Saturday, November 08, 2008
If any of you caught President-elect Obama's short news conference yesterday that followed his hastily called economic summit, you surely noticed how somber the affair was, a dramatic first step in the transition from running for office to governing in office.
It's natural to wonder if this change in mood is anything like what might be experienced by a dog with a penchant for chasing cars who, after finally catching the object of their desire, doesn't know quite what to do with it.
The American economy is the car whose tire Mr. Obama has just bit into and the first taste must be rather unpleasant. Admittedly, when the chase began almost two years ago, things were fundamentally different than they are today - early-2006 seems like it was many years ago - but the car and the economy are what they are.
Just watch the gray hairs sprout over the next year or two.
As if the task wasn't already hard enough, the press scrutinizing every carefully chosen word will only make it more difficult. This is clear to see today as the word "gaffe" seems to be popping up everywhere after the President-elect commented on his recent consultations about restoring growth and prosperity to the U.S. economy.
In terms of speaking to former presidents, I've spoken to all of them that are living. Obviously, President Clinton -- I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances.This story in the LA Times fills in some of the details:
The passing reference to the former First Lady's alleged interest in horoscopes struck some observers as a gratuitous slap at an old lady at a time Obama was trying to set a positive, professed bipartisan tone for his transition.Well, one crisis averted - now it's on to the economy.
The Obama press office received numerous inquiries for explanation and reaction. And this afternoon issued the following statement:
"“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today’s press conference.
"The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation,” said President-elect Obama Transition Team Spokesperson Stephanie Cutter."