President Barack Obama is expected to hold an end-of-year press conference by Friday, where he’ll take predictable questions from a picked group of cautious and sympathetic journalists. What would you like to ask the president?
Obama is likely to get some questions about the stalled economy where only “The One Percent” has prospered, a question or two about Obamacare’s implosion, maybe a question about his “You can keep it” lie of the year, and perhaps questions about the Syrian rebel meltdown and the Iranian nuclear build-up.
But the entire set-up is designed to protect Obama from any serious embarrassment while he undergoes an unwelcome presidential obligation prior to his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.
He’s likely to escape any serious political damage, despite his failure to do win any of his goals, such as passage of a transformative immigration bill.
Despite what is almost unanimously considered to have been a rotten year for the president, Obama remains telegenic, glib and relaxed in front of cameras. Even the most awkward facts slide off of him.
He’s also protected by his fervent members of his personality cult, chiefly progressives, feminists, African-Americans and MSNBC anchors. The majority are expected to ignore any criticism of their hero, giving Obama more confidence to glide through criticism.
He’s also aided by the established journalists’ sympathy and caution.
White House spokesman Jay Carney helps pick the journalists who are invited to ask questions, as well as prepping the president’s answers.
Being invited to ask a question is a big prize for journalists, partly because it makes them and their employers look good. That reward of being picked, and the hope to be picked next time, puts journalists on their best manners, and deters them from asking tough questions.
Ideologically, nearly all members of the White House press corps are closer to progressivism than to the GOP’s small-government views. That outlook pushes them to treat Obama’s critics as marginal payers, and to view Obama’s failures as mere management problems, usually caused by GOP “obstructionism,” rather than as the predictable result of Obama’s flawed progressive ideology.