the situation, which has so far defied every attempt of BP's to resolve it - I suspect that it won't be begin to be resolved until the relief oil wells are in place, which is going to be four to eight weeks from now. We can't expect our President to be camping out on the beach and deal at the same time with the economy, job creation, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the PRC plus nasty surprises such as Israel's latest self-inflicted PR blowout. There are only so many hours in a 7x24 hour day, We can';t expect our President to be hands on and on the case every time there is flooding in Arkansas or some punk tries to car bomb Times Square. But then we are probably a nation of spoiled brats who demand immediate Presidential attention and instant Presidential reaction every time something goes bad. The oil spill is not being resolved but it is being managed. For the moment, that's the best that can be done until the relief oil wells are in place. Be realistic. On the other hand, researchers and the press have every right to have unimpeded access to the oil spill areas. And neithedr BP nor any Federal, state or local authorities have any right to impede this access. Period.

  27. It's sad. I voted for the man, and my mother was near religious in her support for him, working locally with Obama's campaign. His is looking more and more like a failed presidency in the making, however. If Obama doesn't step it up, becoming not only more visible, but visible actually doing something beyond heavily scripted photo ops, I have my doubts he can be re-elected. In fact, the president has so disappointed me already, that I won't be voting for him next election. It's unlikely I'll vote Republican either, so it appears I simply won't be taking part in the process.

  28. Obama is not as bright as Nixon was, but otherwise, Obama is Nixonian in many ways. I have been alerting my friends to this fact since Obama was elected. So many people have been so enamored of what they thought Obama was, that they couldn't see what he actually was. I'm glad a few people are finally starting to awaken.

  29. " Now that Obama has been hit with negative press, he’s even more contemptuous. “He’s never needed to woo the press,” says the NBC White House reporter Chuck Todd. “He’s never really needed us.”

    The reason he has never needed to woo the press is because like Obama, himself, said the press all supported and "voted for him". You all pushed this inexperienced charlatan onto the national stage, and now he has to be protected so that the American people can't see his true incompetence. He is neither bright nor wise enough to be President of the United States. Obama's election was all about a feel-good effort by a bunch of middle age boomer liberals so that they could say, "wow, look what we have done".

    Now we have to endure the damage from a man who never was prepared for anything close to such a position, gimping his way along as he takes advice from some of the most malevolent actors in American politics. Heavens help us all.

  30. President Obama does deal with the media as they are. He does speeches, interviews, town halls and the occasional press conference, sends out surrogates and gives his weekly address. He may not be chummy with journalists because that is not his personality and he correctly assesses the superficiality of most of those covering him. He also understands that even if he did pal around with the media as they are it would do him no good.

  31. Obama's contempt for the Press is best shown by his allowing them to be excluded from the sea and wetlands sites of the oil spill disaster. The Times, after 50 days, finally wrote of this outrageous action. The same reporters who could be "embedded" on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan were not allowed to get close to this environmental catastrophe--even as Obama told us he has been in charge from Day One.

    Even worse, the scientific community has faced similar constraints...I guess they aren't "expert" enough.

    As for Biden, yes he's clumsy, and yes, he can be embarrassing, but at least there is a basic humanity to his persona, unlike our Droid-in-Chief.

  32. OBAMA'S APOLOGIA
    Obama, I believe, has developed some contempt for at least a certain segment of the media for failing to ask serious questions, for trivilizing serious and urgent national issues, for failing to appreciate the role that the media must play as a contribution to national unity, for being overly superficial in many important discourse about the pressing nation's problems, for so often crying wolf only to be proven wriong later, for promoting politicians who divide us and make no real contribution to solutions on problems, and for giving their activities so much ink, space and coverage. Yes, the press can do better, or the great citizenry would continue to see them as part of the problem. Here is Obama facing so many difficult problems. Much of the media has not been helpful at all.

  33. As a candidate Obama preached change and a need for open government. As President he shut down all, but the status quo. From his lawyer perspective, it's an open and shut case. My regret is futile as there was no other option, but to vote for him. My disappointment in him and his administration is profound.

  34. Regarding Vice President Biden's infamous foot-in-mouth disease, this week I received an email from The White House titled "The Check's in the Mail," a message from the VP announcing a $250.00 check for senior citizens--to reinforce their confidence in Medicare.

    I pondered the wisdom of the script-writer's choice; isn't 'the check's in the mail' the usual response from someone who is insincere, check-kiting, or avoiding payment?

    While I don't doubt Joe Biden's word; still, his choice of words is priceless. Keep it up, Joe. A good reminder that there's nothing certain in politics.

  35. The media has itself to blame. They have given so much ink, space and prominence to cookoo heads and generally have trivilized important national discourse. And they have contributed little to national unity. Instead, they have focused so much on promoting those individuals and politicians who diviode us and contribute little in solving the many vexing problems this country currently faces. Where is country first in national media attitude?

  36. Joe Biden would make a better President than Barack Obama.

    I think that was clear almost from the moment of the Inauguration. Biden is more mature, has a long, good record in Washington, and is more comfortable talking with people.

    It's true that Biden's experience is as a legislator rather than an administrator. However, because he is respected, he would have a wider choice of competent appointees. For example, he would probably staff important administrative jobs with less Party hacks and technicians, and more governors and mayors.

    I have yet to find many who agree with me, but I think Obama's resignation, and replacement by Biden, would be good for the country.

    I'm a Green, and no friend of the Democratic Party, but replacing Obama with Biden would also improve the short-run prospects of the Dems.

  37. Poor you. The Pres is not obsequious to the Press. How insulting! How dare he do that?!

    Doessn't he know that we are thoughtful, evidence based, fact seeking, painstaking, fearless impartial reporters? We do not write blogs, op-eds that are impulsive and poorly researched. We do not insinuate based on false material or thin facts. We opine after reflecting. We follow-up our initial reporting and comments and make sure that it was right. And we dot forget to go back and check our initial reporting to see if it holds. And if it does not we forthrightly acknowledge our mistakes.

