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Saturday, August 18, 2012

President Obama likes softballs 

No pun intended.1 Get your mind out of the gutter.

The Clarion Content, like our friends at the Blue Pyramid, has been frustrated with the level of discourse in the 2012 Presidential campaign. Ad hominem attacks have dominated. Despite some significant policy differences between the two major party candidates, the focus has been on personal and side issues, Romney's taxes and his dog, Obama Chicago cronies and his wife's fashion choices.

Neither candidate is willing to take responsibility for this continued debasing of American political discourse. The White House press corps, an inside baseball organization, if there ever was one, feels that part of this lack of substantial dialogue can be blamed on President Obama's predilection for seeking out softball interviews.

Politico notes, the last time the President gave a press conference, "Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were together, and Lebron James had still not won an NBA Championship." Both King George the II and President Clinton had given more than twice as many press conferences by this point in the election cycle as Obama has.

However, as the White House press corps has noted, this isn't because President Obama refuses to talk to the media. Last week, President Obama spoke with Carlos, Kiki and Danny on KOB-FM, Big Ken and Colleen on Star 102.5, People magazine, and "Entertainment Tonight." He weighed on such heavy topics as his favorite work-out songs and his ideal super power.2

Inane? Perhaps. But even Republican strategists concede it may be effective. Politico quotes former George W. Bush spokesman, Trent Duffy, "I think just think it comes down to their overall strategy, which is to be low risk, to play it safe. They feel like they’re ahead and there’s no need to put the president in a position where he makes a mistake.

President Obama defended himself, telling ET, "What the American people hear and what the press corps want to focus on are two very different things."

His campaign spokesperson was equally blunt, "People get their news in many different ways. Sometimes it’s turning on ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and seeing what the latest news is out there."

So much for elevated discourse. Read the full story here.

1Come on, have a little respect. Besides soft balls would be two words.

2He chose speaking any foreign language, although he noted, "the whole flying thing is pretty good."

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