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Refreshing Presidential candor

March 25, 2009

Eric Alterman has a piece at the Daily Beast about press attempts to draw President Obama into what he characterizes as distracting arguments which lack substance. Particularly, he goes after CNN’s Ed Henry for trying to create a dust-up over Obama’s allegedly slow response to the AIG bonus controversy. As Alterman demonstrates, the criticism is more of an invention by Henry than a failure of the President. Obama demolishes the assertion that he was irresponsibly slow in responding and gives us a real example of Presidential candor in the following exchange:

Henry: “It seems like the action is coming out of New York in the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we’re outraged. Why did it take so long?” Obama’s answer: “Well, it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

Would that the previous inhabitant of the oval office had both the substance to educate himself on the issues before he spoke and the style to speak about them so well.

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