February 9th, 2009
09:13 PM ET
9 years ago

First presidential press conference, by the numbers


Watch Pres. Obama's entire first prime-time press conference.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's opening statement was around eight minutes in length. The question and answer session lasted another 51 minutes. President Obama took questions from 13 different reporters, including CNN's Ed Henry.

Watch: Pres. Obama's first prime-time presser

Here's the order of questions:

NY Times
Washington Post
Huffington Post
Helen Thomas

Filed under: Obama press conference
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Thelma Stevenson

    Obama, did a great press conference. I was happy to see him speak without flipping pages with three words on each page.As Bush always did.

    February 9, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Thank you David Gergen for your wise comments and realistic outlook. Do not understand why we need to listen to anyone else but Ed Rollins and you, you two are the best

    February 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Marianne

    Please do not use my last name. I watched the President tonight and I am an unemployed (for 5 mos.), single mother with not a penny to her name, no retirement, no savings and wandering each month how I am going to pay my bills and more importantly, my mortgage. I feel the President DID speak to us tonight but I am in agreement that WASHINGTON has no clue as to what the American people are dealing with on a daily basis. When you have not been unfortunate enough to lose your job in your mid 50's, who has struggled a long time to raise your children alone and have nothing to show for it, working 7 days a week while employed, I think it is time for WASHINGTON to start talking to the American families and let us get them back to the realities of life. I am so tired of politics and I hope President Obama succeeds in making us "one"!!!! Keep going Obama, my only hope is in you that we will make it through this!!!

    February 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    shouldn't Fox have been last on the list since they don't like him over there anyway?

    February 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. Meka

    The questions were good, President Obama's answers were even better!

    February 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. Thomas Mayfield

    I thought President Obama got his points across to both those in Washington and the US people. The only downside to the conference was at times he seem to be on the campaign trail again with his answers. There's just so much stuff to deal with that we as the general population realy don't have a true sense of how one should go about addressing it all. It would also seem the republicans are not welling to deal with the issues on the table, based on being out of touch with the general population. I hate say this but we need to also get out of looking at our history as it pertains to our present conditions because nothing compares. The economic conditions we are experiencing are unlike anything we've ever encountered so we need to treat them with tactics unlike anything we've evered used.

    Lastly I like your man John King a lot but he might want to consider changing his watch selection when being on such a high profile edition of CNN. Wearing what I believe to be a $10,000 Cariter Roadster watch makes one think he might be in the same mind set of the republicans. (out of touch) I don't believe that to be the case but just thought I would mention it. That watch stands out like a big thumb.

    Thomas A. Mayfield

    February 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  7. Mari

    We watched on CBS, because our TV was on that channel. Also, though we are fans of CNN....... some of the pundits are hard to take.

    After Obama's conference finished we switched to MSNBC, with Keith & Rachel!

    The conservatives have Faux News...... we have MSNBC.

    February 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Laura Santos

    Mr. President is qiuck, honest and open.

    February 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. Larry Houston Texas

    should have taken "Major Garrett" of Fox News off...or take him LAST, considering his question / remarks... That channel "twists" the truth, and comes up with their own version of everything.....

    February 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. J. Lawson

    Great press conference! I think President Obama was quite candid with his answers and projected the need for urgency in getting something done. I was struck by his continued optimism to seek bipartisanship dispite the stark obstructionist reterick and actions on the part of the GOP. I hope that this will get the moderate GOP to move farward and support him in his efforts.

    February 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. Jeff from Jersey

    I've heard comments that he "only" answered 13 questions but he answered most of them so thourghly,intelligently and completly that he saved reporters and spared us more than 50 more questions asking the same things over and over again.

    It would be a good thing for reporters to try and "break their bad habits" when it comes to asking President Obama questions.Perhaps they might learn to ask more intelligent and focused questions and learn how to listen to the answers more carefully instead of scrambling to get "face time" by asking the same question,albeit in different words or even the same words just strung together in a different order.

    They also ought to learn how to listen to complete well thought out answers.I'm glad that President Obama didn't "dumb down" to these asinine habits of reporters.It is VERY refreshing to hear some real intelligence coming from the podium for a change.

