In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


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.

659 thoughts on “Obama Abolishes the Press Conference”

    1. Keith, I guess you find the demise of your journalist cronies sad. I felt that way a long time ago. No journalism, just repeat some internet news.

    1. I wonder how many other citizens are also tired of seeing this profligate, self-righteous, obsequious, reprobate, pusillanimous phony?!

          1. Jim, the correct spelling is those. You sound stupid being critical of the words when you misspell a simple word. Buy a dictionary, you could learn a lot.

      1. I thank you need to thank you’re President becaus he does a good job of prisnting the US to the world with hi style and flare. He done got the bestest eduction you can get – at Havard – and has all them militrary soldeers at his beck and call.
        WHose else is going to leed pour nation FORWARD!!!?

    2. and its not just the ears – its the attitude.

      Obama is an anti-American, illegal-alien, Communist, Muslim, schmuck!


      1. He is not a schmuk. He done all them othir thangs but he keeped us out of the Deprission. You haf to thank him for that.

        1. So much for the “most open presidency” and “transparency.” He’s hiding because he doesn’t have the skills and ability to answer his economic and energy policy questions, or the lack thereof. So he knows full well that specific questions would be thrown at him and he’s avoiding them. He is NOT a leader by anyone means.
          What depression? He spent more than $5 TRILLION in scams to his crony friends. He has done nothing for the economy, jobs, energy policy, has enhanced racism and only protects the blacks. He has singlehandedly stopped oil drilling across the country and toots his own horns about more oil drilling going on now than in history. He failed to mention that the drilling is on “private land” and was approved by Bush, not Obama. All drilling on federal lands have been stopped.

          1. …and I love how he blames Bush for everything that goes bad and takes credit for everything that goes good. Wait a minute…there was only one good thing so far in the last 3 years and that’s leaving Iraq. Oops…Obummer takes credit for that, BUT it was Bush that did it…he made an agreement with Iraq that we would leave by the end of last year. What a bummer for Obummer. That leaves NOTHING that has been good during his term.

    3. I don;t know about this, he seems to be on the television ALL the time. He may not be giving press conferences but he should win the award as the most seen person ever. I tried to program my cable to change channels whenever his face appears but I am still working on that.

    1. Why bother holding press conferences when the press (especially NBC) kisses your a** no matter how bad things get?

      Americans must now read the foreign press to find out just how bad Obama is.

        1. dwstick asks, “If Obama ever does get a colonoscopy, I wonder how many reporters will be found ‘in there’?”

          That could be the “money” quote for the day!

          1. What’s scary is how many that voted for him are the same ones that are being screwed by him. i.e. the left wing liberals and mainly black folks, He hasn’t done one thing to help people of color. There is more poverty and people on food stamps than ever. He should have bailed out the American people with that money that he squandered to the Evil banks who then in turn did nothing with the money except buy smaller banks and start buying real assets like GOLD. yes, the big banks that destroyed our economy are now use fake paper money to buy a real asset GOLD. They should all be put in prison, lock the door, and throw away the key

      1. annie, if you use comcast as your cable provider,cancel them TODAY. they own 50% of nbc. your dollars are going to nbc. remember in novrmber VOTE THIS CLOWN out office. send him back to chicago.

    1. Exactly! No matter how much contempt he shows, they just keep sucking up to him.
      I have seen beaten and abused dogs with more self-respect than the Press.

      1. Please the Press love him and are ok with this , even when they interview they only ask puff questions.

        This is the most corrupt President in history, he has done far worse the watergate, far far worse the monica, far worse then any terrorist could do!!

      1. Birhters are the dumbest creatures on the planet. All you got is stupid lies that have been discredited years and years ago.

    1. I like your comment, I would propose, however, that this is very transparent. Although not of the sort he made people believe.

    2. Without his teleprompter he is completely unable to answer questions that are not planted like the only ones he does answer.

  1. Surprise. The empty suit media fabrication called this Administration doesn’t want their emblem to have to take questions they don’t have scripted answers for. So much for openness. I guess they did promise a different kind of government. Shame on “journalists” who didn’t pry and learn that the plan was to make it more authoritarian.

    1. If I recall, in his last presser, he clearly had pre-selected the journalists which leads me to believe he knew the questions in advance as well.

    2. Wait a minute…. it was George Bush who had the male escort homosexual prostitute in the audience asking softball questions. So was he Rove’s escort? Bush never cleared that up.

