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February 03, 2011

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The NEW OBAMA

As a quick follow up on the Obama-O'Reilly interviews: I thought both handled the extended interviews pretty well. O'Reilly has admitted that he was interested in promoting the "authenticity and humanity" of Fox Cable News more than getting into a debate with Obama over issues and that he had to be careful not to let the President stall out the time. I actually think that is partly true but I don't think Obama was too worried about O'Reilly's questions and had a strategy of making himself into the compromising new guy that he has portrayed himself to be in the last few weeks.

The new Obama is playing catch and pitch versus the old Obama who simply pitched. By that I mean he is now content to let the Republicans come to him with their proposals and calmly accept the ones that don't hurt him much showing his new willingness to compromise and then having the Senate defeat anything he doesn't want. This way he can look bipartisan to the independents and look like the defender of the "Alamo" to his base on the left. Prime examples are: Egypt: support the protestors for the left. Keep Mubarak temporarily in power for the transition for the moderates (and the King of Saudi Arabia). Cost cutting: Letting the Republicans bring forth the proposals and then pick and choose what he wants to allow making them look like the "proponents of change" to the voters. Meanwhile he sends VP Biden (Mr. Amtrack) out with a new $53 Billion high speed train expenditure. Indicating that whatever Republicans can force in cuts he can spend in new initiatives.

Obama-O'Reilly Superbowl

Obama performed very well in the Superbowl portion of the O'Reilly interview last night. In a softball interview in which O'Reilly, clearly nervous on the big stage and pressing to get in a couple key questions in his time restricted interview, Obama used his smoke and mirrors defense with skill and took advantage of the fact that O'Reilly was either too nervous to counter or had made a no counter deal in order to get the interview. Obama's people, whether they had advance knowledge of the questions or had the opportunity to choose half the questions to be publicly aired, did a good job of using up time on softball quetions like: What do you find difficult about being President?, Does it bother you that people hate you? Do you know anything about football or are you just a basketball man? And, of course, O'Reilly's favorite: you know I try to be fair to you-- don't you (which the President ignored)? Thus, Bill was reduced to looking more like Barbara Walters than the Bill O'Reilly who engages Barney Franks in shouting matches. Hopefully, tonights part of the interview confined to "The Factor" will be of more interest. In summary here's what I learned last night:

1. The Packers won the game. Had they not lost their defensive backs we might have turned it off by halftime. The QB with the lowest Superbowl bar bill likely won.

2. Holding and blocking in the back are pretty random calls even at the Superbowl Level.

3. You should practice the Star Spangled Banner if you are going to sing it for the nation. Or use a teleprompter.

4. Mubarak is free to leave or stay but he cannot run for reelection.

5. The Brotherhood is to be included in the new government since Democracy is to be all inclusive.

6. Obamacare is a word to be used to describe the Healthcare Bill when interviewing the President on National TV. And, the President does not believe it will be overturned 5-4 in the Supreme Court so he has no contingency plan to share with us. He believes that eliminating preexisitng conditions and extending coverage to all is good. Bill--with all due respect you knew what his answers would be-- why waste our time?

7. Obama is a football genius--of couse.

8. The President is asked to solve the nations most difficult problems. This I thought was reflective of his thinking: no mention of leading the nation to solve those problems through decision making and executive leadership. The "I" man instead referred to intellectual challenges and the fact the "he" had to solve them. Yesterday his Secretary of State and his Eqypt "Czar" made Polar opposite statements on Mubarak.

9. Those who hate me don't know me. O'Reilly missed this one. Few people hate the President nor care if they know him or not. It is his policies they hate and they do know the policies and their impact on their lives as we saw when they voted in November.

10. A-Rod needs help eating popcorn in public. Looked like a Charleton Heston movie when he the slave was watching the Emporer in the stands.

11. CEO's who advertise during the Superbowl should watch the commercials they are spending $6M/Minute on before they air them.
50% of them were bombs. #1 VW's Darth Kid followed by #2 the Dorito's dog.

In the end yesterday was an entertaining day. I hope The Factor interview is in more depth tonight and focuses on the President's ideas for stimulating job growth, cost cutting (besides throwing it to the Republicans) and his idea of how we will manage the growth of our debt. If not, perhaps this opportunity for Fox would have been better left to Brit Hume, Chris Wallace or Bret Baeir. Sorry, Bill.

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