As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Abolishes the Press Conference

President Obama has held just one full length, multi-topic, solo press conference in the last six months, effectively abolishing the most accessible venue for American citizens to observe the thinking and learn the views of their leader.

It’s May, and the president has stood for only a single such news conference this year, a March 6 event in the briefing room. He’s had only three since last June, counting a November press conference in Hawaii that was supposed to be devoted to the just-held Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit but which veered off into other issues.

Nor does Obama generally allow questioning during brief appearances at the White House, such as when he makes statements with foreign leaders. Previous presidents, including George W. Bush, routinely took a couple of questions on the topic of the day at such gatherings.

Obama doing what he loves best at a press conference.

Bush also held fewer press conferences than he should have. But this doesn’t excuse Obama, who would seem especially obligated to appear before the press given his pledges to maintain an “openness” administration.

Instead, the White House does its best to control access to Obama, presenting him to local and sometimes national reporters in “one-on-one” settings.

While these sessions occasionally do make news, they are poor substitute for formal press conferences. The local reporters are often not as well versed in the subtleties of national and international news as White House reporters and are more likely to be intimidated when suddenly finding themselves sitting in the White House interviewing the president.

And whether local or national reporters, those granted one-on-one interviews often aren’t given much time to probe – particularly with Obama’s longish answers – and so are incentivized to stick to their few prepared questions and “get them in” before time runs out. And a special invitation to interview the president is such a coveted coup for any news organization that there is enormous incentive to tread lightly for fear of never being invited back again while watching your competitors be welcomed instead.

And of course, the audience for each of these sessions is limited.

Press conferences are extraordinarily important for several reasons. A number of questions are asked on different topics. The pressure of being on national TV forces the president to explain his thinking. The public gets to actually see the president think and understand how he comes to his conclusions, an invaluable public service.

What’s more, the prospect of a press conference forces the White House to think through its own views. Everybody in the West Wing, including the president, has to stop and consider just what they are doing and why. Often the agencies are mined for answers about current policies so that White House aides can prepare the president, giving the West Wing valuable feedback about what’s going on.

Of course, Obama has switched almost fully from governing to campaigning. So maybe the need for a West Wing gut check has declined, since policy is mostly being made not in Washington but in Chicago. The home, of course, of the Obama 2012 campaign.

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659 Responses to Obama Abolishes the Press Conference

  1. “Of course, Obama has switched almost fully from governing to campaigning.”

    You, sir, are much too generous. The stuttering earflapped failure masquerading as president never switched from campaigning back in 2007.

    “So maybe the need for a West Wing gut check has declined…”

    Correct. Our pantomime preezy has no guts.

    “…. since policy is mostly being made not in Washington but in Chicago.”

    One could also argue that it is made in Valerie Jarrett’s tiny misshapen skull, but that’s saying roughly the same thing- she’s a little slab of Chicago filth and corruption, festering right there in the White House.

    “The home, of course, of the Obama 2012 campaign.”

    Forward! Into the Abyss!

  2. Why would this president go through a press conference when every news outlet but Fox is the propaganda arm of the democractic socialists party? Really; Brian Williams might as well put on some red lipstick, buy some pom-poms and shimmy into a cheerleading outfit.

  3. What do you expect from a coward that routinely hides behind his administration and the mainstream media that constantly acts as his mouthpiece as they obliviously continue to support him. All he knows how to do is demonize the right and the country in general, act like a hypocrite, lie, place blame on everyone but himself, inflate his already bloated ego, golf, play basketball, take exorbitantly expensive vacations, avoid controversies and situations where accountability and leadership are needed, play the race card, mingle and hobnob with the same prosperous elitists that he pretends he’s against while completely ignoring the real issues that need to be addressed. All the while he’s oppressing this country with more oppressive government regulations and what started as legislation through the abuse of a super majority has ended up as executive orders to circumvent a Congress that he’s too polarized against to instill bipartisanship. All the while driving a failed energy agenda which is intended to influence alternative energy through oppressive fossil fuel energy policies. He is an absolute epic failure. Worst president ever.

  4. Well he might as well abolish the press conference…he’s abolished everything else that smacks of constitutional freedom in this nation…the media might as well give up their rights too.

  5. Well…cut the guy some slack. How in the world do you pre-install answers to questions you don’t know on your teleprompter?? Perhaps the media will get off their collective backsides and do their job reporting and investigating. Wait, i see monkeys flying……

  6. Obama likes to lecture – not take questions where he can’t rely on the teleprompter. Besides, the last thing he wants is for Americans to know how he REALLY thinks since he would like to turn this into a socialistic nanny state, and they might not go over too well – except for those who want free stuff and don’t care about giving up freedom to get it.

