There's a story about JFK hosting a dinner of Nobel Prize winners in the White House and making the witty comment that there hadn't been that much brain power at a White House dinner "since Jefferson dined alone."
I thought of that last night watching Obama's press conference. Anyone who watched it from beginning to end could conclude only one thing—this man is the smartest in the room.
The reporters tried to snare him, trip him up, challenge him, make him look bad etc. But he's not only smart, he seems to relish a challenge, as his life story illustrates. He called on more reporters from rightwing media or right-leaning media than on even moderate ones. And answered every question not only with an articulate and precise and focused answer that made sense and completely answered the question, but also accepted the reality of other opinions and perspectives.
It was so gratifying to watch someone that intelligent not only represent himself and his vision and policies, but to have such an intelligent and articulate and focused person as the representative of our country.
Man what a change! And it's obviously got the rightwingers cross-eyed with frustration, to the point of many of their spokesmen (Rush, Glen Beck et. al.) almost foaming at the mouth and definitely going overboard on the fearmongering (did I hear correctly that Beck is warning of "totalitarianism" and "concentration camps"?!). It's sad, and a little worrying, but maybe predictable given the trajectory of rightwing political strategy over the past several decades.
Wouldn't it be great to be having a serious and real discussion, even argument between true "conservatives" and "liberals"—rather than this faux one (the perpetrators know they're making things up or wildly exaggerating, but unfortunately their rightwing followers don't always get that).
But short of that, watching Obama take on the representatives in the press of rightwing and moderate and a variety of perspectives and put each in context and answer each fully, with total command of the facts and details, displaying a breadth of knowledge the reporters (who I'm sure became complacent thinking they were smarter than the last occupant of the office) can't even come close to is truly rewarding.
If only those who need to see that the most were watching, unfortunately I doubt that. They probably only got their take on the press conference from the usual rightwing sources either on the rightwing controlled networks like FOX or the frightened supposed neutral networks who cater to the right in order not to be seen as "liberal" or to lose the connection to the rightwing power brokers in DC and "corporate America" et-endlessy-cetera.
[I meant to add: if the rightwingers did indeed watch it, their biases, or those of their leaders, would most likely make it impossible for them to see Obama's brilliance objectively—although I heard that even O'Reilly admits Obama's brilliance—and see his clear, precise, focused, intelligent answers as some kind of smokescreen because he's not one of them, which is ironic of course since rightwingers are always avoiding directly answering questions and creating smokescreens of dubious "facts" and/or red herring diversions etc.]