Two highlights from President Obama’s news conference Tuesday.
QUESTION: Yours is a rather historic presidency, and I’m just wondering whether in any of the policy debates that you’ve had within the White House, the issue of race has come up, or whether it has in the way you feel you’ve been perceived by other leaders or by the American people. Or have the last 64 days been a relatively color- blind time?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I — I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we’re going to fix the economy, and that’s — affects black, brown and white. And you know, obviously, at the Inauguration I think that there was justifiable pride on the part of the country that we had taken a step to move us beyond some of the searing legacies of racial discrimination in this country, but that lasted about a day. And you know, right now the American people are judging me exactly the way I should be judged, and that is, are we taking the steps to improve liquidity in the financial markets, create jobs, get businesses to reopen, keep America safe?
QUESTION: So on AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage [on the payment of bonuses to employees despite a federal bailout]?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I —
QUESTION: It seems like the action is coming out of New York in the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we’re outraged. Why did it take so long?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak. (Laughter.) All right?
That kind of dangerous thinking could put radio talk-show hosts, cable TV talking heads and bloggers out of business.