September 10th, 2010
12:34 PM ET

CNN analysts take on Obama's Q&A session

CNN Security Analyst David Gergen said he believed Obama's press conference was "mostly passionless and, frankly, boring" until the mosque question.

There, he took a much clearer stand on the mosque than he has in the past.

CNN political analyst Roland Martin, however, criticized the summation, saying he is not looking for anyone in Washington to "enamor me."

However, Martin said, he would have liked to have seen Obama be clearer about Republicans setting up roadblocks, saying no and blocking progress.

"You know what? He's not an entertainer," Martin said of Obama. "He's the quarterback. He has to set the tone," Martin said.

CNN's John King, host of "John King U.S.A." said he was impressed by his "long, substantive answers" on several of the issues and noted that on some questions he spoke for three, six and seven minutes to address some of these issues.

Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union," said she got the sense that Obama did not want the issue of the mosque to be raised, but everyone on the CNN panel seemed to agree that Obama was most passionate in addressing that specific issue.

CNN political analyst Donna Brazile speculated that Obama became so passionate because Muslim Americans died in 9/11 and have also given their lives in the cause for freedom.

King said he was concerned with U.S. troops who are Muslim.

"Look, there are Muslim troops serving under me, your commander in chief," King said, summating Obama's thoughts.

Crowley said while Democrats do not want the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be a major issue as November approaches, Obama reiterated his administration's stance that he wants them to expires for couples making more than $250,000, but not for the middle-class.

Borger, however, said she felt he seemed to leave room for compromise if he can get a jobs bill though Congress.

Addressing Martin's statement that he doesn't want politicians to entertain, Gergen said he doesn't, either. However, when Obama was on the campaign trail his tone, enthusiasm and message "stirred people's hopes."

But in Friday's address, Gergen said, Obama seemed more "professorial' and "there wasn't much electricity to it." At the beginning of the speech, he tried to rally Democrats with a "nakedly partisan" attack, Gergen said, but he has had trouble rallying his party of late.

"I think he hasn't found his voice again," Gergen said. "His voice isn't communicating in the same way."

Gergen thinks perhaps the newser lacked electricity because it carried on too long, more than an hour, noting it's tougher to "rifle-shot your message."

Obama seemingly was closer to using a shotgun, he said.

All of the CNN panelists seem to agree the Republicans are hammering Democrats on the economy.

Crowley said Obama seemed to say, "Well, OK, you can stick with us or you can go back to the people who caused this mess."

For Roland Martin, there is one key.

Obama "must stay on the offensive" about the GOP trying to block Democratic action on the economy.

Obama has to loudly voice this allegation and "give other Democrats the confidence to say it themselves, what they've done has made sense," Martin said.

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Paul Schierhorn

    GOOD press conference – in terms of substantive questions and answers. However, the Prez and Axelrod need to get together on pithier "bumperstickers" -summations- for us to carry away.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jatto

    To president Obama I say 'STAY FOCUS ON DOING AND SAYING THE RIGHT THING. The Middle Class America is behind you. They stand united in saying NO but the end is the truth that will prevail and the truth shall set legacy of your presidency.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom TX

      This middle class American cannot support Mr. Obama and disjointed economic plans. I applaud the GOP for trying to stop the insanity.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLV

      That's ok, we'll do it for you, Tom.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. scott

    In respect to the sunsetting the tax cuts: the top 10% of the population already has an enormous percentage of the wealth in the country. They haven't done so well with what the riches they have sequestered. It doesn't wash with me that if they just can harvest another 3 trillion dollars in the next 10 years, everything will really turn around for everyone else.

    It's time - way past time - to call the Republicans out on their obstacular program. Time to make them filibuster on small business tax breaks - make them filibuster on blocking judicial and federal agency appointments - make them filibuster on infrastructure investment - and on creating an energy policy that promises to make us independent of the insanity of the Mid East - right out in the sunlight.

    It is a pleasure to see a news conference in which a president ACTUALLY answers questions as they are put - and not the usual sleight of hand distortions to which we have become accustomed.

    What is going to register with most Americans, I predict, is that this is a guy who has been doing the job, consistently, energetically and imaginatively, in an undistracted and focused manner. He has been working - while the opposition has been preoccupied with things like Joe Wilson crying out 'You Lie" at a joint presentation to Congress.

    Adult leadership will appeal to adult citizens. And we all need to take a breath, grow up and stop behaving like children. He cares - and he is doing imaginative things to restore sensible, effective domestic and international leadership.

    Tired of the Instant Analysis Claptrap that says nothing and plenty of it - not always right, but never in doubt. Time to get serious.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      You should be an analyst......good job.......I don't think these paid CNN analysts know what a leader looks like.......Gregory should go on sabbatical so he can wash Bush out of his hair. Press release to Mr. Gregory, " We've got real leadership now."

      September 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • XWngLady

      Totally agree Scott! The President was spot on. He was articulate and matter-of-fact, which is exactly what we need right now. No one, certainly not McCain/Palin, could have done better in 18 months. And the Republican constant attack scheme is making things worse.... Its like as if the Republicans came along and burned down your house and then walked by your house 1 year and 1/2 later and attacked you for not having your house totally renovated yet, complaining that you're bringing down the property value of the neightborhood. Ridiculous!