    • NEVER REALLY WAS A PRESS CONFRENCE BY OBUMBLES HE JUST ANSWERED PRE APPROVED QUESTIONS FROM THE SCRIPTED ANSWERS OFF THE TELEO-PROMPTER — the socialist fumbles and stumbles to speak when no script or teleprompter is present he even has trouble talking to elementary school kids

  7. The Press Conference is no longer needed because they don’t press the president on anything that matters. They ask silly questions like “Mr. President, where is Moochelle’s next vacation going to be?”

  8. Obama can not tolerate questions without scripted responses. If the answer is not on the teleprompter for him to read, he reveals the fact that he is a total bumbling idiot.

  9. Obama is running scared. He knows he will lose the next election and will try anything to continue to screw thw american public. Too late for that, the voting public now sees what an incompeten leader he is and how he is governing against the will of the american people. It is our turn now and Obama is toast. He should resign now

  10. How dare you question Dear Great Leader! Mr Carney will explain the decisions of His Serene Presidentialness, and you will accept it.

    Honestly, the NERVE of you journalists and citizens, to think that you have the right to question the President of the United States. It’s not like he works for you, or something, after all….

  11. Anybody can see by now that this guy is an empty suit puppet who needs to be handled like a toddler and protected from any form of questioning. When you can’t even speak to a 3rd grade classroom without a teleprompter, something is HORRIBLY wrong. And we’re onto you, libtards.

  12. There is NOTHING ROUTINE about the “suit”, Obama. He is protected by the media, will only speak if on teleprompter. Of course his preference is local reporters, he is a narcissistic egomaniac dictator who cannot be questioned. He is a thug from Chicago versed in Saul Olinsky so of course intimidation is his way to handle these pesky problems.

    He avoids press conferences at all cost and will NOT debate. A true coward. How is that “openness” working for Americans?

  13. Well fire the teleprompter! Any teleprompter that does not have at least one press conference per month is not worth the money we pay it to tell Ozero what say.

  14. Unless the reporters’ questions are all scripted beforehand, there’s no way to have Obama’s answers programmed into the teleprompter. Hence . . . no press conferences. Next topic?

  15. He can’t address any questions if the telepromter does have the answer on it!!!! Such a ignorant moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. he’s abolished a heck of a lot more than a press conference. how in the heck did we do this to ourselves I ask you??? cant America see just what this fraud stands for/believes and is doing to the ONCE greatest country in the world? i can guarantee if he was all white…he’d have been impeached by now. so sad….so sad.

  17. Without a teleprompter this man cannot think and articulate, he only can make statements lilke “the cops acted stupidly’ when questioned directly. Never are there any real questions only softball ones like ‘who do you like in the NCAA tournament’. Pretty much a waste of time and whenever he speaks I always turn to another channel. This is a thin-skinned president and any tough questions would probably lead to outbursts that would shake the nation. Remember this president was never vetted to begin with to the extent we still do not know his academic record. Remember a boatload of journalists spent weeks pouring over Maine documents to find a DUI from George Bush 35 years ago and Dan Rather of CBS falsifying documents about his military career.

  18. I don’t care for Obama at all. Hearing him speak on just a clip drives me crazy. But I am with him on this one. I wouldn’t meet with press at all. What I can’t understand is the press are in bed with the Big 0. What does he have to worry about unless appearing to not like the press is part of his deception and we all know he is deceptive.

  19. O has had the media by the puppet strings, they are liberals and they will suffer together. I wonder how the press feels KNOWING that they are being manipulated each day they wake up.

    I do NOT DESERVE Obama.

  20. The reason is obvious why he doesn’t do conferences , he ALWAYS does the opposite of what he says he’s going to do , always . Take for instance , “transparent administration’ , what a sad laugh that one is . I could go on until my fingers fall off, but you get the idea . Without a doubt nor close second the most corrupt admin EVER in the White House

  21. Mr. O’tele-prompter hates having to “wing”it. After all this is the most transparent administration in US history…….

  22. NEVER REALLY WAS A PRESS CONFRENCE BY obUMBLES HE JUST ANSWERED PRE APPROVED QUESTIONS FROM HE SCRIPTED ANSWERS OFF THE TELEO-PROMPTER — the socialist fumbles and stumbles when no script or teleprompter is present he even has trouble talking to elementary school kids

  23. I was absolved of reading further when in the first sentence the first paragraph, the last word was leader.

    I thought the writer was referring to the fella residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Having served honorably, I have had many leaders. That guy ain’t one of them. He is supposed to be serving me and all of the other people in the United States of America. He is in the position, but not fulfilling it. I refuse to follow, so I guess he is not my “leader.”

    GB

  24. Press Confrence we don’t need no stinking press confrences — rember when OBumbles lips are moveing he is telling a lie

    Lie – Begets Lie — Begets Lie

    looks like they are catching up to the administration

  25. Let’s face it if you were president for the past 3 1/2 years and destroyed everything this country stands for and buried us so deep in debt, even our long to come relatives from the future will be paying this debt he put us in, would you want to be subjected to questions? I didn’t think so.

