I give President Obama a B+ for his press conference.
He is a great performer, but he needs to do better keeping things interesting.
What bothers me a little bit about his responses: they get more boring as they go on. He needs to hold people's attention span, and tighten up his answers.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday that a recent uptick in violence in Iraq won't impact his plan for a phased military withdrawal.
"Civilian deaths, incidents of bombings ... remain very low relative to what was going on last year," Obama said during a prime-time news conference on his 100th day in office. "You having seen the kinds of spikes that you were seeing for a time. The political system is holding and functioning in Iraq."
Obama said more details need to be nailed down before U.S. troops leave Iraq - including how oil revenues will be divided, what the powers of provincial governments there will be and the political relationships between minority Kurds, Sunnis and Shiias - including the armed Sons of Iraq groups.
(CNN) - I give President Obama an 'incomplete' on his handling of the economy. We haven't seen any of the effects of his stimulus plan yet, and whatever positive upticks we have seen can probably be attributed more to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said he wants the government's role in financially supporting troubled banks and auto industries to be short-lived.
"I don't want to run auto companies. I don't want to run banks. I've got two wars to run already," he said at his third prime-time news conference Wednesday. "I've got more than enough to do. The sooner we can get out of that business, the better off we're going to be."
Obama said he's hopeful that cost-cutting measures at Chrysler will help that auto company avoid bankruptcy.
"I am actually very hopeful, more hopeful than I was 30 days ago, that we can see a resolution that maintains a viable Chrysler auto company out there," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he wants to work with members of Congress, including former Republican presidential rival Sen. John McCain, to revive efforts at immigration reform.
"We want to move this process," Obama said at a news conference on his 100th day in office. "We can't continue with a broken immigration system. It's not good for anybody."
Obama said he hopes a working group of lawmakers will begin crafting details of what would be in reform legislation and that he expects the process to be under way within the year.
Both Obama and McCain supported an ultimately failed plan backed by then-President George Bush that would have fined illegal immigrants living in the United States but provided a pathway to citizenship for some.
Vice President Joe Biden far and away deserves an A for his first 100 days.
After all, he orchestrated one of the single biggest coups in American politics: helping convince Sen. Arlen Specter to switch parties. He met or spoke with Specter 14 times in the last two months.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is "very comfortable" with his decision to ban interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which he called torture.
The president called the practice a recruiting tool for terrorist groups like al Qaeda, citing World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who also rejected such "enhanced interrogation" techniques.
"Churchill understood that if you start taking shortcuts, over time that corrodes what's best in a people," Obama said. It corrodes the character of a country."
Obama said U.S. intelligence agents could have gotten valuable information from terror suspects without the techniques, which were approved under Bush.
Asked about the previous administration, he said, "I think that whatever legal rationale were used, it was a mistake."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - How independent is Arlen Specter?
He voted tonight against the final version of President Obama's budget blueprint - the same way he voted as a Republican.
Three other Democratic senators also voted against the measure: Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
All Republicans voted no.