          1. You mean to tell me you idiot Rue Paul nazis are still out there? What has that guy accomplished in Congress? What bills has he written or co-authored that got passed by Congress and went to the desk of the president to sign into law? WHAT HAS HE DONE???

          2. ron paul will be on my ballot even if i have to write him in. deal with it rinos. you have no one to blame if obama is reelected but yourselves. next time play fair, and don’t force a rino on people of conscience.

          3. I will too after all the RNC messing with the caucuses to pervert the will of the voter/system for mit. I dont care if it is a vote for “o” RNC is bringing it on themselves.

          4. That’s right, Orcknight…cut your nose off to spite your face…please reconsider. Mit….by far and WIDE is much the lesser of two evils!

          5. Actually, there will be two groups to blame. The first group is the people who are too brainwashed to understand that liberalism is a disease. The second group are the idiots who would waste their vote in some foolish act of pride rather than rally together and vote for the one person who could actually remove the Obama cancer from the White House.

            We can deal with the New England RINO once he’s in office, or we can watch as Obama brings further ruin to this country.

            Let us not forget the fact that, during the next 4 years, three Supreme Court justices will turn 80. Can you think of a better way to destroy America than to allow Obama to load up three more seats with picks such as Sotomayor or Kagan?

            I, too, would love to see Dr Paul’s fiscal and foreign policies become reality. But we all know this will never – ever – happen.

            If you’re going to waste your time with a write-in ballot, you may as well just put your own name down. You have the same chance of winning as Dr Paul (absolutely zero), but I understand the perks are great, and the benefit package is outstanding.




          7. sure it will happen, skippy… at the convention. read the news once in a while. the revolution is passing you by. don’t be a coward anymore. those days are over. i’ll die under obama before i surrender my principles. at least i’ll die a man.

          8. RE: IRATENATE AMEN!!!!!! BINGO!!!!!! KUDOS!!!!!!!!! This is the attitude that gave us 8 yrs of bubba the white house rapist. For you with a small mind & short memory let me help you refresh it. There was this silly little goofy guy from TX (no not RuPaul) the ding-a-ling Ross Perot who. Like Ru might do, sucked off enough votes to give bubba the election both times. If you use your brain (which considering its mostly pot the legalize cannabis nuts for paul) rut their petty differences aside & voted One Big Arse Mistake America out &along with a majority in the senate we could accomplish much much much more than a radical 3rd party candidate who will accomplish nothing since like jesse ventura found out in MN. Gee another nutcase 3rd party candidate

          9. Ron Paul reminds me of a flea on a big dog. He keep biting but nothing happens. Too much energy has been wasted on this lame horse. Texas is waiting, Ron Paul retire to the rewards of the Gov.

        1. And don’t forget about the illegal aliens — and the homeless who can claim a park bench as their residence — and the mentally impaired who will be “helped” to vote — and all those trunkloads of “found” votes that I believe are already in place in cars in the swing states.

  2. journalist really arn’t capable anymore for this type of question and answer formats, they adore this President far too much for objectionable questioning.

    1. Do you mean objective? Of course any question Obama gets that he cannot answer is objectionable to him. We don’t find out anything worth knowing from questions the MSM ask their dear leader.

    1. After Fox, he will start in on ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. He’ll only keep MSNBC around as the State’s mouthpiece.

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  4. What does it matter? Its not like the liberal media is going to throw Obama a real question anyway, they ALL want him reelected.

    Remember when the Dems refused to do a debate hosted by Fox News? This is suppose to be the leadership of the most powerful country in the world and the applicable are afraid of… Fox News?!?!? I seem to remember all the Repubs doing the liberal media debates but then maybe they are made of sterner stuff.

  5. What did Elizabeth Warren’s ancestors say at General Custers last stand?

    “I’m not an Indian!”

    Dear President Obama,

    If Elizabeth Warren signed up as an Indian, did you sign up as a “Kenyan,” and “Indonesian,” or “other?” Just wondering because when I signed up I checked the box that said “cracker.” Don’t you people on the left think that the Indians got screwed enough? Now you want to hang them with the tenuous connection to a left wing politician that would take them off of the casino and put them back on the reservation. I don’t see much wampum in that, better smoke the peace pipe a few more times and think it all over. One must consider the ramifications of lying to get better treatment on the prospects of getting into a limited set of seats into an education of higher learning, because that never occurred to me. Actually, I should have joined the Air Force out of high school, and gone to college after my service. But that is another matter.

