March 26th, 2009
05:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Schneider: Obama as the politician-in-chief


Obama held a town hall meeting in the White House Thursday. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The President is not just the commander-in-chief - he's also the politician-in-chief. And lately, we're seeing President Obama more and more in that role.

Two town halls in California last week. This week, a virtual town hall. Appearances on The Tonight Show . . . 60 Minutes . . . ESPN. Two prime-time news conferences.

Then there's door-to-door canvassing by his grass-roots supporters, and a TV ad from his supporters in the Democratic Party that urges Americans to call their members of Congress and tell them to vote for the Obama budget.

Is the President risking overexposure? You hear that criticism in the press. New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote, "Barack Obama is going to be on television every day forever. No venue is too strange."

So far, however, the public doesn't seem to mind. At 63 percent in CNN's poll of polls, the President's job approval is higher than any of his four predecessors after two months in office. After all, the President is spending time with THEM.

Is President Obama violating his promise to change the tone of American politics? Actually, the president's tone has not been particularly harsh or partisan, even when he spoke to two Democratic Party fundraisers Wednesday night - audiences eager for partisan red meat.

"And to a bunch of critics out there, I've already said, show me your budget; show me what you want to do," said Obama.

The President saved his harshest rhetoric for, um, us.

"I know it can be easy, especially in Washington, to get caught up in the day-to-day chatter of cable television, to be distracted by the petty and the trivial and to fall into the trap of keeping score about who's up and who's down," Obama said.

He's leaving the toughest talk to his critics.

"The President's budget will hurt the economy and destroy jobs in our country at the very time that our country needs help, and I think it is completely irresponsible," says House Republican leader John Boehner.

"I want his policies that I believe take us in the wrong direction to fail," adds former senator and Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Meanwhile, just how mild is the president's rhetoric right now? This week, the politician-in-chief endorsed a Democratic candidate in a special election for Congress. But he did not criticize the Republican in that race, praising Democrat Scott Murphy instead.

"Scott has the right experience with a record of creating real, high-paying jobs in Upstate New York. Now, he's ready to go to Washington to continue that work alongside me and Democrats and Republicans in Congress."

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Libs are Goofy....

    **** Two town halls in California last week. This week, a virtual town hall. Appearances on The Tonight Show . . . 60 Minutes . . . ESPN. Two prime-time news conferences. *****

    Pure orchestrated fluff. Out of all these venues, BO was asked just one tough question, and what did he do...... lose his temper and train of thought.

    March 26, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. WIlly Brown

    #44 is all about his EGO

    March 26, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Steve in St. Louis

    At least Mr. Obama is out working, and speaking for himself. A certain other president hid behind Rove and Cheney, and was content to be their puppet. We know our current is intelligent, articulate, and is his own man.

    Keep it up, Mr. President!

    March 26, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. slp

    I am so glad that all of you feel like you are being included in decisions being made in Washington because I don't. I do feel like all of my decisions are being made for me. Actually, I believe that President Obama is putting himself out there because he knows that he has all of you brainwashed with adoration for him. This keeps you from questioning what is going on under your noses. One day you will wake up with the government in your backyard telling you how to run every aspect of your lives. What is happening to my country? I feel like crying every time I look at my children. I figure I will get slammed for these comments, but I feel that I better take advantage of being able to express my true opinion before that is one more right that is taken away from me. Paranoid, maybe, but I don't think so.

    March 26, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. Kevin

    When was the last time you saw your congressman, senator or other public official actually out doing something. Isn't it refreshing to see someone we elected "OUT THERE" doing something. I say.. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PRESIDENT OBAMA~!!

    March 26, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |


    March 26, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Fan of Common Sense

    When is this guy going to stop campaigning? He's answering the same questions that he's been answering for the last year and a half.

    Barry, it's time to stop talking and to start doing. So far your only solutions have been to spend spend spend spend and spend some more. Got anything else?

    March 26, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Leslie

    NOBama doesn't work, he campaigns 24/7, Nancy Pelosi tells him what to do. He spend more time infront of cameras and TV than working. People are getting sick and tired of his self promotion. Next we would be seeing his face in every boxes of cereal, ice cream, Mcdonalds etc. etc.



    March 26, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Lynn

    40 million people tuned in to his press many tune into CNN every night???

