NO MATTER where the press conference goes, the resignation of DCIA Petraeus will be primary. But at least Obama was able to design that Petraeus will testify tomorrow behind closed doors, before the press conference. The first presser President Obama has had since being reelected, the issue following Petraeus is Benghazi. The “fiscal cliff” will be up for conversation, too.
There’s a lot of swirling about how difficult the media will make it on President Obama. It’s all drama and foreshadowing, but no repercussions threaten the President. He’s in the cat bird seat, so to speak, so what the media does or doesn’t think is immaterial.
Right now the President needs his progressive allies a lot more than the media, so that’s the greatest show coming out of the White House right now.
So what should be Obama’s goals? Because he can drive the press conference where he wants. He’s got all of the the power.
Well, if he wants U.N. ambassador Susan Rice to follow Secretary Clinton at State, which is a primary goal for his second term cabinet, it would behoove him, during the Benghazi questioning, to reenforce, however obliquely, that Ms. Rice’s performance on the Sunday shows was done with CIA talking points. This is a major issue, with Republicans ready to take him on over Rice’s role in the Benghazi story line, whether that’s fair or not. Obama put her out there to give her a trial run and it turned into a train wreck, because of information flooding the zone on which she wasn’t made aware.
That Ms. Rice didn’t see the wall she was heading into not only puzzles me, but is alarming as well. Anyone who has any experience following foreign policy knew that confusion reined on what happened during the assassination terrorist attack in Benghazi, so why anyone of Rice’s calibre would throw herself into this on Sunday shows with talking points so nailed down is truly odd to me.
It’s also been made known that senators prefer John Kerry over Rice for the State Department job, with Senator Lindsay Graham the first to lay down a warning for Obama on Rice. Whether Obama joins this battle and fights for Rice is the question.
On the economy, Obama won’t miss an opportunity to drive home his goal on taxing the wealthiest, or at least he shouldn’t.
Some enterprising reporter who knows what she’s doing should also try to pin the President down on Social Security and entitlements regarding the “fiscal cliff.” If Obama gets through the press conference without entitlement questions it will be a travesty. Besides, the media loves a good drama and they’ve got to see what’s coming from Senators Sanders and Brown, as well as the threats from labor, though those impress me a lot less, because they’ve yet to deliver anything close to pressure on President Obama.
“Balanced approach” should also be defined. It’s in the eye of the beholder.