07.22.09

Top Five Moments From Obama's Press Conference

Health care was the focus, but a question about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. turned it into great political theater. See Obama’s answer and other moments from Wednesday’s press conference.

Will Obama Regret Remark as 'Stupid'?

We’ll give you the best moment first: After every reporter pretty much stuck to the agenda and asked Obama about health care, Lynn Sweet decided the room needed a little less wonk and asked about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. Obama gave his most relaxed and confident response of the night—even joking about what would happen to him if, like Gates, he attempted to break into his own home. But did Obama go beyond presidential propriety in saying the Cambridge, Mass., police acted “stupidly”?

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Obama Calls Out Bill Kristol

There are many things one expects at a presidential press conference, but firing back at a staffer of The Weekly Standard isn’t one of them. Several days ago, its editor, Bill Kristol, said conservatives should “ go for the kill” when it comes Obama’s health-care plan. See Obama’s response below.

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When You Say Doctor, I Hear Ninja

No Obama presser is complete without a joke or two. This outing was a little drier than his previous prime-time appearances, but he did manage to crack one good joke about his own level of health care. “I’m the president of the United States, so I’ve got a doctor following me every minute.”

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Obama on Washington: “The Default Position Is Inertia”

Why on earth would Obama, given the lessons to be learned from the Clinton years, put a deadline on passing health-care reform? “If you don’t set deadlines in this town, things don’t happen,” Obama said, adding that he felt the timing is right, that “the stars are aligned and we need to take advantage of that.”

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The Transparency Smackdown

Kudos to another Chicago reporter for asking a strong question. Christi Parsons, the White House correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, asked about a lack of transparency in Obama’s administration, citing a campaign promise that “health-care negotiations would take place on C-SPAN and that hasn’t happened.”

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