    We are not purveyors of personal follies of people. We focus on the big picture without bias. We are neither right or left in our reporting. We know how to distinguish between facts, prejudices, opinions, hypotheses, guesses and plain old spin. We are not Washington or US centric. We have a deep understanding of the world and we report about the world only after we have understood the different social, economic and political structures.

    Now why doesn't the Pres get this? Does his cool, his inability to let his emotions hang out prevent him from giving the press a warm tear eyed hug? At least once in a while he should let it all hang out, express his immense admiration for the fearless thoughtful honest journalists and shout out loud: BLOG BABY BLOG!

  38. I sense some piling on by the press with regard to President Obama. The honeymoon is obviously over. His attitude probably doesn't help matters. (somewhat defensive)

    I'll loan him my copy of "The Kennedy Wit" to help with the sense of humor he'll need to survive in the remainder of his Presidency. In the meantime, keep sending out Joe.

  39. I really dont care who Obama sends out to talk to the press, all I care about is Obama getting the job done. Since he became President everyone has had their opinion of how he should act, what he should do, is he black, is he white, is he a socialist, etc. The list could go on. Obama baffles some of us because he is our first black President and its time we all got over what we expected a black President to act like.

  40. Obama's contempt for the Press is best shown by his exclusion of reporters from the sea and wetlands sites of the BP spill disaster.; the same journalists who were embedded on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even worse, is the exclusion of scientists, oceanologists and environmentalists, as well. All this while Obama has "been in charge from Day One".

    Yes, Biden can be awkward and embarrassing, but he's much more human than our Droid-in-Chief.

  41. president obama has never been more than a master of the first person singular.
    vice president biden is most famous for being a one time master of another's first person singular.
    they make perfect bookends to a one term presidency.

  42. Why didn't the press tell us about Obama's aloofness to answering questions of substance during the campaign? It seems to me that the press gave him a free pass at the time. Why didn't the press at the time question him more about the 20 years he spent listening to Rev. Wright's sermons, his spiritual guide, which from todays vantage point seem like the basis for his foreign policy. It seems like Obama had things to hide and the press just went along with it.

  43. At first I thought this article was a breath of fresh air blowing into the middle of my abode, something new coming from the rather stale left vent I rarely visit. Then I realized the sheer manipulation that's behind this. Manipulation manufactured by the authoress.

    We've always known how thin skinned and controlling Obama has been from the beginning. And those were not even his worst traits. Never had a job? Never bused or waited on a table? Run a business? Been fired? It's not rocket science. He's a total out of control product of his times elitist, with a mega-watt smile. A vote for "cool" makes you "cool."

    I guess after thousands of words lying about Obama and his wonderfulnessossity, perhaps the formerly natural Red Head scribbling from deep inside the bowels of Old Grey Lady has finally felt guilty and a need to be honest. Sort of.

  44. Obama is a disaster as president. We all know he inherited a disaster from George W. But Obama is, to use the old Texas expression, "all hat and no cattle." He won office by being a great politician, but he has been indecisive and weak as president. He certainly isn't what I expected. His adversarial relationship with the press happened because they've started to call him out on his failures. What does he expect? Obama had great promise, but he's a one term dead end as president.

  45. "..the bitter memory of Mr. Bush’s presidency is fading around the world", today is read in the NYTimes editorial, The President's Moment.

    Good old W! Heavens ! Until the momentous awfullness of the present Presidency we were sentimental for the W epoch! Today, today has suddenly hit us! The sheer awfullness pushes out memory at all! To remember is impossible to get past the sheer awfullness of the sheer nothingness of the incumbent!
    Bring back two weeks ago! "Good old W!"
    There was no bitter memory of W ever ! Just the agonizing experience of it! And from somewhere around the world this comment is sent and the memory, if it could be experienced, hasn't faded it's been blocked off!
    In Russia the sentimentality for the Stalin epoch touches the human soul and while to equate W with Stalin might be difficult to keep a straight face to do that sentimentality I have no proper doubt it exists - if it could be!
    Whatever the mental thing coming out of your country is at the moment it blocks off any capacity to consider it has a continuum ,past present future. Good ole W! We'd love to remember him around the world if we could get to that memory.
    We're in Obama's head and it ain't good.

  46. Your point being?
    Honestly, we barely survived the 'Prez we would like to share a beer with'.
    Being the life of the party, while a laudable skill indeed, it not a requirement for the skilled surgeon who may save my life nor 'the one' who needs to undo the tangled mess of eight years of supreme ineptitude.


  47. Maureen Dowd paints a convincing picture of the unease which Barack Obama feels in the company of the press. His discomfort probably stems from the same lack of confidence which leads him to avoid, as much as possible, all unpleasant issues and controversies. The frostiness reflects the overly cautious president who side-steps any fight he is not sure of winning and who makes unnecessary concessions to opponents or without obtaining anything in return.

  48. Just once...it would be so nice to have a piece on Biden where he's being genuinely complimented without the inevitable back hand.

    There's this alternate universe the press has created and Joe Biden's been elected official whipping boy for all enternity. Odd...I don't know one "normal" person who feels this way about him. People aren't blind to his blunders (although we get reminded enough about them). The man is genuinely liked. And y'know I seem to remember him as the one candidate I enjoyed hearing speak on the campaign trail. In Biden I saw someome angry and fed up, just like me, at government. He told it just like it was without the fear and prep of an Obama or Clinton. It's unfortunate that he could never overcome being ripped up at every turn by the very people he played host to at what sounds like a really nice party. Too bad it'll make little difference come Monday.

    You lot can be cause of too many unnecessary problems sometimes, Maureen.

  49. Yes,

    But, on this, who lies to the press in the white house, most Americans just don't care.

    When Bush was in office he was smart enough to rotate the duty. At one point some tall, bald guy, formerly the CEO of Goldman Sachs was the press liason. "End of the World, or money for Goldman", ran the morning headlines.

    So, it does not matter who is doing the lying, or even that most of the info fed, or mined, by you guys is false.

    It just matters that we know that it is all false informtion.

    And, we do.

