February 9, 2009

Open Presidency?

As Shadowfax notes on Movin' Meat, This particular story is Worthy of Note.
In Washington Monthly, Steve Benen observes the following:
NO MORE BUBBLE BOY.... At an event in Elkhart, Indiana, today, an audience member asked President Obama, "You have come to our county and asked us to trust you, but those that you have appointed to your cabinet are not trustworthy and cannot handle their own budget and tax issues. I'm one of those who thinks you need to have a beer with Sean Hannity, so tell me why, from my side..."

As my friend Alex Koppelman noted, when the questioner elicited boos, the president intervened, silenced the crowd, and said the woman raised a legitimate question. After addressing the substance, Obama joked:

"Now, with respect to Sean Hannity, I didn't know that he had invited me for a beer. But I will take that under advisement. Generally, his opinion of me does not seem to be very high. But, uh, but I'm always good for a beer."

Now, it's always good when a public official can defuse tension with a little humor, and I'm very glad Obama defended the woman's right to ask a confrontational question. But reading about this, another angle comes to mind: since when can critics of the president attend public events and ask unscreened questions?

Apparently, as of about 20 days ago.
I'm usually good for a beer too...


Farm.Dad said...

the question in the post was posed as .. "fended the woman's right to ask a confrontational question. But reading about this, another angle comes to mind: since when can critics of the president attend public events and ask unscreened questions?"

To this ( other than Joe who did it before it was fashionable ) i answer since he has made the spending bill a matter of personal credibility. I did think he handled the Hannity question well , and in fact hope to see him and Hannity do an interview say at camp david or somewhere they can actually have that beer without us observers .

Voodoo Medicine Man said...

His handlers haven't figured out the game yet. It will stop fast.

Mule Breath said...

Farm Dad, I'll give you credit for an open mind, but I'd have to say your Joe comment has tenuous parallel.

I see something has finally awakened the peanut gallery. Welcome VMM.

All I ask is that when the beer is served, I am invited. Equal protection and all that.

tgtsmom said...

So where can I go to find out what his answer to that question was, as I also want to know, "from my side"?

Mule Breath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mule Breath said...

From CBSNews.com:

President Obama silenced the booing, saying "no, no, this is a legitimate question."

"There are a couple who had problems before they came into my administration in terms of their taxes," the unfazed president said of the cabinet appointees in question. "Look, the uh, I think this is a legitimate criticism that people have made 'cause you can't expect one set of folks to not pay their taxes when everybody else is paying theirs. So, I think that is a legitimate concern."

He repeated his mantra from last week's network television interviews, "I made a mistake." But he also defended his appointees and his own vetting process.

"I will tell you that the individuals at issue here, I know them personally and I think these are honest mistakes and I made sure they were honest mistakes beforehand and one of the things i have discovered is if you are not going to appoint anyone who has ever made a mistake in their life then you are not going to have anyone taking your jobs," the president said.

"Understand though something that should also be mentioned is that we have set up an unprecedented set of ethics rules in my White House," Obama argued.

Farm.Dad said...

Mule President Obama Is MY president . I may not care for his policy's on issues and i may feel that if he had been subjected to true scrutiny on issues he whould not be . However he is now and will be MY president . I dont think the " joe " question or issue are a reach . I just think we should have had more vetting for this poor fella to start with . IMHO Obama is not evil , simply unprepared for the job and possibly ( tho time will tell ) incompetent . With that said i bear the man good will , tho i cannot say the same for all his policys . Again at the end of the day he is MY president , duly elected by some majority of we the people , and the electoral collage . He is and will be my commander in chief for at least the next 4 years and honestly i bear him no ill will .. now pelosi , and the ilk there are a different matter lol .

Farm.Dad said...

Hell i forgot to add , i want to be there for that beer myself lol .

Mule Breath said...

You'll get little argument from me regarding Pelosi. We could do better. We certainly deserve better.

BTW, how far SE in Colorado? Near which town? Write to me direct if you don't want to put it on the blog. muledung@gmail.com.

Farm.Dad said...

Mule it is no big secret when you get to mile marker 30 on hwy 287 you are at my driveway . Now we ranch all over the county as well as parts of others , and the ground we have is need to know . However where i live is that simple . My daughter informs me that now ( once you get by the cattle truck ) you can google street view our place lol . the daughter is putting a blogger meet and shoot about November that ad will be invited to , tag along or come yourself if you can . We will have bad food , bad whisky , horse piss beer , and a place to shoot . Oh and maby some more literate fools than myself to argue with lol . I am now looking over the land to get enough " range " to really make a .50 work for the bragging rights . Its looking like we will have a pistol range , and a rifle range , both within 1/4 mile of each other , but not concurrent . I can go a couple hundred yards where i want to do pistol , but for a rifleman that is just not in the game . by moving the rifle range portion i can go to about 2 miles of safe downrange . Some how folk who normally shoot on a range find this exciting . I just hope we have low winds for them lol . Anyway come on up anytime sir . or tap the email i check at redneckrepairs at yahoo.com I just have a google id to comment on blogs , well i had to make it to comment on one blog , but nevermind lol . Point is that i never even check the mail there .

Rogue Medic said...

It is good to have openness in government. President Obama sets a good example in not ducking this question. Let's hope that he is good at more than just fielding questions.

Mule Breath said...

Farm Dad, The invite is appreciated although November is perhaps my busiest time of the year. We stage a conference Thanksgiving week that lasts most of six days and hosts 3,000+/- folks. AD should be there, as should TOTWTYTR. Both are popular lecturers. The actual reason I asked is that I’ll be taking the bike up to Boulder in June; maybe on the trailer… maybe not. US-287 is as straight a shot as any. I may look you up for a holler.

RM, Obama seemed to handle the questions well enough, although I find myself tiring of the apologies. Seems about time for him to get his merda together.

tgtsmom said...

"Understand though something that should also be mentioned is that we have set up an unprecedented set of ethics rules in my White House," Obama argued.

"unprecedented"??? maybe in his lifetime but I doubt in the history of the office. Thanks for the post.

Rogue Medic said...


Politics is a lot of selling. What is far more important, than the unprecedented set of ethics rules is whether they are enforced.

Having rules and enforcing rules are very different things.

TOTWTYTR said...

Unless they learned a lesson from the Joe the Plumber incident, I expect that this poor woman will soon be audited by the IRS. Which was a weapon used by the Clinton Administration and probably others.

Someone on Pres. Obama's staff is in some level of trouble over this. During his campaign, crowds were managed to avoid this type of uncomfortable questioning. How do I know? I was at a large campaign event and noticed how his campaign staff moved people around so that only supporters were near enough to him to matter.

As a recall, a couple of weeks ago a reporter who asked a question was grabbed by a CIA employee. http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone/0209/Reporter_restrained_after_Panetta_hearing.html

I expect to see more of this.

Mule Breath said...

Or perhaps the woman's spouse is CIA. If so, Emanuel could leak some info to George Stephanolopous...