Did Obama help or hurt himself with press conference?
I will be posting my column soon, but if you want to know what the rest of the MSM thinks, MSNBC’s Howard Fineman is a good stand-in:
I’ve been covering Barack Obama for a few years, and it’s usually crystal clear what he is up to. Not last night. This is the first time I’ve asked myself: What was THAT all about? His prime time press conference was worse than a waste of time. … The president — who seemed tired and distracted and clearly in need of a vacation (dealing with health care will do to you) — pretty much just stood there for an hour, filibustering his way through non-answers and recycling old patches of rhetoric. It was like the old Muhammad Ali “rope-a-dope” — except that this bout didn’t end with the champ springing to life and knocking out his arm-weary foe. This time, the champ just left the ring. … Does all this mean that health-care reform is dead or near death? No … [but] if the president wants real system-wide reform … last night he wasn’t any close to his goal.