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Mike Schilling

Hardball is every bit as pernicious as Crossfire used to be. Where's Jon Stewart when you need him?

Frank C.

I think Zeleny's question was trivial, as was his defense of it. He claimed that everything had been covered by then, so he could indulge. (actually, banking and Afghanistan weren't really broached)

I think he should be fired, and his continued employment at the Times is an example of that paper's decline, even though it still is relatively good compared to the dreck that is most newspaper coverage.

I hope I never find out how much Zeleny is paid, for this job and whatever promotion he receives down the road.


If nothing else, Frank, Zeleny's question gave us the opportunity to once again appreciate that we have a thoughtful thinking president now who has obviously reflected on this sort of thing, as any self-aware and self-reflective person would. It's kinda nice.

Lance, towards the end of your post, I had a sudden glimpse into what it might be like to be taught by a good teacher, instead of living with one of the perils of being self-taught - you self-select what you learn, which narrows everything down considerably. Pity good teachers are too rare to make it worthwhile to go to school for just that reason.


Zeleny came across as an idiot, but the President's answer was very good. I guess it's just me, but there was nothing boring about the President's performance. He was serious, engaged, thoughtful, and more articulate than anyone else in that room could have been. What a concept! A President who is not a lazy, impertinent, uncouth know-nothing. Small wonder the Washington press corps misses their alter ego.

Ken Muldrew

Lance wrote, "There isn't a short cut for every thought."

When a reporter asked Richard Feynman to sum up his work in quantum electrodynamics into a few short sentences, Feynman replied, "Buddy, if I could tell you in a minute what I had done, it would not be worth the Nobel Prize."


Obama's bright but he's not phenomenally quick, which is why he occasionally winds up making fun of elderly Presidential widows with broken hips and the Special Olympics when he's trying to be cute. (Impossible to imagine Kennedy blundering onto land mines like that.) Kennedy was a genuinely witty man, whatever his other failings. Not many Presidents are. Obama's no JFK in that respect and there's no getting around that.

Obama's more long winded answers remind me a bit of Eisenhower's strategic meanderings: he just goes on and on until people's eyes start glazing over and nobody notices he hasn't really answered the question. In Obama's case I'm not sure how intentional it is - in Tom Shales' otherwise very favorable review he noted Obama's way of losing his train of thought.

But in the end it doesn't matter. Obama's not as brilliantly articulate as the fanboys would have you believe but he is as good or better as any other contemporary American politician except for the retired Bill Clinton, and the country could do far worse.

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