UPDATED: More Obama Q&A

Filed in National by on February 3, 2010

I can’t help but think this is good for Democracy.

Via Bob Cesca:

Tomorrow morning, the president will be doing a televised Q&A with the Senate Democratic caucus.

Staffers from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office and White House aides tell the Huffington Post that the president will meet with the caucus at the Newseum, where the senators will be assembled for an issues conference to discuss policy, strategy and message for the coming year. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m.And get ready for Obama vs. Inhofe:

“I believe we have been invited to speak to the Senate Republicans, and we will do so,” Gibbs told reporters on Monday.

I know I’ll be tuning in – not for a smackdown, but rather for a substantive policy discussion.  And call me an Obot, or whatever you will, but it’s really a shame that all the heavy lifting falls on the President.  You’d think that people who claim to be an equal branch of government could manage to carry the load, you know, equally.

UPDATE: C-SPAN 2 will be covering the event, which begins at 10:00 a.m..  If you will be watching the Q&A please use join me – in the thread below – in reporting what is taking place.

Here’s the video.

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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (43)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Tom Carper: Mr. President , why are you such a socialist? And one follow up if I may, why do you hate capitalism? Is it because you are a Kenyan islamist radical ?

  2. I hope he smacks down Joe Lieberman.

    Perhaps Democrats are learning – Obama is more popular than most of them. They’d be better off adopting Obama’s ideas – especially vulnerable conservaDems.

  3. pandora says:

    Obama speaking now. Thanking Harry Reid – Reid has one of the toughest jobs in Washington.

    Now listing accomplishments: Reformed defense spending, tax relief, etc.

    Obama: We have to remember we are still in the majority.

    Lesson from Mass – Message is NOT to do nothing.

  4. Thanks for liveblogging this!

  5. pandora says:

    I’ll do my best, but I’m not the fastest typist! Anyone out there wanna help? 🙂

  6. cassandra m says:

    This is being streamed live on http://www.cspan.org if you can watch from work.

  7. anonLIVE! says:

    I’ll try…

    – Defends EO for deficit commission
    – Acknowledges “times are difficult”
    – Reminds Dems they were idealistic once, and need to be again – quite a remarkable riff!
    – Transitions to health care, must finish the job, must seize opportunity, continues theme of Dem idealism [ED: God I miss Ted K].
    – Says finishing HCR is right thing to do, and will be good for Dems

  8. pandora says:

    Talking Healthcare – So many of us campaigned on HCR, and we said we would change it, and here we are now… as we move forward, I hope we don’t forget why we are here – we have to finish the job – even if it’s hard

  9. pandora says:

    Thanks anonLIVE!

  10. anonLIVE! says:

    Q: Specter – Applauds focus on jobs, 2-part question.

    We have lost jobs due to trade issues w/China – “international banditry” [WTF, scapegoating China?] … First part of question, would you support international judicial remedies against China? [looks like Spec is going for a protectionist thing, covering his ass with unions]

    Second part, would you revise/revoke trade treaties with China?

    OBAMA: Would not revoke. Would enforce existing treaties, have already done so (cites specific case regarding tires). China is one of our biggest markets, can’t close off markets in China and Asia, reminds Spec both sides must honor existing treaties, don’t shy away from competition, America has the best workers, nobody can beat us on a level playing field, etc etc. Reminds increasing exports even 1% would mean millions of jobs in US. Wow, going for the kill on this last point, segues into specific examples of benefits for a small LED light bulb business. Obama is PREPARED!

  11. pandora says:

    Bennett (Colorado) – starting off on deficit and moving towards HCR. What do we need to do to fix this institution????? Anon, did you understand that question?

  12. anonLIVE! says:

    Sen Michael Bennett (sp) Colorado: Litany of bad statistics on jobs, education, economy, sounds like GOP talking points, cute anecdote about daughter (laughter), the system is broken. Question: What are you going to do differently to fix institutions so Democracy can stand up to the test? [WTF??]

    Obama answering, off to the races…

  13. pandora says:

    Obama is hammering the theme that Rs aren’t serious about governing, all they want to do is shut the place down.

    Quick switch back to HCR (Hmmm… another theme I’m sensing) Once again demanding details from R plans.

  14. anonLIVE! says:

    Obama still answering Bennett: Addressing Rs and Ds, can’t govern by just saying No, mentions filibuster record. Cites bills that were filibustered and then passed 90-10, this is evidence of a problem.

    Addressing Dems: the more transparent we are, more we communicate how we work, even if it takes longer, the better off we are. HCR is a perfect example. Looked painful and messy, but did give opportunity for the product to get refined, final product is better [!!???]. Must educate public on what is in bill.

    To Senate: Turn off TV, talk to real people.


  15. pandora says:

    Oh my! Tells Senate to turn off TV’s, blogs, and get out of their echo chamber!

    (BTW, anonLIVE rocks at live blogging!)

    Blanche Lincoln: Arkansas is “independent” minded. Fears there is no one in Obama’s admin. that knows what it means to go to work on Monday…

    What can we tell the people? How can we push back our own (Dem) extremes? WTF? What an idiot. Talk about playing politics.

