8:20 PM. It’s possible that I’m transferring some of my own tiredness — I didn’t sleep well last night — to that of the President. Chris Matthews thinks he merely saw (apropos) seriousness on the President’s countenance rather than wariness, as did a couple of my commentors. Still, the fact that the most memorable moment of the presser was Obama’s testy and sarcastic reply to Ed Henry is a reflection of the lack of real news generated tonight.
Personally, I was hoping that Obama would be probed in a bit more depth about the specifics of the Geithner plan. But — and this is not meant in a bad way — that’s not the real area of expertise of the people in the room, and some of the folks who plausibly might have been exceptions (the reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, for instance) weren’t offered the opportunity to ask questions.
8:00 PM. I thought Obama closed relatively strongly there. He certainly seems highly engaged by the challenges of the moment (as one hopes that any President would be), even if he’s a bit worn by them. But there’s a seed of something else too: he’s motivated to prove his doubters wrong. One needs to remember that Obama was always more of a counter-puncher than a brawler during the campaign.
7:51 PM. Although, on second thought, he sounded like he was about ready to fall asleep when that Washington Times guy asked his follow-up on stem cells.
7:47 PM. I don’t know what this means, but Obama is clearly more comfortable taking questions from some of he less-heralded members of the media than from the Big 4 (Tapper, Reid, Todd, Garrett).
7:37 PM. That was Ed Henry’s most embarrassing moment since the gum-throwing incident, although also not one of the President’s better moments.
7:27 PM. The MSM takeaway on this, among other things, is likely to be that Obama seems tired and weary, although I don’t think that should be mistaken for a lack of self-assurance.
7:20 PM. Granted, they’re not nearly as important as Jake Tapper, but what would this press conference look like if Obama were taking questions from a room full of 100 economists?