  26. Why bother having a press conference when the MSM can just cut and paste the Media Matters (read White House) talking points on your front page? No risk of difficult questions.

  27. I’ve said it before and again. There is a sense of entitlement throughout the beltway. It’s a private boys and girls club regardless political party. Our only hope is to vote all incumbents out, every time. Think of all the savings we’ll have in lifetime pensions and other lavish perks by their own design. Please America, wake up soon.

    If you feel party bound, vote out the incumbent in the primary. And if Romney wins this time, vote him out in four years. The only thing that matters is that everyone is one term and out before the cancer spreads.

  28. So, let’s get this straight…

    Bush avoids WH press conferences and the left rails on him for it.
    Obama does far less press confrences and the left is silent

    Bush is criticized for golfing occasionally during wartime
    Obama spends unprecedented amounts of time on the golf course and knows more about college hoops bracketolgoy than he does about supply and demand and criticism only comes from the right.

    Bush era defecits contribute heavily to the debt and the left calls him irresponsible and un-American
    Obama overseas historically irresponsible defecits, the Senate ignores the LAW and refuses to pass a budget and the left is silent on both.

    Bush supports warrantless wiretapping and the left goes apepoo
    Obama supports and expands warrantless wiretapping and allows the TSA to molest autistic children and wheel-chaired grandmas and the left is silent

    Bush invades a “sovereign” nation that did not pose a threat to us and the left spends 5 years throwing tantrums, protesting, and using every legal gimmick possible to tie the hands of the CIC.
    Obama goes to war in a sovereign nation that did not pose a threat to us and fails to legally notify Congress or get their support…. other than Kucinich, you hear crickets.

    Bush uses Gitmo and it becomes priority number 1 as a talking point for those labeling Bush a war criminal and worse.
    Obama does not close Gitmo as he promised and proposes to give terrorists the same rights and legal protection as US citizens, and the left forgets.

    Bush signed tax cuts and the left claims it is the reason we are in debt.
    Obama with full control of Congress, signs a full extension of those cuts and they still blame Bush and call them the Bush tax cuts.

    Bush is accused of corruption and cronyism with the oil industry because oil execs visit the WH and give input on policy.
    Obama hides visits from his cronies by holding secret off-site meetings. His administration has a direct hand in sending millions and millions in taxpayer dollars directly to his contributors and the left won’t mention it.

    Bush signs a big new entitlement into law with Medicare part D (though smaller than what Dems wanted at the time). He attempts to reform social security. The left hypes the irresponsibility of both.
    Obama signs the largest entitement ever and takeover of 1/6 of the US economy and adds thousands of new red tape regulations. He ignores the pending bankruptcies of social security and Medicare. He dumps fiscal time bombs onto all the states by moving millions into Medicaid. The left celebrates and mocks the right with straw-men, fallacy, innuendo, slander, and libel.

    Bush is mocked as stupid for “nuculer” and his poor public speaking
    Obama is dependent on a teleprompter to even talk to children, can’t pronounce corpsman, claims there are 57 states, thinks Hawaii is in Asia, thinks Austrian is a language, makes fun of special olympians, thinks Afghans speak Arabic, takes cheap pot shots at Nancy Reagan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Bibi Netanyahu, and even his own own grandmother and the left tingle in the prescence of such brilliance.

    Is that about it?

  29. Its much easier to tell America what he’s doing with out having to explain himself. He may expose himself even more as the big Socialist if he had to answer questions. Either that or expose himself as a bigger liar than he already is.

  30. not surprising as this man is incompetent to face an audience where he would have to think on his feet. he is capable of reading an answer but not giving one off the top of his racist head

  31. Why have Press Conferences when there’s a chance that you might call on some white guy or gal that you’ve confused with a reporter that their question will have been given them. When you’re off the teleprompter, you’d better at least be able to control the questions–and when you can’t–that’s not a good situation.

  32. Obama never should have been given the office of the President. He is doing his best to make us look like fools. I still, to this day understand he got where he is. His wife has the greast life, flying all over with her friends and we pay the bill. I really think he is playing at being our leader.

  33. “We are going to have the most Transparent administration that Washington has ever seen”….That was one of his many promiises when he was running for the job, so tell me has he done just that?
    1. FAST AND FURIOUS
    2. OBAMACARE
    3. HIS COLLEGE RECORDS
    4. AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT

  34. Well, remember that he is such a brilliant mind that we average Americans will not understand what he says. Just like when he said that SCOTUS would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

    When reminded that they’ve done it hundreds of times, Obama explained that we all misunderstood what he was saying, because he taught some Constitutional law.

  35. As far as I can tell, he’s never *had* a press conference. You know, the kind where the press (Sam Donaldson comes to mind) asks probing questions and insistes the President respond with factual answers? What we have instead is a scripted worship session for the MSM where they toss His Highness softball questions where anything he says suffices as an answer. Gack.