11.07.2008

What to make of the first press conference?

Barack Obama has just held his first press conference. What should we make of it?
Well, it was short, clocking in at about 20 minutes.

It didn't really say much.

It had an impressive lineup backing him.

There was very little foreign policy.


I wasn't very interested in his rehashing a fairly vague economic policy -- I am not a fan of what he's generally laid out, or his vision of government as caretaker. But it's somewhat irrelevant to ask him what he'd do now, as things will likely have changed significantly by the time he takes office. We have a good enough sense of his philosophy to have a decent idea of where he's going to go.

I think this was important:
QUESTION: Picking up what we were just talking about, your meeting with President Bush on Monday. When -- he is still the decider, obviously, stating the obvious. When you disagree with decisions he makes, will you defer? Will you challenge? Will you confront? And if it becomes confrontational, could that rattle the markets even more?

OBAMA: ...I'm not going to anticipate problems. I'm going to go in there with a spirit of bipartisanship and a sense that both the president and various leaders in Congress all recognize the severity of the situation right now and want to get stuff done.

With his messianic standing among so many, and the sense that his legitimacy is so much greater than that of the current president's, there must be some urge to govern before being installed as president. I'm glad to see that he'll fight that urge -- that it doesn't seem he'll start making grand proclamations until it's actually his time. Not even, apparently, with the issue of choosing his Senate replacement:
This is the governor's decision; it is not my decision.

And I think that the criteria that I would have for my successor would be the same criteria that I'd have if I were a voter: somebody who is capable; somebody who is passionate about helping working families in Illinois meet their -- meet their dreams.

And I think there are going to be a lot of good choices out there, but it is the governor's decision to make, not mine.

So, what popped out to you? Does the length, and the fact that he skipped part of a question (dealing with intelligence reports he's seen), indicate a hostility to or wariness of the press? What wasn't asked that should have been? Should his performance be getting the high marks that it has been in the press?