  50. I don't understand Obama. He had every news outlet supporting him except for Fox, and maybe a couple others, but he has not taken advantage of that golden opportunity to communicate. I flip between the news channels and it was clear that Fox would report on basically any negative but most other channels would completely ignore the the issues raised by Fox. With the gulf oil spill there was a change -- now I see the other channels beginning to question his leadership. He missed a golden opportunity that may never be regained.

  51. Joe Biden's optimism, imperturbablity, and decency reflect all of what is good about America. That's why nothing he ever says, no matter how awkward, ever really sticks. The press will mention it and joke about it for a while, but at the end of the day, you just gotta love the guy. I have Republican friends who say that Joe Biden is their favorite Democrat. I don't know anyone who dislikes him.

    There has been a lot of talk lately about how the US needs a ceremonial figure to emote and provide a moral compass, while the president is left to govern. Here in Germany that job is given to the President, who actually holds the highest office, but does not govern. It is a role very well suited for the Vice President in the US, but only now has it become clear how important that role really is for holding America together in difficult times. Maybe that is what the White House is thinking for Joe Biden, who is smart and interested enough to know the details of what is going on, yet empathetic and lovable enough to help us get through it. We should stop underestimating what an asset he is. Really, he was born for the role, and we've never needed it more.

  52. Very fair criticism in my opinion. Obama needs to accept the reality of today's political press and quit complaining. JFK was a journalist at one point in his life and loved the give and take with reporters. I think spending so much of his life in that Harvard/Univ.Chicago legal world bubble explains his aloofness. I had hoped that would not be the case. The fact that Biden has taken on this role clearly indicates the administration is aware of the extent of the problem.

  53. I am glad to see that the press is finally seeing Obama as the mortal he is instead of a "the One we were waiting for" bringing "Hope and Change." For someone who never bought into his platitudes, who never had a thrill up their leg listening to impassioned reading from a teleprompter, it is so nice to read Maureen Dowd's column today!

  54. Well, it is ironic. And people are making strange demands on how Obama behaves in public. We elected an intellectual in response to 8 years of hysterics in the Oval Office. Now, the public cries for him to "feel our pain" and "show his anger" … the opposite of what we knew we’d get when we voted for him. We voted for action, not drama.

    Your readers might enjoy this short satire video – I think it nails this peculiar situation:

    http://bit.ly/cGObyC

  55. Part of Biden's charm is that he seems so relentlessly social, relentlessly questioning, genuinely interested in people and at ease in any social situation. Very hale-fellow-well-met. It's an unusually American characteristic. Given Biden's personal history, it's a gift and one which he uses superbly.

  56. Everything about Obama was a front. I fell for it. I gave him my money and my vote. I so regret that.

  57. Biden in '12! Too bad it couldn't have been '08. The country would have been spared four years of The Great Disappointment.

  58. I, too, have a "disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture," perhaps in part because my reflexes have not been honed by switching between devices, websites or channels to satisfy an ever-increasing need for fast-food information, opinions, and entertainment.

    It's a bit disappointing to read a journalist in a serious news outlet castigating the president (or any other leader) for having thoughtful, measured, even cerebral, responses to the events that swirl around us.

    I much prefer the press style of Mr. Obama or the first president Bush, who is correct if he feels that certain reporting techniques are rude.

    Ms. Dowd, you may have to deal with the White House world as it is, rather than blaming President Obama for not being what you would like him to be. And I will accept that your commentary style too often strays toward contempt and distaste, and I will look elsewhere for enlightening opinions.

    JMc.

  59. Something to be said for experience. Given Joe Biden's longer time in Washington, that he should be more conversant with "how the game is played" vis a vis dealing with the media is not surprising. I suppose the one media person closest to Obama's liking would be Charlie Rose as he does ask the cerebral questions of his guests. Of course, the media is more than a single talk-show interviewer, the results we get in terms of knowledge and coverage are the work of many individuals, with greater or lesser measures of objectivity brought to bear depending on the reporter and/or the political slant the organization employing the reporter wishes to convey.

    Still, the media do serve as the bridge between what our elected officials want us to know, and who they are. They [the politicians] just have to reminded now and then that a good working relationship is useful to get anything accomplished politically. Something some might just have to grow into before they find a common comfort zone. Hopefully President Obama will get in that zone fairly soon. For his benefit, and ours as well. Would be nice to have everyone on the same page. Meanwhile, thank you, Joe Biden!

  60. It will be interesting to see whether Ms. Dowd is pilloried for this mild piece, as she was by Obama trolls last week when she dared to speak truth to power. I have gingerly started to gain some bit of respect for her, as she has begun to tell the truth about the one.

  61. Tough job Mr. Pres: Untold pressures, and a constituency that wants a true Progressives with intestinal fortitude of Teddy Roosevelt (TR). Mr. Obama seems to be a very sincere man, with a lot on his mind. Can he save the planet from itself?

    Joe Biden on the other hand seems to be a regular guy, sincere, likable, honest, yet savvy. We could do a lot worse than Numbers 1 and 2.

  62. As far as I know, the President of the United States is not obliged to be chummy or friendly with *any* members of the media or the press. His job is to make news (hopefully in a good way). Their job is to report it in a factual non-partisan manner. It should be no more complicated than that. It's business, not personal. He doesn't have to be the PR guy as well as the decision-maker. He's got more important things to worry about these days, don't you think?

    Get a grip. The guy is doing the best he can. He's not Superman and he never claimed to be.

  63. While commenting on Obama not being comfortable with the media, Maureen sounds a little whiney that he isn't more of what she wants him to be.

    Personally, I don't care about Obama's relationship with today's media establishment. I just want him to run a tight ship and be competent in dealing with our many serious problems.

    This said, I have always liked Joe Biden and still think he a truely genuine American guy.

  64. The Gulf disaster has caught the President off guard, and he's like a deer caught in the headlights of media scrutiny and criticism. He is living up to the "Obambi" moniker you coined for him, because the press sure isn't fawning over him any more.

    You know the President is insecure when he chooses to appear on the number one softball interview show, Larry King Live, (only it was on tape, of course) to plead his case on the oil spill. And then we had the revelation Friday in this newspaper that he's prosecuting more whistleblowers in his 18 months in office than any of his predecessors did during their entire terms. And that includes Richard M. Nixon, the most paranoid and press-phobic president in history. Going after media sources in the government (when it doesn't involve a threat to national security) is a blatant attempt to control journalists and the flow of information.

