President-elect Barack Obama’s encouters with the media lack a certain “Je ne sais quoi.” Something seems missing.
Oh, I know what it is: an attacking press corps and a responsive, extemporaneous, dare we say honest public official.
One member of the press who travels with Mr. Obama (and didn’t want his name used) said that the president-elect can be “dismissive, aloof and contrived.”
Others have noticed too.
Chicago Sun-Times writer Carol Marin has recently written:
As ferociously as we march like villagers with torches against Blagojevich, we have been, in the true spirit of the Bizarro universe, the polar opposite with the president-elect. Deferential, eager to please, prepared to keep a careful distance.
The Obama news conferences tell that story, making one yearn for the return of the always-irritating Sam Donaldson to awaken the slumbering press to the notion that decorum isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The press corps, most of us, don’t even bother raising our hands any more to ask questions because Obama always has before him a list of correspondents who’ve been advised they will be called upon that day.