Does anyone else feel like the U.S. is a ship adrift in an angry sea? As I scan the news, I see a border crisis that isn't being dealt with, unrest and fighting around the world, disease, natural disasters, crime. We have no leadership, no comfort that we are safe, secure, or strong.
Not that Obama could fill the role of 'great comforter' for me, in any scenario, but, heck, he doesn't even try to reassure those who would be confident in him. What is he doing? Oh, wait, there it is:
He took questions last week from the White House press corps — not just once, but twice. He didn’t call only on the reporters who were selected ahead of time by his senior aides. He even stuck around longer than he wanted at a briefing Friday to appease the room of shouting correspondents.
“Hold on, guys. Come on. You’re not that pent up,” Obama joked. “I’ve been giving you questions lately.”
This never used to happen in the Obama White House, a place so obsessed with message control that the president could go months without talking with the press corps. However, in the past seven weeks, Obama has taken questions an average of once a week.
The shifting media strategy is part of a new White House effort to jolt its communications operation, especially as Obama fights weak poll numbers and wages an intense campaign to keep the Senate in Democratic control this November.
Obama himself has been feeling isolated, aware that he’s not breaking through to the public. Senior advisers say they have noticed their message gets lost when the president holds what has amounted to quarterly formal press conferences.
So the White House is going the other way, setting up the president for casual lunches with Americans who write him letters, late-night games of pool and surprise strolls around Washington. And it means more interaction with White House beat reporters, not just the kind of nontraditional outreach through celebrity magazines, sports radio and social networks that the administration used to great effect throughout his presidency.Casual lunches, games of pool, strolls around town. In between games of golf, vacations, and once-per-week press conferences. Yep, that is the sort of leadership we should expect from a president.