    Obama is uncomfortable with the press because, I suspect, they are not as willing as they once were to act as his administration's stenographers.

    But reporters deserve some criticism as well for their occasional complicity. I wish they wouldn't quote so many unnamed sources in order to get the President's controlled messages out Example: the White House coward who was quick to criticize unions for spending money to defeat Blanche Lincoln, but didn't want his name printed. Show some guts, journalists! Don't allow yourselves to be used, especially when the story is pure petty politics.

    And, it kind of makes me feel queasy that the press corps - you included, Maureen - canoodles so much with government officials, be it at the White House Correspondents dinner or the backyard bash complete with Joe Biden in wet bathing trunks. Yeah...that definitely makes me queasy.

  65. If Obama is as sick of the hype-news-media as the general public is
    he is probably on the same page as a high majority of citizens.
    It is horrible to watch the same old stuff rehashed day after day, month after month by intense boy-TV personalities, when we all know it takes time and effort to work through big problems.

  66. Really? He's not angry enough? He's too annoyed with cloying and obnoxious people, he's not "reactive enough?" Wow--this really fits with my definition of a healthy psyche. Boo hoo about the tough and uncertain life of journalists, Maureen. Welcome to the real world of work, whining wahine. We all have it tough, these days. Hail to the chief, who gets my vote for a model of grace under fire.

  67. Maureen, Mr. Obama went to change things in the White House. But looks like we were not really for the real Obama. We just wanted a smart guy pulling them out of their troubles without shaking things up. The tension is obvious.
    Joe Biden is very comfortable in the establish order. He is quick to defend Israeli misadventures even though he himself was spurned on his visit to that country. His is a very comfortable position for any Washington politician even though our national interest is calling for a different track. Obama is obviously showing some discomfort in the established order of our policy.
    Joe did not have to face the birthers, or the question about the frequency of his church visits. Nobody is questioning his Americanness or which king he bowed to at what angle. I do not think mainstream press defended The One regarding these prejudicial innuendos. May be Mr. Obama’s relationship with the press is based on his very personal hurt.

  68. Thanks for a bit of insight into how our President interacts with the press. It's always interesting to learn things about his personality.

    You know, many of us out here in voter-land were inspired by our President when he ran for office; we thought we were putting someone in the White House that would support the programs we believed in - the things he said he believed in.

    But, then, Don't Ask, Don't Tell got side-lined. Financial insiders became close advisers and members of the Cabinet. The single-payer option came off the table, almost without discussion. More troops were lined up to be sent to Afghanistan. Stories about big, new infrastructure projects offering jumps in employment stopped appearing.

    Now, I understand Mr Obama has to operate under all kinds of constraints. But couldn't he come out and defend his choices in public through - What do you call'em? Oh, yes! - press conferences. Give us some insight into what he's having to fight against. Get us fired up again by letting us know his agenda for say the next six months.

    It's uncomfortable to feel abandoned.

  69. What a large hearted person Joe Biden must be. Congratulations, Maureen, for sharing this piece about someone who whilst in power has patent humility and forgiveness. And sounds a really great guy. We need more ... everywhere!

  70. Maureen, Mr. Obama went to change things in the White House. But looks like we were not really for the real Obama. We just wanted a smart guy pulling them out of their troubles without shaking things up. The tension is obvious.
    Joe Biden is very comfortable in the establish order. He is quick to defend Israeli misadventures even though he himself was spurned on his visit to that country. His is a very comfortable position for any Washington politician even though our national interest is calling for a different track. Obama is obviously showing some discomfort in the established order of our policy.
    Joe did not have to face the birthers, or the question about the frequency of his church visits. Nobody is questioning his Americanness or which king he bowed to at what angle. I do not think mainstream press defended The One regarding these prejudicial innuendos. May be Mr. Obama’s relationship with the press is based on his very personal hurt.

  71. Well, letsee . . . two weeks ago, Obama wasn't doing the angry daddy well enough. Now he isn't doing the press pal well enough. Good thing there's nothing serious to write about, so we can concentrate on style points.

  72. Surprise - the president needs time to do his job - and pandering to the press just isn't that productive.

  73. How completely self-serving, how totally beside the point of leadership of the nation - did the media forget that they are not supposed to be the center of attention? Sounds to me like the media reps are the crybabies.

  74. MoDo's claim is that Obama can't accept the reality. But looking at this objectively, it appears that one could easily say that the press can't accept the reality -- that Obama will not play their games. Meanwhile, 99.9% of Americans don't care.

  75. Helen Thomas has provided the example, and many should follow. At least her anger was real and in many ways justified. It's about the news and real analysis, or satire or humour, separately! The opposition is just peddling lies. There must be a response.

  76. I must sympathize with the president's frustration as far as the press is concerned. This week their biggest gripe seemed to be that Obama isn't "emotional enough".In this one respect Barack Obama is a lot like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although many of us are not old enough to remember those thirteen awful days in October of 1962, we've certainly seen enough film and videotape footage of it. How did Jack Kennedy behave during that confrontation with Russia? He was as cool as a freakin' cucumber, Buster! Can you imagine how the Soviets would have reacted had the president taken the suggestion of an adviser that he "freak out"? Many of you reading this would never have been born. I would probably be dead. We would never have known the name "Sarah Palin". There would today be no such thing as FOX News. Oh, the humanity.

    Many years ago when I was still in high school, I bore witness to an argument between a teenage couple that still makes me laugh thirty-four years later. The guy had experienced a minor mishap of some kind - so minor, in fact, that I cannot recall even a single detail. After explaining to his girlfriend what had happened, this clown became indignant when she didn't break into tears on hearing about it. Seriously! He actually became incensed because she didn't cry! The reaction of so many in the media this week at President Obama's inherently calm demeanor during the Gulf of Mexico crisis brought this cherished memory back to life with a comical vengeance.

    So the president of the United States is not "angry" enough. He's not "weepy" enough. He doesn't "emote". Has the mainstream media been hijacked by a cabal of petulant sixteen-year-olds? Do they expect Barack Obama to behave like the half-witted antagonist of a Lesley Gore tune?

    It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!
    Cry if I want to!
    Cry if I want to!
    You would cry to if it happened to you!
    Cha-Cha-Cha!

    Some people really need to grow up.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

  77. It's also been hard to warm up to Barack Obama. I really really wanted to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and support him come what may but it's just getting harder and harder to do so. His cold, aloof I'm above it all attitude is a real turn off.

    Unfortunately Joe Biden's recent light hearted party with toy Uzi waterguns and water slides didn't go over so big with the media either. Vice Presidents are supposed to be stuffy and mean--they're not supposed to be have fun. What would Elmer Fudd Cheney and Spiro Agnew say????

  78. Aw, Mo - questioning Joe's Irishness :)

    You are right the new 24-hour-a-day blog-a-media is a different animal; it consumes more than 100% of a POTUS' time, if allowed, and the moments of our leaders letting their guard down appear to be past - it's impossible to tell who is shopping their new book of insider tid bits from actual friends or from that media just trying to drive an agenda with completely fabricated talking points and then demanding a response as if they were genuine.

    The Veep will do fine; it'll be just like last time when we would wait for a VP epistle from Faux as often as a POTUS address to the nation.

    Not sure, though, about throwing around that term ' elitist ' - if it is appropriate, it seems to have been acquired in the last 17 or 18 months, so perhaps it comes with being in DC - which would mean it's an unavoidable perception that is job-related instead of an actual personality trait.

    There's a difference, you know.

  79. Barack Obama is stiff. But, at any day I will trade his presidency to 8 years of Bush/Cheney.

  80. for those who romanticize the presidency, Joe is not charming, yet funny.

  81. Ms. Dowd, you have hit the nail on the head: President Obama has always been spared the microscope of the media in their focused hatred of the Bush administration. Now that there is a tiny flashlight ( certainly not the spot light which was the focus on the previous administration) of focus on the "doings" of the current administration, the Democrats are in a real tizzy. Having to explain the reasons for their political actions, rather than just playing the Blame Bush Card is just too burdensome and irritating to the Democrats. Hopefully, the press members will fulfill their necessary function in an open, democratic society rather than just being shills for the left. This is something that has been missing for far too many years....

  82. It appears Ms. Dowd would prefer the Human gaffe machine as the hindsight post-mortem top of the 2008 ticket. When old Joe is not plagiarizing Brit politicians or doing an insertion of foot into mouth, such as his claims that FDR delivered a fireside chat in 1929 0n TV, he is being a regular warm lovable Irish guy. Yes the media had a love affair with Obama, but no Joe Biden is still a loose cannon ready to deliver a broadside against anything within range.


  83. Obama: one of the biggest diappointments of the last hundred years: Intelligent. Articulate. Totally lacking in judgment.

  84. Biden is real,not a phoney. In my opinion Obama is a flim flam man. His actions don't match his retoric. Biden should have been elected but as South Carolina shows the voters can be easily fooled.

  85. Once again Maureen you have no idea what it's like to get that national security briefing every day at 7:30 a.m. rain or shine, or what it's like to subject shift 200 times a day on pretty serious stuff.

    A president does not get to stage the show two weeks in advance, there is such a thing as a full plate, and maybe he has more important things to do. Sorry. Can you imagine having ten big problems every day, keeping them straight, and having something clever to say about them at the drop of the hat while the pipe is still leaking and Israel stakes out yet another foundation?

    An impression that a lot of people get is that the press expects a new Einstein equation every couple of hours.

    Obama hired a team of rivals and experts in their fields. Top executives do this everywhere and work on distributing the load and helping the team do its job. Maybe Joe got the assignment and maybe he is actually doing a good job. I saw him in action on Charlie Rose and was impressed. Obama trusts Joe and Hillary and they have really blossomed back.

    He has been in the job for about 17 months and it looks like change is marching on in spite of your obsession for a warm cuddly Obama.

    You should take a shot at keeping score on the number of problems his administration is trying to solve. Do you have any idea what's on the list?

    1. Stimulus bill
    2. Afghanistan-Iraq-Pakistan plan
    3. Sotomayor infusion
    4. Healthcare Reform
    5. Financial Reform
    6. Reshaped Foreign Policy
    7. Education Reform and Stimuli
    8. Stimulating economic development and energy conservation R&D
    9. Energy policy
    10. Global warming countermeasures and world initiatives
    11. Re-energized Homeland Security policy
    12. Getting our auto industry back on track
    13. Searching for and investing in new kinds of jobs and occupations
    14. Inspiring a nation to work on problem solving instead of making Rand Paul and Tea Party dumb
    In the works:
    15. Immigration
    16. Israel-Palestine conflict resolution: “Israel please give us a break!”
    17. ……… More to come

    Would you rather see him working on our problems or spending more time with Mictch McConnell and John Boehenr who don't seem to have anything much to contribute, and pretty much get their lines from professional script writers.

  86. Really Maureen? Would you not agree times have changed, media wise? Nowadays the president or anyone with a public profile is hounded 24/7. Not to mention the complete lack of press or public regard for the office of the presidency. If Nixon was in office today how would he be treated? Admit it, there is more going on, on the unscrupulous side of journalism these days than ever. The media should check themselves, be self aware.

  87. But I love Joe Biden. Like us all, he gaffes but he is a great guy and very intelligent and with a HEART. Wish he were younger. Next Prez would not be a bad idea,

  88. Maureen: It is not always PRESS TIME! President Obama smartly breaking the chain to be People Time and not Press Time! There is nothing wrong with that! Make people your only task for reporting!!

  89. "...he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling"

    Gee, you think? What took you so long?

  90. Maureen: get this straight - there is only ONE man running the white house, your hero Obama. Do you honestly think obama would allow Biden to give you the time of the day? Do you think Obama would allow those who KNOW how to clean the gulf oil spill? Hell no.......he is a class B president acting like a class A actor, the exact opposite of class B actor, Reagan, acting like a classs A president.

