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Obama tops Bush at ducking reporters

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Joseph Curl
Washington Times
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

President Obama, who pledged to establish the most open and transparent administration in history, on Monday surpasses his predecessor’s record for avoiding a full-fledged question-and-answer session with White House reporters in a formal press conference.

President George W. Bush’s longest stretch between prime-time, nationally televised press conferences was 214 days, from April 4 to Nov. 4, 2004. Mr. Obama tops that record on Monday, going 215 days – stretching back to July 22, according to records kept by CBS Radio’s veteran reporter Mark Knoller.

The president has seemingly shunned formal, prime-time sessions since his last disastrous presser, when he said police in Cambridge, Mass., “acted stupidly” by arresting a Harvard professor who broke into a home that turned out to be his own. The off-the-cuff comment took over the news cycle for a week, overshadowing his push for health care reform, and culminated in a White House “Beer Summit,” where the president hosted white police officer James Crowley and the black Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“He does seem a little snakebit on the whole presser thing,” said Julie Mason, a longtime White House reporter and board member of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 4:34 am





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