By Ebonie Ledbetter
President Obama gave his second prime-time press conference Tuesday night. This follows an interview with 60 Minutes and an appearance on Jay Leno a couple of weeks ago. Bush avoided interviews and major press conferences like the plague, so it’s good that Obama is speaking to the American public regularly. But I’m kinda sick of seeing him. He’s on TV so much that he may as well be part of the scheduled programming. Just add him to the TV Guide listings.
Obama is good at being the front man. He has a high approval rating and does well on camera. Who better to promote the administration’s agenda than him? I like that Obama is more open to the media than the last administration, and this has helped him so far. But I worry about his stand-ins. Few of the people currently representing his administration on the regular are as well-received as he is.
What would happen if he couldn’t make an interview or an emergency took him out of the country, but he still needed someone to get on CNN to relay some new update? Who would replace him and be as comfortable and confident in front of the cameras?
V.P. Joe Biden? Um no. The administration knows his gaffes can stir up trouble, so they don’t let him in front of the cameras too much.
Tim Geithner? People are already calling for his head, and he’s only been Treasury Secretary for a few months. Apart from all the controversy surrounding him, I just want him to look confident. Even if he really doesn’t know what’s going on, he should at least act like he knows something. He looks so unsure on camera, like “Yeah, this is what it is! I guess. Check back in a few weeks.” Obama says he supports him all the way,but if he’s going to keep him, he shouldplace him further away from the cameras and put him with Biden. This guy should not be one of the main faces of the administration.
Robert Gibbs? He doesn’t scream confidence either. And he’s press secretary! There are plenty of exemplary public relations professionals — who I’m sure in this current economy — are looking for work. You can do better than Gibbs.
President Obama, you love basketball. Even though I’m not a sports follower at all, I’ll put this in sports terms for you. If the best basketball player in the world was on a team where every other player was barely average at best, that team wouldn’t make it very far. And if he got injured? You get the point. It’s OK if you stay in the front. You like the cameras — I see the look on your face when you’re in front of them. But just remember the basketball team. You don’t want to be carrying the weight of an entire team for the next four years.
Ebonie Ledbetter, based out of Atlanta, is the author of the blog, WhatLooksLikeCrazy. She’s a recent journalism grad, and WLLC is a mix of opinion and reported stories about the black community, politics, music, and current events.