  16. anonLIVE! says:

    Q: Blanche Lincoln – Mentions her Ark. Dem roots, says she is independent-minded, “results count.” Anecdote, Says she met with small biz constituent who is frustrated, wants predictability and results from govt, disgusted with politics.

    Where are we going, what can we tell people how the economy will get back on track, how will we reach out to other side, are we willing to push back on our own party.

    Obama answering: Reminds about depth of recession, says that is responsible for uncertainty. ARRA put floor under peoples feet, bailouts stabilize the banks, stabilized state budgets to protect teachers/firefighters [Nice!]. “Moving forward, Blanche…” You are going to hear people tell you the only way to recover is to go back to what we were doing before the crisis [POW!] Can’t recover by going back to the policies that caused the crisis.

  17. pandora says:

    Taking on the Bush tax cuts – and the problem with doing the same. Why would we expect a different outcome for doing the same thing.

  18. anonLIVE! says:

    Wow, now Obama saying (still to Lincoln) If we act like Repubs, why would voters send Dems to Washington? [Old Dem wisdom, rarely heard on TV]

    Problem is banks aren’t lending [ED: Because people don’t have jobs…]

  19. anonLIVE! says:

    New question, Gillibrand – benefits for 9/11 first responders, exposure to toxins, etc, about 20K people sick. She has bill for permanent benefits, would you support?

    Obama: new budget has money for this, dont know exact details of your bill, will work with you on this.

    Boxer up.

  20. liberalgeek says:

    Gillibrand is trying to pimp her personal legislation to help 9/11 illnesses.

  21. pandora says:

    He’s really telling the Ds to stop running away from their beliefs – Ooh, back to HCR again!

    Damn, he’s prepared.

    Gillibrand: Healthcare for 9/11 responders. Wants him to commit to this. Obama points out that he has budgeted, in part, for this and says he will work with her on this.

  22. anonLIVE! says:

    Boxer: “What you are doing now is important to my constituents.. you are showing fighting spirit, and specific propposals… moves on to small business lending issue. Can you use EO to move unused TARP funds to community banks? Or do you need legislation? Are you using your influence to get big banks to lend?

    Obama: Everywhere I go, small biz says they can’t get credit. Two reasons they cite: 1. Bankers say regulators are looking over their shoulderds too much, hands are tied. (Obama: We don’t want to politicize regulators) Yes, I am using my influence with big banks, have met with bank CEOs and they say they are ramping up small biz lending. [missed what he said about EO] Says he wants increased small biz lending as part of jobs package

  23. pandora says:

    Boxer: CA hurting (perhaps they need to change their way of governing, no?) Can Obama get community banks to lend using executive order?

    Obama: Better to do thru legislation than EO, and says it shouldn’t be hard to do.

  24. anonLIVE! says:

    Leahy up. Question: Judicial nominations, will you get us more names faster so we can take action?

    Obama: This is going to be a priority for judges and all appointees. Obama now off on a riff against GOP blocking appointees.

    This is the last question so when he’s done he’ll move on to the close; should be good.

  25. pandora says:

    Leahy: Judicial crisis

    Obama: Holds are a problem. Basically pointing out again that Rs are playing games. If gov is going to work, I can’t have administrator for GSA being blocked. They are blocking her for “I don’t know?”

    “Let’s have a fight about real stuff”

  26. anonLIVE! says:

    One more question, Shrerrod Brown: Oberlin College building has solar panels built in Germany, why weren’t they built in Toledo which also has solar manufacturing? US is only major country w/o a manufacturing policy. How do we rebuild our manufacturing capacity with an manufacturing policy and an energy policy?

    Obama points out China is not a democracy… no filibuster in China [LOL!] US is at risk of falling behind. We still have best science, best workers, etc.

    Obama explains broadly we have to look for strategic opportunites for investmetn in manufacturing must fill holes, etc. Points out that the country that first successfully commercializes new forms of energy will be the 21st century leader. Adds a caveat by mentioning clean coal and existing tech.

    Best way to lead in energy is incentivize clean energy. Congratulates Kerry, Lieberman, Graham for work on this.

    Bayh up.

  27. pandora says:

    Sherrod Brown: Solar panels at Ohio college, Toledo has big envir. manufacturing share. How to we get a manufacturing policy, combined with an energy policy?

    Obama: Cites China article. We are at risk of falling behind, but it’s not too late.

    1. coordinate business, university, gov to be competitive
    2. clean energy is an opportunity – country that figures out new energy will lead 21st century economy
    3. incentives for clean energy

  28. cassandra m says:

    BOO on clean coal!

    No one in the US makes High Speed rail cars, either.

  29. pandora says:

    Evan Bayh: (ugh) The deficit, rising debt. It’s unsustainable and unfair. Why can’t Washington make sacrifices too? OMG, people think Ds tax too much and spend too much? Ooh, calling out left wing blogs.

    Obama: Points out that last time budget was balanced was UNDER A DEM.

    Still haunted by 60s and 70s tax and spend model – ya think? Especially when Ds like Bayh keep spewing the meme.