    March 26, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. dormar

    He is my Prez.,I just love that man

    March 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. tigerakabj

    You the media and the GOP are mad b/c you can't spin and distort multiple aspects of his agenda at once, only one thing at a time. You need him bottled up inside the White House so you can spin his plans however your bosses see fit. Socialist/Marxist/Jacobin/Stalinist labels are even harder to pin on him b/c he is out their explaining what he is doing, talking to the people WHO ELECTED HIM.

    Me personally, I look forward to his agenda and his explanations of them. If I don't agree, I will let him know.

    I know you guys are still seething after Obama handed your boy Ed Henry's arse to him on a silver platter for trying a "gotcha" moment to boost ratings and his career. Obama doesn't suffer fools, neither do the American people, and neither do I.

    If you the media and the GOP want me to start taking you guys seriously again, the media (start practicing actual journalism) and the GOP, come up with policies that help America or disband.

    March 26, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Good for Obama. He doesn't need to be bending over for cable networks that hire a bunch of loud mouth aruing fools.

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Good for Obama. He doesn't need to be bending over for cable networks that hire a bunch of loud mouth arguing fools.

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. kayla

    i rather see president obama on tv. any day. unlike george bush who could not even speak a full sentence.

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Enough

    Funny how you can tell the "un-biased republican reporters"! They are so ready to pounce on President Obama. They should wear a sign saying "I voted for the other guy and I am pissed we lost!" NO, President Obama is NOT being over-exposed! I greatly appreciate President Obama being so open unlike those politicians who crept around the White House spewing lies the last eight years!

    March 26, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. suzyku

    over exposure-NO! He's a savvy, smart man, much smarter than the idiot pundits who have no credibility whatsoever!

    March 26, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. disgusted

    This is how it should be. He works for us.

    March 26, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. DavidinCA

    I'm sure Obama misses the campaigning. He knew how to do that.

    March 26, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Christine

    It is wonderful to hear from the President so often. Over-exposure – no way. My son heard the President on the radio one day and it inspired him to try harder on his college exams – can't be bad.

    The Republicans are a bunch of sore losers. The Party of No.

    March 26, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Tom Paine

    Paul in Riverside – those are exactly the sentiments that turned the Republican Party into the Repugnant Party. Reasonable people can disagree, and just because someone isn't in line with Obama's ideology doesn't mean they're un-American.

    ck – I just don't know where to begin. Obama isn't a joke at all, and in fact I'm betting he will go down in history as one of the really good, possibly great, Presidents... unlike whoever it is you supported. Who were you for, there, ck? Huckabee? Romney? McCain/Palin? BUSH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! You, on the other hand, are a joke, and an unfunny one at that.

    CK, the American people DID wake up. That's why Obama won by 7 points, and is now supported by about 2/3 of the public. You're the one still sleeping. Come over to the right side of history for once in your life!

    March 26, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. don

    I am a Republican and I hate conservative values.I am a Republican and I hate conservative values.

    March 26, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Priscilla

    President Obama is an excellent President. He is working for the American people and is doing everything possible to keep his campaign promises. The Repubicans don't care about the American people or our country. All they want to do is lead and use lobbyist for their best interest. They are sooooo very out of touch!

    March 26, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Gregg

    I hope Bill schineider would ask the President a stupid question becuase I woul be happy to see him get a smack down like Ed henry!

    March 26, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. tracy

    President Obama is doing his Job. Let him not be criticised of doing his job. He is a coalition partiner with American people and we thank God coz it is what we need!

    March 26, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Tim from Hershey,PA

    From the very beginning of his presidential campaign, I always believed while watching this guy, that while he's very articulate, he's also unbelievably cocky. Look at the way he holds his head up while giving a speech as if someone out there is making a statue of him.
    Even when he walks into a room, he's actually clapping with the audience as if to say "ENCOR, ENCORE". He's also said on many occasions, "I don't mean to brag, but I do give a good speech!"

    President Obama needs to practice some humility and try not to appear so conceited. I really think that he believes that he is so smart, articulate and now Powerful that he can talk people into do whatever he wishes. Sorry Barack, but I dont think Russia, China, Iran nor North Korea will see it as clearly as you do. THEY'LL SEE IT AS A WEAKNESS!!! Their not blind sheep like all you suckers who voted for him

    March 26, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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