You have to be kind of old to remember the commercial: "I'm gonna wash that gray right out of my hair." (I gave up trying to find a clear photo of the commercial, most were old and graining or on par with caveman drawings.) The commercial popped into my head when President Obama bounded to the podium yesterday.
He looked young, fresh and presidential.
Then the press conference began and it was part pitch to the public and the other part a campaign speech. Considering it had been eight months since the last meeting with the press, those hoping for new comments were sorely disappointed. But there was still the question and answer period which began with a question about General Petraeus. It's an important topic especially considering the Benghazi cover up but not what the market wanted to hear. But, then it came, question number two.
President Obama: Jessica Yellin. Where's Jessica? Right there.
Jessica Yellen: Mr. President, on the fiscal cliff - two years ago, sir, you said that you wouldn't extend the Bush-era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So respectfully, sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won't cave again this time?
I think the word "cave" angered President Obama and later he really lost it more or less challenging John McCain and Lindsey Graham to meet him behind the White House because they are opposed to Susan Rice being Secretary of State. Of course, the President was the one that threw Rice under a bus in the first place. Anyway, this began a line of answers and follow up questions that actually left more confusion and less confidence than coming into the conference.
It's always harder to charm through a press conference (although this crowd was swooning like it was the Beatles- oops, dating myself again) than prepared statements and its clear washing the Republicans out of the lawmaking process will be harder than dying gray hair.