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Inside View || An Obama Press Conference

by Keith Koffler on November 26, 2012, 1:16 pm

As you know, President Obama has pretty much abolished the press conference. The one he held November 14 was only the second, full-length formal news conference he has bestowed upon us all year.

I was there, and I took some pictures for you to give you a sense of what it’s like to be at a presidential news conference.┬áIt’s an unusual look inside an event that I imagine will get even closer to extinction as Obama’s second term wears on.

Here’s a view of the warmup. In what must be an excruciating task, the TV types must stand up in the room and pretend they’re just talking to their cameras, while their colleagues look on in amusement. Standing from left to right: Hans Nichols of Bloomberg, Ed Henry of Fox News, and Nancy Cordes of CBS.

Ed Henry’s producer appears to have whispered something nasty in his ear.

The Big Entrance

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney slips in and takes a place in the back.

The “photogs” get their shot.

My point of view.

Martha Washington keeps an eye on Obama.

Searching for words on the teleprompter during the opening statement.

As is the custom, the first question goes to the Associated Press. Ben Feller appears to show off by asking it with his eyes closed.

The view down the row.

Obama takes another question. Possibly annoyed.

I also took a little video on my iPhone to give you more of the feel.

And there you have it. The final press conference of 2012, I expect. For all we know, it may have to last us until 2014.

All photos Copyright 2012 by Keith Koffler


AFVET November 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Yes and the rock is in his element.
Well, you folks that are saving for retirement need to see this.

Gird your loins.
The most transparent administration ever is ever on the attack.

AFVET November 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I meant to say ‘rock star’.
Read the link and see where some of your retirement may go.
To those of you that have diligently saved, Obama sees that as a huge piggy bank for his agenda.

regina November 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

This man doesn’t go to church. EVER! I don’t think he speaks to the same God as we do. It’s a scary time for this country.

AFVET November 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm

How do you know that he doesn’t pray to Allah five times a day ?
He wears a ring that says ‘there is no god but Allah’ in Arabic as a wedding ring.
If he showed up at Mosque what would the people say ?

Susan November 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Why should he go to church when he has a nation full of useful idiots who believe he is their messiah? This manchild is a dangerous, demagogic narcissist who only worships himself.

Rod November 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Well, in the age of diminishing accountability (by pretty much everyone), Obama is really no exception. The press will lick his, um, er, whether or not he shows up at a press conference, or does any real work of any kind, so why make the effort? He didn’t really have to explain himself BEFORE getting elected, so why bother coming under question now that there’s no other election going to happen.

AFVET November 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

You’re right, the press is impotent.
The congress has the ball and it depends on whether they will push the obvious treasonous actions to the point of prosecuting the administration to the extent of at least illuminating the criminal activity that Obama and Holder have to this point gotten away with.

I’m tired of Obama giving the finger to this Country.
Why are they afraid of him ?
How can this thug keep the US at bay ?
Why are they afraid of him ? Because he will devastate anybody that confronts him and anybody he likes, that’s why.
Susan Rice was an example.
He challenged senators to ‘come talk to me’.
Alright senators, go talk to him, if you can.
Good luck on that.
And what would you say if you did have a chance to talk to the majestic one ?

Pull the damn money out from under him, NOW !.

Julie Brueckheimer November 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Oh Gawd, four more years, and then if the Republicans don’t get their act together, Hillary will get a Democratic coronation while the Republicans have another primary slug fest.

Nina Murphy November 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

That was a fascinating look “inside” – thank you for it. For some reason I’d pictured an auditorium with regular seating, in the West Wing, not spindly little chairs in a room inside the White House.

Keith Koffler November 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Those chairs are terrible.

Sadie November 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm

No wonder you’re all seated like sardines – he needs room for TOTUS.

Keith Koffler November 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

TOTUS gets a good seat, yes.

Scott Siegel November 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm

i agree. first it’s great to get a POV from the room.
it looks crowded, uncomfortable, cramped, etc.

srdem65 November 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thanks for the photos. I like to watch these productions on c-span because there’s no commentary from anyone.

Some questions if you don’t mind;

Who or what determines who sits where?
Why are there mulitple camera feeds when only one would be necessary?.
Who determines what questions or questioner will be addressed?
Why are there no follow-up questions allowed?
If only 6 or 7 members are called upon at every press conference, who are the rest of the people there and what is their purpose?

Keith Koffler November 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm

1. White House can determine who sits where. They may be basing some of it on briefing room seating assignments, though, which are picked by the correspondents.

2. Each network wants there own little take on it. Not really expensive to send a camera guy there.

3. The White House determines who gets called on. Reporters write their own questions, though I don’t rule out that some of them take hints from the White House on what they might ask or tell the WH what they will ask in the hope of getting called on. I assume this happens, but don’t know how frequently because no one talks about it. I think vast majority of questions are done without any consultation with the WH.

4. Follow ups have varied over the years. These are unwritten rules. Not sure that there haven’t been some follow ups with Obama.

5. They are hoping to get called on. Sometimes a president will call on surprising people. Not Obama, so much. Others, frankly, are sightseeing, or want to be able to report that they were at the press conference.

srdem65 November 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Thanks. We don’t ever get the hows and whys of anything in the WhiteHouse anywhere else.

Sara B November 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Question…did other presidents use tele prompters during their press conferences?

Keith Koffler November 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Don’t ever remember seeing one.

Quintis Arrius November 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Great photos of a live event. It seems staged and stilted on TV, your photos reaffirms this.

WNY_ROC November 27, 2012 at 12:19 am

Keith – Thanks for the view from your perspective.

1) Are some of your pics photoshopped? In a couple of close-ups, it appears he has no gray hair. Some of the further back shots the gray is apparent. Maybe some were taken with Kodak film and some were taken with Fuji film.

2) Do you think the POTUS is really full of himself, or just full of himself? Three of the pictures of him leaned towards being really full of himself, while three of them leaned toward being just full of himself. Inquiring (or is that Enquiring?) minds want to know.

Jiminy November 27, 2012 at 4:17 am

Thanks for showing us the press conference. Very interesting to see how that all works.

nlynch November 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

The one with that pissed, arrogant look on his face just ruined my morning. Makes my delicious cup of coffee churn and boil in my gut!