Tales from the Trail
For months, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign has arguably been kept afloat by the media. Fundraising has lagged and his national poll numbers are still at about 2 percent — the same as when he entered the race in June. Yet Huntsman has received lengthy and favorable profiles by the New York Times magazine, Newsweek, Esquire and Vogue — coverage that Buddy Roemer or Gary Johnson, who have registered similar poll numbers, or Ron Paul, who has much better ones, could only dream of.
The new public relations gurus hired by BP couldn’t have started at a better time. The team, headed by Anne Womack-Kolton — a former spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney and the White House — had just started work when they had to deal with an unfortunate statement by BP chief executive Tony Hayward.
It was definitely not a press conference and it was barely a Q-and-A.
For a White House that is more agile than any predecessor in new media –Twitter, blogs, video — it seems to be getting a bit out of practice with the traditional question-answer format with real, live reporters.
President Barack Obama, whom critics often complain gets an easy ride from the so-called liberal media, has pointed the finger of blame at the press for holding him to unrealistic expectations about the benefits of his milestone legislation.
Lots of American presidents liked to pretend they didn’t dwell on the news — too busy attacking big problems for such a trifling. But then they would reveal themselves as news junkies (See 1992 presidential campaign and George H.W. Bush’s slogan: Annoy the Media — Re-Elect Bush).
Those media naysayers are troubling President Obama again.
The U.S. leader, who hasn’t had a prime-time news conference in six months, made clear his aggravation with the scribblers in remarks Thursday to a Democratic fundraiser at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
For a man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama didn’t look all that happy as he strode to the lectern in Oslo. He had that downturned smile that was almost an acknowledgement of all the critics who say the award is premature — especially for a commander-in-chief who has just vowed to send 30,000 more U.S. troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.