Monday, February 9, 2009

Thoughts on Obama’s 1st Press Conference

I watched Obama’s first press conference. He spent a week with us one evening.

At the very least it was a gross oversimplification of thins. If you weren’t for the stimulus you were for doing nothing. Me good. Republicans bad. Good me reach out to Republicans and all they have to do is not listen to Limbaugh. Is that so hard to ask? Republicans should set aside their small differences. What does Obama consider to be a small difference? Not that Obama cares much. After all he said he isn’t going to take criticism from those who doubled the size of the deficit. Never mind much of that increase was as a result of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of Iraq Obama acknowleded Iraqs nascent democracy was functioning in a meaningful way. Not bad for a dumb war.

One note about Iran. Obama noted there is a lot of mistrust between the U.S. and Iran. Well, you don’t say. There’s the small matter of taking American hostages at our Embassy in Tehran. The killing of 241 U.S. soldiers in Lebanon and their role in killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Obama insists this is the worse economic crisis since The reat Depression. So far it isn’t. It hasn’t quite reached the level of the late 1970s or early 1980s. Although there is certainly reason enough to believe it will be worse before it is better.

Jake Tapper at ABC News asked the best question of the evening when he asked Obama to define the measures by which the economy would improve. Obama replied:

1. Create or save 4 million jobs.
2. Ensure credit markets operate effectively.
3. Stabilize the housing market.
4. Stop the economy from contracting.

If Obama is going to stop the economy from contraction then I suspect that he would likely save more jobs than actually create any new jobs. Not that government can create jobs in the first place.

But Obama did make the point of saying he wasnt going to get all he wanted in the stimulus package. People will perceive that Obama is amenable to compromise and that will buy him both goodwill and time.

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