    And finally you are having some doubts about Obama. Here are some news: the rest of the country, the Tea Party people, always thought obama is dangerous to all of us, and now, slowly, I am seeing the same feeling invade your columns. Good. Slowly but surely you are getting it. Maybe someday you will see the entire light.

  91. Although I wish President Obama were less thin-skinned, I also am sick of the blood lust of political journalists who want to pillory anybody and everybody to include the President, because THEY CAN. The media are full of themselves. If the media would have more serious reporting about what is actually going on, rather than trying to spin everything, our country might be healthier politically and socially. If you were to quit playing the game of GOTCHA, and report truthfully and factually, you would have more credence.

  92. Inadvertant,loose remarks by politicians can be very damaging.They are,and ought to be vigilant at all times when talking to the press.Depending on the subject,they can also be jovial as the V.P.is as described in the column.

  93. JFK actually LIKED to woo, as did WJClinton. I am glad to see a NYT columnist finally acknowledging the sniffy, imperious nature of our president. Soon you'll finally see his basic inability to motivate people to rally round his causes, or, as I would put it, his inability to inspire.

  94. Come on Maureen, The Press was all about this guy during the campaign. The fact that SNL did a skit about it just shows how obivious it was. You can hardly claim SNL to be part the vast right wing conspiracy. The only reason he's taking some heat now is that he's turning out not to be the Anti-Bush that the press,(yourself included), wanted him to be

  95. With all the ENORMOUS problems that our president faces every day, shouldn't we be grateful that he IS serious and cerebral? While he is our president, isn't it more important that he concentrates on our country's and the world's dilemmas, than trying to charm you journalists? Be fair...we are so fortunate to have a capable leader after the disastrous 8 years that preseded him.

  96. Mo, why are you so disappointed and surprised? The man doesn't like being questioned...and he truly loathes being QUESTIONED.

  97. Joe Biden, gaffes of many, yes – most of them being reported without including the intent or the full context – has always spoken ‘straight talk’. He is direct, forthright, and throughout his career has (most) always backed everything he has said with facts and additional sources to refer to for clarity.

    Then Senator Obama, Then President-Elect Obama, and now President Obama has (most) always spoken directly, forthright, and more or less has made it clear that the so-called ‘media’ should do a better of reporting the FACTS and TRUTHS as opposed to continually reporting with their own ‘biased opinions’ that all too often stand out as just that, OPINIONS instead of FACTS and TRUTHS.

    Personally, I really admire both our VP and our POTUS for directly speaking up and clearly stating what I have always found to be ‘a truth’ – the news media reporters/journalists do not give all of the facts, and are continually adding the proverbial “spin” in their reporting.

    You stated, “Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is,”, and you further state, “… that disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture is slowing his political reflexes…,” and you sum it up with, “…if he doesn’t make more concessions to Washington as it is, he’s going to hurt his presidency.”

    In my humble opinion, Obama DOES deal with media world as it is, as he has repeatedly indicated that the media is too quick to report without all of the facts, or they report omitting key comments.

    I do not believe or think for one minute that he should have to make ANY concessions to ANY media.

    I never take for granted what I read or hear in the mainstream media. My source is watching the actual (complete, not merely a 30-second sound bite) goings-on in Congress via CSPAN (live or replay) or The Pentagon Channel, both of whom cover and provide the complete news briefings and speeches.

    I listen to what is being said in its entirety; I form MY OWN OPINION based on what I heard straight from the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’; then, and only then do I listen/read what the media reports.
    I was fortunate to have grown up with a mother who held a job in the political arena. I learned at a very early age that not all NEWS written in newspapers is the real truth, the whole truth, but only a mere partial truth most of the time. I was privy to the reporters' conversations with the politician (my mother) and would then read the NEWS article the following day - only to find out that what had been stated in an interview or given as a quote was NOT what appeared in the news article.

    Until such time that more people, specifically my fellow American citizens, take the time as I do and watch or view the full context of a speech or appearance, it is my humble opinion the audience of the mainstream media and blogger pundits will continue to divide this country more than it is already divided, and further, they will continue to be misinformed when they rely solely on the mainstream media outlets for their news.

  98. ..."How ironic. Instead of The One, they’re sending out The Two."

    Hmmm....I do not find this particularly ironic, Maureen! Joe Biden is an extremely extroverted, social fellow--always has been. And Irish he is, for sure--just look as his humor and that twinkle in his eye. He is the perfect person to "dish" with the press and he has the age, maturity and wisdom not to take any of it personally. GO JOE!

    Obama is "night" to Biden's "day." He is empathetic, intellingent and full of ironic humor--some of it delightfully self-mocking. However, he is a major introvert! Why does the press keep missing this? Some of us you know are NOT raging extroverts, and it takes alot of energy to be social and make small talk! Obama is one of these people. Why not let him be who he is--without expecting him to be a social sweetheart?

    Did you know that most introverts are more comfortable speaking before a large crowd than they are having to deal socially? Many of us have learned how to "fake it," but prefer solitude or a small group of, say, two! Introverts are de-energized by being around people. Extroverts refuel themselves by being with people and in the world. Not right or wrong, either one--just different.

    I say let Obama be who he is. Keep his feet to the fire about how he conducts policy, not about how he schmoozes. And remember, introverts are not all geeky wonks. We too can be charming, funky and a little bit goofy!

  99. Thank you Maureen for writing about Obama as he really is. For those who never bought into "Hope and Change," this is the Obama who we have seen all along. Keep it up!

  100. Obama is twice as neurotic and half as intelligent as Nixon was, as President. It is good that you are starting to be honest about that which you should have known all along. Obama is the most unqualified person to ever achieve the Presidency, and, for that , we are all paying a very high price.

  101. Why didn't you tell us earlier that he wouldn't answer questions? That may have been useful information for primary and genereral election voters, who's come to believe he was "The One".

  102. Maureen, I have to say that I enjoyed reading your column more when W was president. Then I agreed with your assessments of incompetence in the White House, but now it seems you are just reaching for ways in which to criticize Obama because criticizing is your job.