  30. anonLIVE! says:

    Bayh: Deficit, rising debt, fiscal health. Public is ahead of political class on this, understands it is unsustainable, sense of unfairness. “Why can’t DC make same sacrifices as we do in our families”

    Acknowleges GOP has no credibility on this issue. People wonder of Dems have backbone to fix this issue. Criticizes “left wing blogs” who attacked freeze. “Why should Dems be trusted?”

    Obama knocks it out of park: I’ll tell you why people should trust Dems… Last time we balanced the budget it was under Dems,no help from other side.

  31. anonLIVE! says:

    Obama still answering Bayh: Dems have been “complicit” over last ten years [OUCH!!]… Reiterates his analysis of where the current deficit came from.

    Defends military exemption from freeze. [interesting that nobody even asked him; O. just brought it up on his own]

  32. pandora says:

    Wants PAYGO, expects it. Defense, it’s not that we are not going after defense budget (we are and have – 20 billion in savings) we cannot “tie our hands” during two wars.

    He will pay for what happens on his watch (recovery, etc.), but it’s hard to solve the deficit that was already there. We need to discipline ourselves on earmarks – kinda symbolic.

    In order to balance budget, exempting entitlements – you’d have to cut budget 60%.

    “Good policy is good politics”

  33. anonLIVE! says:

    Obama giving great budget analysis, too much to liveblog.

    [Damn.. the whole budget analysis was leading up to a defense of his budget commission]

    Obama out.

  34. pandora says:

    Anon, thank you so much! You’re the best.

  35. Perry says:

    Thanks pandora and anonLIVE! Good job!!

    Obama is on top of all these issues and makes a lot of sense to me.

    Repubs should like his attention to the deficit, “chipping away”, even though it’s painful. We must face up to our past sins, R’s and D’s alike.

  36. pandora says:

    I think the amount of times Obama mentioned HCR was quite telling. Any D who thought about putting it on the back-burner must not be too happy right now.

    If there was any sort of “smackdown” today, it was his comments about the press. CNN has to be ticked at being lumped together with FOX.

  37. cassandra m says:

    Thanks Pandora and anon!

    I couldn’t watch all of this, but hope CSPAN puts it up for viewing later.

    I did see parts though, and one of the themes seemed to be making the case for acting like Democrats. Blanche Lincoln in particular did not get the answer she was looking for, I think. But her days are numbered, anyway.

  38. anon says:

    In order to balance budget, exempting entitlements – you’d have to cut budget 60%.

    This is why Reagan raised taxes in 1983 and 1986 and still failed to balance the budget. Nobody ever tried harder to cut spending than Reagan, and Reagan was only able to cut discretionary domestic spending 11% in his first term (IIRC). Remember “ketchup is a vegetable” in school lunches? That was part of the attempt to balance the budget through spending cuts. It was an epic fail. But balancing the budget through massive spending cuts is still the Republican position. Except they never tell us what they want to cut.

  39. Brooke says:

    Reagan failed to balance the budget because, as my father the lifelong Republican put it, “He just can’t quit giving money to his buddies making weapons systems.”

  40. anon says:

    Oh for Chrissake…. AP concern trolling by Jennifer Loven (who??):

    Slapping Republicans with one hand, extending olive branches with the other, President Barack Obama is playing a dangerous political game.

    Even if his newly combative approach notches the president some rhetorical wins, though, he risks alienating people at the same time.

    As a candidate, Obama built a winning brand as a change agent, a politician above politics. That outsider, reformer image, while attractive particularly to all-important independent voters, is difficult for any politician to maintain once the messy obligations and barriers of governing take over. It is even easier to lose once the bare-knuckled zingers start flying.

    What’s more, Obama’s sharper tone comes at a time of deepening voter ire about Washington’s politics of division and inability to solve pressing problems.

    Obama won’t be the first president to engage in this political brinksmanship, portraying himself as a reasonable type willing to give while painting the other side as obstructionist and petty.

    And, much as voters tell pollsters they’re not fooled by the contradictory messages and love Mr. Nice Guy best, Election Day results often don’t bear that out.

  41. pandora says:

    That was painful to read. And what if the other side is behaving like petty, obstructionists… and you can prove it, like this…

    And when Obama backed a bipartisan commission to find ways to cut the long-term deficit – including reexamining popular entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – a handful of Republican sponsors switched their positions and joined in filibustering it, the president said.

    “This failed by seven votes, when seven Republicans who had cosponsored the idea suddenly walked away from their own proposal after I endorsed it,’’ an exasperated Obama told the crowd. “I said, ‘Good idea.’ I turned around, they’re gone. What happened?’’

  42. anon says:

    Re-reading that AP article, I detect a tone that says the Establishment is scared.

    From their point of view, watching Obama’s Baltimore conference must have been like hearing about the first plane hitting the WTC (“WTF, must be some kind of accident…”) But after this second performance, they immediately understand it is a coordinated attack that is a very real threat to them

    It is easy to make fun of Obama being all talk. I will probably do it again myself. But Obama’s talk is a disruptive force for good in politics.