Is Obama starting to feel the heat? While by no means matching the kind of thumping the American press used to give George Bush, creeping into mainstream commentary and stories of late has been a note of worry about our new president with some going so far as to ask if he is up to the job.
The reason one might want to look at the question is because at a press avail with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown where it is customary for the president to call on American reporters, Obama recognized only one from the US media - a fact that no doubt didn't sit well with our touchy, egotistical press:
The standard form during “joint press availabilities” — bureaucratic lingo for press conferences where leaders from two different countries stand next to each other and take questions from reporters — is that each official’s press corps gets the same number of questions.
Well, during the joint press availability on Wednesday with Mr. Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the ornate British foreign office near 10 Downing Street, Mr. Brown called on the U.K. press corps for four whole questions. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama only called on the White House press corps, which schlepped (granted, on a really nice United 777 charter) across the Atlantic to scrupulously chronicle his first overseas trip as president, thrice.
Mr. Obama even tried to cut off the press conference after six questions had been asked—most dealing with the growing rift between the United States and the rest of the world over how to fix the global economy. “All right?” he asked, in an “O.K.-we’re-done-I’m-outta-here” way.
We know that we have a president who hates criticism of any kind. But coming from his sycophants in the press, perhaps our president is just running scared and would rather his incompetent press secretary Robert Gibbs take the flak for his bumbling.
This trip is turning into a disaster for Obama with the Europeans resisting his call for them to bankrupt their treasuries and spend their way out of the recession while he is resisting calls for an international regulatory body on the banks. It will be interesting to see how they paper over their differences at the conclusion of this summit.