    Obama's job is to steer the American economy through the mess he inherited from the last administration, as well as dealing with the seemingly endless crises that are occuring internationally and in the Gulf of Mexico. It's NOT his job to emote for the entertainment of the press or to cosy up to the press. It's his job to deal with the issues and, from my perspective, he is doing his job. Give the man a break. He's intelligent, a deep-thinker, a strong family man with more energy and enthusiasm for the job-at-hand than possessed by 100 people put together. It's impossible for a president to make you happy -- if this one can't quiet your criticism, then no one ever will.

  103. "But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling."

    Maureen, your truth (and your 180 degree turn) is now complete in just a dozen words. For the first time since your original surprise column virtually ordaining Obama while trashing Hillary in 2007, I feel you've gotten it. (How do the 'Hollywood Elite' you spent that February 2007 evening with then, feel now?)

    Obama has diminished the presidency by personally taking on 'asses' like Limbaugh, Beck, et al, while using language unbecoming an executive in charge.

    That was supposed to be Biden's job. Since Obama as taken on that role, Biden must take on the role of the adult in this odd relationship in this odd White House.

    And the reason Biden is out there: He has the maturity to deal with stresses of the office tested through years of jibes and jokes and even self-depracation. And even if he screws up, no one will care...they don't expect more.

  104. It IS funny how things work out.The "Press" clamor for an intelligent;thoughtful President who makes rational decisions based upon facts and careful deliberation ... free from undisciplined or uneducated emotion. Such a President is elected. And now the " Press " clamor of a President who displays empathy;passion;who is guided by emotions ! I recall " serious" discussions about how JFK " seduced" the press with his charm and humor.The press ... kept quiet about Kennedy's serious health problems and personal behavior that put him at risk for blackmail.
    When the people most directly affacted by the oil spill ... as well as elected officials of those states are questioned ... they are justifiably angry about alot of things. I have not heard one of those people express anger at President Obama'a affact. No one criticizes his ... supposed ...lack of emotional engagement. I ONLY hear that from the press.
    President Obama's distain is for .... the superficial focus ... of the press. Intelligent questions ... are responded to ... with respect / intelligence.
    Criticism of the problem-solving of the oil spill ... fine/appropriate.
    Criticism of the cool...calm ....thoughtful approach to the oil spill ...ridiculous.Arrogant.
    Criticism by the President of the superficial. ...press coverage ....warrented.

  105. Ms. Dowd, you're onto something here; in addtion: History will show that Pres. Obama has been as paranoid as Mr. Nixon, & both men tried to use the full power of the Federal Government to crush leakers - so far Mr. Obama has been more successful. Both men were crafty, not above B+ intelligence but hard workers. Both men were loved by their immediate families, but neither man had many [if any] friends.

    However, Mr. Nixon was far more pragmatic than Mr. Obama - Mr. Nixon ended the wars he inherited, accepted Congress’s creation of the EPA & the Dept. of Education, had a direct-hire Federal jobs program, & worked for a health care program with a public option. As much as we were taught to despise Nixon, we should recognize he was the last president who saw any liberal programs enacted.

    Alan Greenspan infamously said, "Bill Clinton was the best Republican president of my lifetime." After Messrs. Obama & Clinton, & with apologies to my parents, I have to say that Tricky Dicky Nixon was the best Democratic president of my lifetime.

    Michael Radosevich

  106. The Time is really out of joint,
    To see Obama disappoint,
    Our hopes, once so high,
    Now sigh after sigh,
    Where's that man whom we sought to anoint?

  107. Ms. Dowd,

    I don't know if you are aware that it is not just Obama, but the public that is fed up and contemptuous of the gossipy, hysterical press obsessing about scandals and nonsense instead of doing serious analysis.

    There is nothing Obama can do right for you. But many of us think he is a hard-working, intelligent, serious president.

  108. Ms Dowd, in my opinion your column reflects one of the biggest problems today: the press itself.

    I feel safe in saying that most of the literate public wants to read REPORTS from objective journalists, as well as ANALYSIS from those journalists who have front-line familarity with events and whose political leanings are obvious enough to allow readers to calibrate accordingly.

    But that's not what we, the reading and listening public, are getting. We're getting the blatherings of self-appointed advisors and critics under the guise of journalists and talking heads who are dedicated to taking down personalities rather than focusing on issues.

    No shortcoming is too trivial to be publicized and promoted ad nauseum for a news cycle: a president who is often accused of being too photo-op friendly is now "too aloof?" (Perhaps because he, unlike VP Biden, hasn't had a white house pool party for the press?)

    If you're all so clever, why don't some of you run for office or apply for advisorsy positions in the administration to set things right? In the meantime, it would be nice if you would stop behaving like a bunch of neurotic parents who, expecting perfection from children, have only one objective: ferreting out shortcomings -- the more trivial the better --and relentlessly harping on them.

    All this being said, I do read your column, because when you're out to nail a deserving clod, nobody does it better. I just don't understand what seems to be a particular blood lust that seems to make you to turn off -- and on-- people for no better reason that to write a fresher slant.

  109. The fault Maureen does not lie with the President but lies with the superficial press who are so busy amusing themselves to death. When faced with an intelligent President who refuses to to talk dumb and challenges the press to think in emotionally mature and thoughtful ways you and other members of the press fail miserably in meeting the challenge.

    I do not say Obama should not be criticized but the way you and other journalists jump on the light, the trite and the superficial to criticize you loose all credibility.

    I must say that when I read a magnificent book like "The Bridge" by the journalist David Remnick I have some hope that there are journalists who can see Obama in his uniqueness and write about him in a fair minded, nuanced and very intelligent way. Read the book. You might learn something.

  110. The President serves the country, not the fluffy nonrigourous reporters. Based on comments like this, even by someone who is a pretty good writer she's in the zone, it's no wonder America is turning into this "idiocracy". Rather than wanting a President and people with higher standards, you're asking for a dumbing down simply to appease the masses.

  111. I think that what you are saying is that even Joe is starting to look good vis-a-vis Barry. Many of us are starting to agree.

  112. Yes,Maureen, I also find it highly ironic that the normally cynical mainstream media vultures were so beguiled by this dazzling neophyte that you let him fly under the radar right into the Oval Office.