    February 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  12. Tom Falcon

    I understand that President Obama is doing what he thinks is necessary to bring the economy out of crisis, and I'm sure he is relying on a lot of educated people in crafting his plan. But I could help but be struck by the continued references he made to RV manufacturing as an example of how the economic stimulus package could breathe new life into the economy.

    This reminds more more of a bad habit of the recent past rather than a roadmap to a new beginning.

    Not long ago people were encouraged to spend all they had and even borrow against their homes to purchase luxury vacations, consumer electronics, gas guzzling SUVs, boats and, yes, even RVs. Now we have a less stable environment, as well as numerous families whose savings accounts are insufficient to weather the economic downturn.

    Simply trying to free up credit so people can go back to the wasteful habits of the past is a mistake. Maybe we should be asking ourselves if some of the old industries (like SUV and RV manufacturing) are really the industries of the 21st century that ought to be supported.

    Economic downturns are tragic, but in them we can find opportunities to chart a new course. Maybe we should be encouraging more saving and conservation, and allowing some of the wasteful behaviors (and industries) of the past to fall by the wayside.

    February 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. Gail White

    Excellent, Mr. President! I so admire your ability to think past politics and focus on the country's problems which seem irretrievably intractable at this time. When I hear friends make disparaging remarks about your office, my reply is, "He's been in office for 3 weeks, he's doing the best he can considering the mucked-up mess he inherited, and do you have any better ideas? If so, let's have it and please let Mr. President know, as he is open to anything that has not been heretofore considered."

    To the country: let's please give this man every timely consideration with all due respect. It's obvious he has a big brain and superior intellect. Of course, you might not recognize it at this time, considering the past eight years of abject failure, sheer stupidity, and the extreme egocentricity of Bush & Co. We deserve so much better, we now have it – be patient and contribute to the cause of recovery as you can. You might think of this as wartime, 1941; what can you do to help our country and yourselves? Be brave and resourceful, and remember... this is about all of us, a group effort for the country; Mr. President cannot do it alone. I state my case for my President!

    February 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  14. Texas Trail Kitty

    This is the first time I have actually sat through an entire press conference. Bill Clinton was great, but Obama rocks. Anyone who does not understand the intent of the stimulus package is either mentally slow or a Republican. Oh my, now that was redundant. Are you listening Rush?

    February 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. Griff

    'I am the President. I am the Decider'.... I am the Resident, I am the Dictator.... You never learn... When you take over anything. You are number three... You may never even be accepted for months... When you come in with all your changes.... You are out in the Cold... Take it from me...

    February 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. aware

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    POTUS lacks wisdom, a moral center, ethics and humility but he would make a pretty good used-car salesman! 😦

    February 9, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Mr E

    Why was Fox news included.........., i can't stand them

    February 9, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Bob

    It was nice to see a President answer questions in a thoughtful, articulate manner.

    February 9, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. Anthony Ruiz

    As I watch our government struggle with how to best address our economic crisis, I find myself extremely conflicted about this pending stimulus package.

    I am Hopeful that it will deliver as promised and begin to bring about recovery, yet I am Doubtful that it will achieve this goal and worse yet I also feel Fearful that little will come about from this attempt.

    Am I the only one that feels like this?

    Heaven help us!

    February 9, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. sandy

    I watched the news conference. I UNDERSTAND!! I think the news pundits are way off in that he has not explained the stimulus package to the American people. He has been straight forward, not like what we have gotten the past 8 years. I WAS a republican, but not anymore. This man has been in office 3 weeks and the news media seems to think he should be making miracles. Go ahead media, we the American people are with him all the way.

    February 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. xargaw

    As I listened to every answer so completely and skillfully addressed, it was impossible not to recall former Pres. Bush. Obama speaks like a knowledgeable professor with a complete command of the subject matter. Bush gave four word answers demonstrating utter lack of knowledge and little more than gut instinct. Thank God we have competence again.

    February 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful


    February 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. cecilia

    the true definition of a liberal is anyone who believes the means of producing and distributing goods should be owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy
    in that case, obama is a socialist.

    February 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. Eugene

    How refreshing to listen to a president who is respectful of the opposition, constructive, modest, and intelligent. Just when we feared all that was a vanishing species in the White House.

    February 9, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  25. Bobby Lee

    How is this order determined

    February 9, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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