    So I’m forced to consider. What enterprising students gave up, or were scammed out of their admission to Harvard because, potentially you, and certainly Ms. Warren lied to gain entry? I’d be a little upset if I were rejected from Harvard because some lying liberal was accepted on the basis of false or inflated information. But that’s just me. Actually it is not just me, it’s the country. You see we all believe in something called merit, we think that if you work hard, achieve academic excellence, and show tremendous promise you should gain access to higher education because you warrant the expense. Conversely, people like me do not, I was forced into it, against my will under threat of physical harm. But you people lie. Wow. What a fouled up world.

    So what’s a voter to do hmmmmm . . . That’s a tough call ought I vote for Scott Brown the guy who posed a little bit naked to make a few bucks, (What guy wouldn’t, including me, any one out there know where I can submit a few shots, I’m not half bad looking . . . :) . . .) The notion that we need one more liar in the United States Senate is insane. What a person does when they think no one is looking, and then tries to lie about it, is a window into the character of that person, and this window clearly tells us one thing.

    Voting for Scott Brown is the only sane path to take. Just like voting for Mr. Romney to replace you is of primary importance. On that I need not smoke the peace pipe to figure out.



    Joe Doakes

    1. Surely you aren’t questioning Elizabeth Warren’s native American ancestry, Joe? Her Aunt Bee told her all indians have high cheekbones so she must have some of that native blood running through her veins. Nothing like a clueless leftist bigot…

      Emphasis added…

      “No, as I said, these are my family stories. I have lived in a family that has talked about Native Americans, talked about tribes since I had been a little girl,” she said. “I still have a picture on my mantel and it is a picture my mother had before that – a picture of my grandfather. And my Aunt Bea has walked by that picture at least a 1,000 times remarked that he – her father, my Papaw — had high cheek bones like all of the Indians do. Because that is how she saw it and your mother got those same great cheek bones and I didn’t. She that thought was the bad deal she had gotten in life.

      1. My old man told me I was related to Aaron Burr . . . I would never claim it as a fact until I did the research, and I would absolutely never sign my name to it . . .

        That would be dumb. Kind of like trying to stiff a Columbian Hooker.


      1. I guess by ‘transparency’, he meant ‘invisibility’. We’re going to need to rewrite the dictionaries pretty soon; or burn them altogether. Memory hole construction shoots up 650%…

        1. The new (liberal) definition of a lie = a compression or composite of the truth, something the compressor-in-chief is quite skilled at.

  6. Nothing is more reassuring than stumbling onto a byline that reads::

    I’m veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler…..

    Who ? Never heard of you !

      1. Good answer. Funny that Supie thinks every reporter should be a household word –but that’s the expectation that celebrity journalism has created.

  7. Nothing is more reassuring than stumbling onto a byline that reads::

    I’m veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler…..

    Who ? Never heard of you !

    1. Then that is your loss. While we do not always agree with Keith, we respect and admire him for his unfailing honesty,his sense of humor, and his grasp of the subject. We also appreciate we are encouraged to think and contribute.
      We happily invite you to return so you may join us in thinking for ourselves instead of swallowing the force fed media line.

    1. The Press harassed Bush mercilessly for his malapropisms, but at least he spoke from the heart and didn’t read every single word from the TOTUS. Why don’t the maroons who support Obama get upset when he uses a teleprompter to speak to elementary school students? I give talks to large audiences all the time, and at most I have a few notes handy. Why? Because I know what I want to say and I BELIEVE in my words. It’s easy to do when you have convictions. But if I were in a situation where I had to watch my words lest I give away my true feelings, I would certainly employ a teleprompter.

      1. The maroons who support O are just that–maroons.
        They don’t have the huevos to be Marines, just maroonics.
        They ignore his lies.
        They idolize him and his tremendous-tush wife.
        If they are black, they vote for him despite his being a fraction black.
        They are oblivious to the destruction of America he has left in his wake.
        Maroons do what maroons do. Period.

  8. why have a press conference Obama never answers the questions directly he begins to lecture the press. Any way it’s all always about him and his non-accomplishments.

  9. So who cares? You never get a straight answer from him even with the softballs questions you joke reporters the way,,flying around on AF -1 following him to all those exotic places on our dime..How do you spell FED UP?

    Let’s see some more pictures of him gobbling a burger, just to show he’s like one of us.

