Obama Abolishes the Press Conference
President Obama has held just one full length, multi-topic, solo press conference in the last six months, effectively abolishing the most accessible venue for American citizens to observe the thinking and learn the views of their leader.
It’s May, and the president has stood for only a single such news conference this year, a March 6 event in the briefing room. He’s had only three since last June, counting a November press conference in Hawaii that was supposed to be devoted to the just-held Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit but which veered off into other issues.
Nor does Obama generally allow questioning during brief appearances at the White House, such as when he makes statements with foreign leaders. Previous presidents, including George W. Bush, routinely took a couple of questions on the topic of the day at such gatherings.
Bush also held fewer press conferences than he should have. But this doesn’t excuse Obama, who would seem especially obligated to appear before the press given his pledges to maintain an “openness” administration.
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