    It looks as though Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are having the last laugh after all.

  113. "The 21st-century press beast is a scary multimedia monster, caught up in the trite as well as the vital, and reporters rarely can be as contemplative as the cerebral Obama would like."

    It would be superb if Ms. Dowd would point out some of the "vital" stuff she has covered lately. She would do well to listen to the following commentary by CNN's Fareed Zakaria, posted on The Huffington Post, which I think clearly explains why President Obama is right to treat the press with disdain the way Ms. Dowd suggests.

    I think the press deserves every bit of the disdain it gets when it mostly focuses on the "trite." If I were in the President's shoes, I would do the same and stick Joe Biden on them while I attend to the important business of the state Fareed Zakaria so eloquently talks about. Ms. Dowd, if you and your friends want to be taken seriously, start covering serious stuff.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

  114. "Now that Obama has been hit with negative press, he’s even more contemptuous. "

    Try this Ms. Dowd: Now that the press has figured out Obama's game (flimflam artist-in-chief) he doesn't quite know how to handle it.

  115. When the press returns to actually reporting the factual news instead of presenting infotainment news, then maybe our President will think his time is worth spending responding to reporters. Why not put the blame where it belongs and point out the ridiculousness of what we consider news reporting these days? Many of us are disheartened to see the dumbing of America.

  116. I'm so happy to know you reporters are having fun with squirt guns and the like while the wars rage, the spill gushes and the unemployment rate stays near 10 percent. Your column is still forgiving of the guy all you journalists helped vault into office. I contend he's still not had a really tough question. It's pathetic and that's why many people can't stand the mainstream press anymore.

  117. BO is the biggest disappointment of my life! I just hope that a REAL progressive challenges him in 2012. One faux pas after another. Instead of UHC, not even a PO. Tragic. This crap of bi-partisanship is a joke, that only the Rs laugh at.

  118. The press, as a media business, is like the cinema world in which I participate (rather reluctantly), a self-glorifying creature. It is in its nature, as its function is to magnify things, just like movies are "bigger than life." And so everyone attached is likewise enlarged, which perhaps many in our media-saturated celebrity-worshipping culture see as a virtue. Truth is it is a Midas' touch, which in the American press has been warped and corrupted into a fraud. Rush, and his acolytes, Fox, and even the old Gray Lady are no longer really "press" in the sense of bringing us the honest news each day. Instead they are bottled corporate swill and spin, lies for a purpose presented as "truth." Perhaps Obama's recoil is this: that he knows, as we all should, that the press today is toxic, its aims and intentions suspect, and its visible contents clearly on the corporate leash. Today's Washington Post would never have a Watergate scoop; nor would the NY Times of today act differently than it did in the lead up to the Iraq war, publishing as "true" concocted government lies, with nary a whisper of resistance. The press is supposed to be a check on governmental and corporate hubris; instead it is a toady. Obama may have other reasons for wariness, and I hardly agree with administration policies (a NYTIMES headline the other day underlined this, stating Obama Takes a Hard Line Against Leaks [not BP's].... to Press), but he's right to avoid being palsy with the kind of press we have today.

    Why didn't the Times have critical exposures of the MMS BEFORE the BP catastrophe?

    Why didn't the Times expose the fraud of the Bush admin WMD scam BEFORE the war?

    Why did the Times swallow the 9/11 white-paper hook line and sinker despite glaring evidence it is hog-wash?

    The list is endless, and paints a damning picture of the state of the press, circa 2000-2010.

    www.jonjost.wordpress.com
    www.cinemaelectronica.wordpress.com

  119. Sorry... but you dropped the ball on this one. The only people complaining about Obama and the press are reporters, who can never have too much access, and his political detractors who thinks the press are in bed with him.

    I normally love your columns... but this one comes off as whiny. I don't speak for the American people, but I imagine that there are an infinite number of things we care about other than Obama being "aloof" and "thin skinned" where it comes to the press.

  120. I've always admired Joe Biden, and it doesn't surprise me that he's so popular -- although the Press treated him with contempt until it was clear he was popular -- more popular, certainly, than the Press. I think your comments on what you would like to believe is President Obama's "failure to communicate" only reveal your own limitations, and what sounds to me like envy. Once again, you presume to know that the public in general finds Barack Obama's leadership inadequate. Not the public I belong to. You've been very unsuccessful in diagnosing problems that are mostly in your own mind;

  121. When Obama shows disdain for Washington or the federal government, he is talking about himself, which he does not seem to realize. He is Washington now, and it is time he stop whining about it and start changing it as he promised.

  122. Whine,whine,whine... that's all the press does. They want to be wooed, wined and dined. Is it a wonder the President treats you with barely concealed disdain.
    You are like children who throw a tantrum when they dont get the attention they believe they deserve. You rant, rave, pull your hair and write unflattering pieces about your latest victim. Sheath your claws and stop your frothing, do some real work for a change and write something beyond your constant need for affirmation from the men in power.

  123. I'm not sure if I've ever read a more banal argument. Are you seriously whining that Obama is disappointing you because he's not been your best buddy? Is that what's most important right now? In case you haven't noticed, there is no upside for him to speak to the press. One poorly chosen phrase or offhand joke, and it's suddenly headline news. A careful distance is prudent in this day and age. If you don't like the job he's doing, fair enough, vote him out. But to throw a tantrum because he's not the god-image that the press created, that too is quite ironic.

  124. If the press were journalists, as opposed to "Entertainment Tonight" soundbite spewers, this turn of events just might be troubling. As things stand, I prefer President Obama work behind the scenes on the issues facing the country. Defending himself to the media for his failure to sprinkle magic fairy dust and fix all that ails this country is a monumental waste of time. You guys should be happy you got Biden and not the assistant to the director of scoial planning. You earned the demotion.

  125. They say all politics are local and Mr. Biden despite his shortcomings especially when he's dealing with facts seems more adapt at dealing with the press then Mr. Smooth Obama.Barack's head is the one his opposition wants not Joe's.Help send the Chicago Crew home Moe for the good of the country.