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  11. Well, what should we expect from Mr. Transparency-and-Endless Campaigner? Let his post as POTUS interfere with his campaigning? That’s heresy at Obama’s White House.

  12. Of course Obama would abolish the Press Conference……
    the press may ask questions that Obama’s teleprompter can’t answer.

      1. The phrase is, “Who would’ve thought” – a contraction for “Who would have thought” – speaking and writing employ totally different talents. When you put the spoken word on paper you risk exposing your ignorance, as you just did.

        1. Allowing a few grammatical corrections for right wing prose can be educational without being sarcastic or cruel. Content with meaning is everything, Some of us may be “ignorant”, but not nearly as much as someone who supports O.

  13. There are quite a few US citizens, like myself, who are sick of listening to his voice anyhow. I general turn the dial on the radio or change channels on TV when he comes on. I voted for him to. He is a useful as Congress.

  14. Press conferences are simply too risky for “the one” – who cannot risk (especially in an election year) exposing either his profound incompetence or his true political agenda.

    1. Yes. Let’s all be “racist” this Fall. Since they label us racists no matter what we do, let’s just embrace the term and roll with it. “Racists for Romney!”

      1. LOL! Can’t you just see the look on liberals faces if that were to happen in a big way. Deer caught in the headlights……but……but……but……you can’t……that’s not…….fair. LOL Too funny rightmostofthetime.

  15. I hadn’t really noticed. The established press has treated Mr. Obama with such deference, adulation and lack of curiosity that I have long ago given up on that source of news.

  16. Would be nice if he packed his bags now……

    As for the MSM………TOTALLY PATHETIC!

    What comes around, goes around!

    Do you hear me, NBCCBSABCMSNBC, ETC???????

  17. He is prone to gaffs when off teleprompter! This is just one of many less than average characteristics of this president that the public at large does not see.

    His handlers are smart!

    1. Only six more months people, only six more months. We made it thru 8 years of Bush, we can make it thru six more months of Jimmy Carter 2. Scary part is I didn’t think it possible to get a pres worse than Bush and we did. God help us if the next one is even worse than Obozo.

      1. We literally have no choice. obbama is absolutely out of the question, so our only choice is Mitt Romney. Period. So whatever reservations anyone has about Romney, just set them aside for now and close ranks. First things first…obammaa must not be re-elected. In no scenario could Romney be worse than him. We then hold Mitt’s feet to the fire, and if he’s a dud, then we find someone better in 4 yrs.
        ABO ’12.

  18. Good morning Keith. I think the reason we don’t see more of these are found in the inciteful words and questions posed by none other than yourself.

    “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.”

  19. What do you expect??? Obama has made so many gross blunders recently (the biggest was threatening the Supreme Court) that he’s in hiding. The press is hostile and they’re taking out their frustration on the Press Secretary for his obfuscation, evasion, and downright lies. I’d love to see them take Obama apart in a press conference.

  20. As if the Press would press Obama anyway.

    Just further proves what a fool Obama is for not taking advantage of a weekly MSM lovefest.

  21. If he had done more conferences, the Republicans would be crying that he is using the pulpit to campaign. blah, blah blah they go.

    1. Oh, I think he is doing plenty of campaigning without a press conference. He just took a very expensive trip to the middle east to once again say he personally killed Osama Bin Laden. Something he could have done just as easily here in the states. No one listens anyway so why the expense?

      1. Actually, the killing of Osama was a miracle. It is the one thing that Obama does not say “it was Bush’s fault” (even though a great deal of the set up work was done on Bush’s watch).

        Obama can say and do whatever he wants right now. He had 3 1/2 yrs to do something and make a differences and was an epic fail. No last minute lying and looking for some type of accomplishment is going matter as far as I am concerned (as far as voting for Obama – I have been there, done that, and regretted it).

  22. There really needs to be a discussion about how many presidential debates to have RIGHT NOW. These may be the only alternative to something that resembles a Press Conference. What would be amazing is if there was an agreement to hold a debate in EVERY battleground state. Alas, there may ultimately be only one or two, because everyone know this guys only likes to fight from 15,000 ft in the air, mano-a-mano reveals his glass jaw.

    1. His handlers will never allow a debate that is open format. Therefore, even if you had 100 debates they wouldn’t really be debates, only theatre for and by the retarded.

  23. The poser might take a 20 pound camera shot to the head from a nauseated newshound while posing with his prompter crutch.

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