Yesterday was an example of why President Obama is not known for giving White House Press Conferences. Even the main stream media panned his performance yesterday. If the media is no longer sugar coating or ignoring the President’s misstatements, then he is in trouble. Several liberal commentators, such as the New York Times Maureen Dowd, are questioning his performance. The patina is wearing off.
It’s been a bad week for the President and Democrats. Governor Walker easily won the recall battle in Wisconsin even though the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee sent over 200 organizers into the state. The Republicans out-organized the Democrats. The Tea Party again showed it is a real political force. The voters’ anger from 2010 carried over into 2012.
The public employee unions received more cold water by voters in San Diego and San Jose, California. Governor Romney raised $77 million in May compared to $60 million for the President. The President’s campaign may be outspent this year.
President Clinton publicly undermined one of President Obama’s class warfare mantra by stating the Bush Tax cuts should be extended. President Clinton later backtracked, but the soundbite is available for the November election.
And then on Thursday the President either seemed out of touch, to quote Governor Romney, or ignorant of the realities of the American economy.
The bad week follows a bad month of May. The President is on a roll.
The problem from the President’s perspective with press conferences is that the President, or in the case of President Obama TOTUS, does not control the questions. His controlled cadence does not work well spontaneously. He tries to somewhat control the conferences by calling on reporters pursuant to a prepared list.
The last President who was a natural in press conferences was JFK. His wit and intelligence made for gentle jousting with the reporters. Every President since has tried to be heavily rehearsed, but even then the President may stray off message, just as candidates often do.
The President misspoke yesterday. He wanted to say that the private sector has shown jobs growth since his Administration began, and that the job loss problem is now with the public sector. Hence, the Republicans should support his proposals for funding police, fire, and teachers.
The last half of that proposition shows President Obama is tone deaf after Tuesday’s elections in California and Wisconsin.
The real problem though was his statement that “The private economy is doing just fine.” Even if that comment is taken slightly out of context, as with Governor Romney’s “I like to fire people,” it sends the message the President is out of touch with reality. He should spend less time fund raising in Hollywood and the Upper East Side and more time learning about real America today.
The next time he flies to California for a fund raiser in Beverly Hills or Brentwood, he should drive past some empty strip malls.
President Obama several hours later explained “It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.”
He should check the economy in all 57 states, 56 if you exclude Wisconsin.
It’s the economy, stupid!