Today at 1:30 PM, President Obama will hold an honest-to-goodness, question-taking press conference. It seems the President took to heart the plaintive plea of ABC’s Jake Tapper who asked Obama not to be a stranger as the president exited his last presser on August 20.
And that press conference was just a walk on, surprise to the press. Obama’s last scheduled, solo press conference was all the way back on March 6.
Despite claiming that he’d be the most open, transparent president ever, Obama hasn’t been as forth coming with the media establishment as other presidents. In fact, he’s been chided by the media since he first became president for keeping them at arm’s length.
The latest scolding Obama took over his shyness was in early in October when Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank looked up the numbers and noted that in the last four years, President Obama “has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.”
“Towson University political scientist Martha Kumar, who keeps a running tally of Obama’s media appearances, tells me he has had 19 solo news conferences in the White House as of Sept. 30. That compares to 26 for Ronald Reagan at the same point in his presidency, 59 for George H.W. Bush, and 31 for Bill Clinton. Obama had more formal news conferences than George W. Bush (13), but Bush engaged in many more informal Q&A sessions with reporters: 340 at this stage in his presidency to Obama’s 105. (Clinton had 585 at this point, the elder Bush had 309 and Reagan had 135.)”
This President does not like to be questioned, even by his press corps.
The absurd thing is that this media supports him, so what has he been afraid of these last four years? Who would ever expect a member of the U.S. media to ask a tough question? Well, besides Jake Tapper, of course.