1. Who gets called on - Looks like I got this one right. The President bypassed MSM members representing the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and, of course, Fox News. The President even ignored MSNBC's correspondent who was sitting in the front row right in front of the him. Ouch.
Obama instead seemed to focus much on local rags, like the Plain Dealer. A smart move considering his trip to the Cleveland Clinic today. Gotta butter 'em up, right?
2. Will there be news? - There should have been, but there wasn't. You can bet this continued practice is going to get on the nerves of major networks abandoning millions in ad revenue in order to cover an event that isn't newsworthy.
3. Lonnnnngggg answers - Right again. In the past three primetime news conferences, Obama was asked 13 questions each. Last night? 10. And the last one in particular from his liberal buddies at the Chicago Sun-Times was set-up on a tee for him.
If you read this blog often, you probably already know that the President is holding his fourth primetime press conference this evening.
With support for his health care plan plummeting, Obama needs to keep a stranglehold on his message and not lose control of the press conference. That being said, there will be three things to watch for tonight.
- Who gets called on - Don't be surprised to see the President bypass a chunk of the MSM in the first few rows. Obviously, many will get their licks in, but you'll likely see a larger percentage of smaller mediums getting a chance to throw a softball at the President.
- Will there be news? - As First Read mentioned, Obama would be smart to provide something new early in the press conference that requires the press gaggle to focus more on the new information than going on the attack. Maybe it will be an announcement that he won over some of the Blue Dogs that he's been meeting with the past couple days. Hopefully not.
- Lonnnnng answers - The President wants to control the message. That means maintaining a focus on the theme he wants to present, namely health care. That means utilizing the finite time available for the press conference, and that means answering as few questions as reasonably possible. I'll be surprised if tonight doesn't see the fewest questions answered of the four press conferences.