In End Of Year Presser, Obama Tries to Turn Page On “Frustrating” 2013

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Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President Barack Obama gives a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on December 20, 2013.

The annual year-end White House press conference is a spectacle of public psychoanalysis and self-flagellation. The press briefing room is packed to the gills for a carnival that’s carried live on television networks and dissected across Twitter.

When the first question for a president is “has this been the worst year of your presidency,” it’s a safe bet that no matter the reply, the real answer is yes. But like a forest fire rebooting an ecosystem or colonic hydrotherapy, the curious ritual serves an important purpose for a struggling president: an opportunity to turn the page.

President Barack Obama’s turn before the White House press corps on Friday—just hours before his helicopter was scheduled to whisk him away to Hawaii—did exactly that. “You know what they say, it’s the most wonderful press conference of the year,” Obama said with an ear-wide smile as he bounded to the podium in the briefing room. And he meant it.

The 57-minute affair featured piercing questions on the troubles surrounding Obama’s signature health care law, the controversial government surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency and his stagnant legislative agenda. “What do you think has been your biggest mistake,” ABC News’ Jon Karl asked. “With respect to health care specifically or just generally,” the president replied with a smile, almost eager to list them all. He settled on the health care law’s botched implementation, saying, “We screwed it up.”

It’s the odd moment in Washington where a politician doesn’t just invite, but looks forward to an assault from the press. “It’s not that I don’t engage in a lot of self- reflection here,” Obama quipped to Karl. “I promise you, I probably beat myself up, you know, even worse than you or [Fox News’] Ed Henry does on any given day.” Let them exhaust their questions, the President may reason, and by the time their stories come out, he’ll be gone for two and a half weeks. And when he returns, maybe—just maybe—all his troubles will be old news.

“You know, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year,” Obama said. “That’s how I intend to approach it. I am sure that I will have even better ideas after a couple days of sleep and sun.”

15 comments
mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Okay, so in Zeke Miller's opinion, President Obama had a most 'frustrating' 2013.  From reading this cheerleading puff piece, it's hard to figure out why (with friends like Zeke, how can one be portrayed negatively in the media?).

Too bad Zeke failed to point out the media's clear and evident dissatisfaction with how the President treated them, and his complete lack of transparency.

Too bad Zeke failed to point out how the NSA has its eyes and ears in every facet of America's - and the world's - digital space, and the President did nothing in response.

Too bad Zeke failed to point out the glowing failure of Obamacare from its launch-date onward.

Those three items alone should have been plenty for a sufficient commentary on the President's 2013 performance, but (as per TIME Magazine's "rah!  rah!" coverage policy of the President, it was left out.  Surprise, surprise...

john_rambo
john_rambo

Obama should put his whole phony racist Presidency behind him and America as well.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

The president may have had some issues with the ACA but it solves a major issue that will bring the country down and for which the Republican party seems to have no interest in resolving if they can't get all the credit.  The NSA report will be read and steps will be taken and then hopefully, the country doesn't get attacked. All of the rest is just FAUX noise and will remind the country again and again that there is one party working for the American people and one so worried that the top 1% doesn't have a greater share of everyone's money.  


May the president and his family have a great vacation.

JimmyDemello
JimmyDemello

A simple New Year's resolution is insufficient behavior to recompense Americans for all the horrible decisions Obama has made. American citizens, American culture and America in total are suffering for his incompetence in using common sense, his lack of morality, his obvious arrogance and unwillingness to work within the American political system. America, don't let him off so easy - even a jackal has a big smile.

reallife
reallife

@ARTRaveler  "... some issues with the ACA..."



hahahaha


LOL


you're as delusional as your hero



AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@JimmyDemello


Oh yeah, it's all Obama's fault.  Let's not even consider the Party of NO here whose immoral, obstructionist and, dare I say it?, racist behaviors and strategies have actually stunted the economic recovery.  Stunted for everyone except the top 10%'er's, corporations and the Too Big To Fail Wall streeters.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@ARTRaveler@alpha444

Modern Liberals and Tea Partiers are a bunch of bulls. Drink a whiskey, mate. You'll need it.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@reallife@AlphaJuliette@JimmyDemello

I did and I am registered as such.  But, I'm a moderate which makes me a flaming libtard RINO in the eyes of the "pure."

It's nonsense.  It's nonsense because throughout history we see example after example of the damage done by extremists.  It doesn't matter if it's religion or politics.  Extremism in any form does more damage then it does good.  And what we have in the GOP right now is tyranny of the ideologically pure extremists minority perpetrating their crap on the U.S.