Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama press conference: I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak


Transcript.

One of Obama’s themes tonight was not to expect anything to get better very quickly. Oh good. “There are no quick fixes, and there are no silver bullets.” (For fuck’s sake, don’t say that! The werewolves might be listening.) “I’m a big believer in persistence.” “you look back four years from now, I think, hopefully, people will judge that body of work and say, ‘This is a big ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat. It doesn’t turn around immediately.’” And the stewards are all werewolves. Or something. I really wasn’t paying that close attention.


WHAT HE’S AS ANGRY AS ANYBODY ABOUT (BUT WITH A REALLY CALM VOICE FOR SOMEONE WHO’S SO, YOU KNOW, ANGRY): “I’m as angry as anybody about those bonuses that went to some of the very same individuals who brought our financial system to its knees, partly because it’s yet another symptom of the culture that led us to this point.” Two questions: 1) Is the president supposed to be admitting that the financial system has been brought to its knees? 2) If Clinton had said that, how long would it have taken until the giggling stopped?


However, he added after expressing his alleged anger, “the rest of us can’t afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit.” Why can’t we afford it, do they charge a demonization fee?


Some ninny (Chuck Todd) asked if he shouldn’t be asking the public to sacrifice something to help the economy. Presumably something beside their homes, their jobs, their retirement funds, their hopes, their dreams... Obama: “I think folks are sacrificing left and right.”


The line for which this presser will be remembered, assisted by Ed Henry’s silly why-did-it-take-you-two-days-to-express-outrage-about-the-AIG-bonuses question: “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” This was the day for comebacks, with Ben Bernanke responding to Rep. Donald Manzullo’s “Not one of you three can give me a yes or no?” with “That’s because it’s a poorly posed question.”


UNLESS IT HAS MY PICTURE ON IT: “I don’t believe that there’s a need for a global currency.”


WHAT PART OF THE CHANGE IN ATTITUDES HE WANTS TO SEE IN WASHINGTON AND ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS: “Part of the change in attitudes that I want to see here in Washington and all across the country is a belief that it is not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”


So how’s the being black and a president thing going? “I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we’re going to fix the economy, and that affects black, brown and white.” It just occurred to me that since it pretty much stopped being acceptable to refer to Asians as yellow, they’re left out of formulations like this.

Asked by a Washington Times reporter about stem cell research: “I think those issues are all critical, and I’ve said so before. I wrestle with it on stem cell”. Now he’s wrestling stem cells. That’s just wrong. So very wrong.


WHAT THE HEADLINES ALL LOOK LIKE: “I think, when it comes to the banking system, you know, it was just a few days ago or weeks ago where people were certain that Secretary Geithner couldn’t deliver a plan. Today, the headlines all look like, ‘Well, all right, there’s a plan.’”

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