The Unbearable Lightness of Being President Barack Obama in Times of Policy Crises
–Richard E. Vatz
There are innumerable conservative critics who accuse President Barack Obama of avoiding full-scale news conferences over the last year, opting instead for friendly spur-of-the-moment clinches in a variety of locations with compliant news sources. Some of these naysayers have accused the president of “hiding,” as preposterous as is that charge when made against President Cool and Clever Wordsmith. Why, incidentally, should the President have to defend policies which only appear to have failed because they are dwarfed by the consequences of all of those years of errors by President George W. Bush? But, as you’ll read below, it is simply not true that President Obama avoids tough questioning.
There is nothing that angers me more than those commentators who maintain that President Obama does not engage the serious issues at the serious venues: a nuclear-weaponized Iran, confiscatory tax policy during a recession, and government hyper-spending in dialectic environments which prove under duress of critical policy give-and-take the superiority of the president’s policy choices.
Some have even suggested that he has abandoned traditional press conferences because he cannot defend his positions. These are professional doubters who abjectly refuse to give credit to a president who has mastered the ability to defend his positions. President Obama is simply the American Tony Blair of political policy debate.
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How infuriating it is to hear unsophisticated pundits like George F. Will and Charles Krauthammer carp regarding President Obama’s allegedly faulty premises, fatuous and short-sighted conclusions and untoward economic and foreign policy choices. Similarly, when Chip Reid asks his probing questions at news conferences, one wonders why it is necessary for the President to undergo such unpleasant grilling.
Well, skeptics, look at the following news flash and consider publicly apologizing to President Obama:
President Obama afraid to address tough critics?
Of course not.
Professor Vatz teaches rhetoric at Towson University