Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoughts on the Obama Press Conference

President-elect Barack Obama had his first press conference in Chicago since his election on Tuesday night. I had a chance to listen to it on I was unable to get a video feed from

Surrounded by Joe Biden, new White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and his transition team, Obama spoke briefly about the country's dire economic situation. He said that the country needed "a rescue plan for the middle class." Obama urged Congress to pass an additional stimulus package in the lame duck session and if such a package could not be agreed it would be "the first thing I get done" once he took office. Apart from extending unemployment benefits he did not specify what such a plan would entail.

Obama took ten questions from the media. Most of the questions were of a general, inoffensive nature - how he felt about being invited to the White House by President Bush, who he thought his successor for his Senate seat in Illinois should be and what kind of dog would he get for his children.

However, there was a question about Iran and the letter of congratulations he received from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama replied that he would be "reviewing" the letter. What is there to review?

Obama did reiterate that it was unacceptable for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. What was needed to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon? Obama said we needed to "mount an international effort." So what will be the basis of this international effort? Another UN Security Council Resolution? We've already had three. Will this "international effort" involve China and Russia? For crying out loud the Russians are building the Iranians a nuclear reactor.

Or will this "international effort" involve Obama hopping aboard Air Force One to Tehran for an audience with Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs? This is where Obama would make his pitch about them giving up their efforts to enrich uranium in exchange for membership in the World Trade Organization.

Hey, I know he doesn't take office for another 74 days but I'll be listening to him very, very carefully.

No comments: