Monday, February 9, 2009
Obama's first news conference
Sat down tonight to watch Obama's first news conference. I was impressed with the give and take, and learned a lot.
I remarked to my wife that it was nice to have a president who wasn't afraid of the facing the media in a news conference, thinking that Bush was loathe to do this. Well, turns out he wasn't as loathe to do a news conference than I had thought.
According to the American Presidency Project at UC-Santa Barbara, Bush held a total of 209 news conferences during his presidency, averaging just a shade more than 26. In 2008-09, Bush 29 news conferences alone.
While much fewer than Presidents Coolidge through Truman, Bush fares well compared to his contemporaries. He held more on year, on average, than Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. Only his father exceeded the yearly average, holding more news conferences on average than any president since Truman.
Boy, was I wrong! And it just goes to show you that sometimes an impression fostered by the media (Bush as syntactically challenged and afraid of facing the media in unscripted events) can lead to the wrong conclusions about a president/presidency. Check out all the nifty graphs and charts at the website.