President Obama held his first press conference after re-election today, and with the possibility of storm clouds like the Petraeus affair and Benghazi in the air, a much anticipated event it was.
For the most part, there was much ado about nothing, as Obama came to the podium relaxed and confident—like a second-term president should be. He started off with a brief agenda-setting statement: “Our top priority has to be jobs and growth.”
Of course, the press would have nothing of it, immediately asking about Petraeus and if the President thought classified information was exposed during the former CIA director’s fling with his biographer. Obama deftly said there was no evidence of that thus far and that he couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
Obama then went on to laud Petraeus: “For my perspective he gave the country extraordinary service,” said Obama. “I hope he and his family can move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has been an extraordinary career.”
Obama, who is known for being unflappable in dealings with the press, did show real anger at one point, but it wasn’t directed at reporters. Asked about comments by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain’s comments that they block U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice if she is nominated for secretary of state, Obama called them “outrageous,” adding, “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after someone they should go after me. When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.”
White House communicators had to be happy with the President’s performance. Not only did Obama show that he’s under control, but that he is in charge, as well.
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