      September 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gary Stewart

    Americans are truly funning...blaming an administration that has been in office only two years for something that was not of their making is ridiculous. An even funnier is to somehow think that any one person can turn around our economy is living in a dream world. The country has had modest growth in all sectors except housing and jobs are being created...albiet slowly. Banks need to be convinced that it is in their best interest to lend to small business who do the bulk of hiring in this country...and without more hiring you don't consumer's spending the money in their wallets.

    So I am not looking for the President to put a smiley face on the economy...we have a long way to go and we should hope that all Americans who can do somethign will do their part to assist in getting our economy back on track.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsMHS

      But the Democrats have controlled Congress and Senate since 2006!!!!! And when the Republicans take over those two houses, you'll say the president can't do anything without Congress and the Senate.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • VLJ

      and the minority have used the fillibuster more than any other time in history.......go figure

      September 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rufus Cunningham

    Prehaps "Sweet Charlie Brown" should have been played during this news conference whille President Obama tap danced and dribbled a basketball. (for entertainment sake) His passion could have come across more effectively had he scratched the right side of his head with his left hand and used words like uhhhh, duh, ; what do you think David?

    September 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      I get it you were watching cartoons and felt left out of the intelligent conversation.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • XWngLady

      JV...Don't waste your breath...Obama-haters are not interested in intelligent conversation or even real answers for that matter. Its much more fun for them to attack and throw stones like children, rather than add anything constructive.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lane

      Uh, Rufus...

      I believe the song you're referring to is "Sweet Georgia Brown"; and how typical of you to refer to something a black man does as having to be in some way related to basketball. If you're going to be so simple and see through in your thinly veiled attempt at being funny which really just shows off your myopic, stereotypically racist way of thinking, at least get your musical references right.

      September 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mo

    I think a lot of people are expecting the president to be this tough vulger president and be like well damn it get it done or else and use ultimatiums. He's the president, he can't go off on camera swearing, completely get irrate, he can't say get your sh** together he has to be presidential. What do you all want? Do you want moron Bush that stood at the podium going ugh ugh ugh, umm, ugh, saying simple words completely wrong, can't pronounce anything and while at the podium looking like a complete moron, idiot just sit on his a** and wait wait wait. At least Obama can stand up speak very clearly, you understand what he says and then if he get's too forceful then you get all these idiot republicians stomping their feet either way, and crying some BS. Yes you idiot REPUBLICANS lost get over it, move on!!! Obama has cleaned up so much in his 18 months in office, he's not superman, this crap he's cleaing up is from Bushes 8 yrs of tearing everything down. Yes we want the economy to go in the right direction, well then you idiot republicans quit sitting on the sidelines, crying, sitting and have the stance of do nothing. Get off your butts or get the h*** out!!

    September 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsMHS

      Please detail what Obama has "cleaned up?"

      September 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLV

      Ms.......I hope you recorded the press conference.

      September 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. e.harder

    Great press conference! Thoughtful questions. Intelligent responses. Sorry guys, but can't say the same for post-conference CNN analysts. Tuned out soon after David Gergen opened his tired mouth.

    September 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tre

    People (including Obama) ignore the fact that the democrats have controlled Congress (and the purse strings) since 2006. It wasn't just the republicans that caused this economic mess – the democrats were heavily involved as well.

    September 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dj

    This world needs more analysts.. sports analysts, weather analysts, legal analysts. Then more analysts to analyse the analyses!!

    September 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. daveindenver

    While there is plenty of blame to go around, Barny Frank and Chris Dodd had more to do with the economic collapse than most.

    John King – he was surprised at the lengthy responses??

    September 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tessa Bishop

    I am always shocked that American's want to be entertained in a newsconference about muslim mosques, religious burnings, the tax cut extensions, -- yea yea– "its just the way it is today". Then the way it is today is a mess of priorities. The reason we are having the overall issues of quality people running for office is because majority of politicians that are elected have a standard of having to "television" well. To show excitement. I want my leaders- intelligent- thoughtful- methodical and not emotional. Do people remember the biggest critcism of Hillary Clinton? it typically was some variation of her being cold and boring. But when she showed emotion once- she was weak. What do people really want? I do not want to go have a drink with my political leaders– I do not want them to be the life of the party– I want them intelligent and to not react with knee jerk reactions. I want them to be respected internationally so we get cooperation. I am not saying all of this about our current president. I am saying this in general about all our elected officials. My prayer would be "please do not have their goal be to entertain me or excite me in a newsconference. Let their goals be to represent to the best of their ability." Prior to Pres Kennedy– We did not expect beauty and movie star qualities. Kennedy did it for the Democratics and Reagan did it for the Republicans. I liked McCain over Palin– because it was not about beauty and soundbites - it was about competence. I liked Hillary Clinton because I did not care about her ability to look "cold". I wanted her focused and compentent. Sorry- I am ramblling– but have your problems with this administration. Do not like the policies– but please do not make your complaints based on how excited he made you in a newsconference. I say this with Bipartisan intent.

    September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MsMHS

    Obama's speech was b-o-r-i-n-g and the man should never have been elected president - he's a community organizer, not a presidential leader. In fact, he's worse than Jimmy Carter was. And thank God, many who voted for Obama have now come to realize the mistake they made - too bad CNN can't be fair about with their comments and examine his speech objectively.

    September 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • VLJ

      Now there's a patriot for you..........down with service to our country and fellow citizens........yeh, I agree, President Obama should have taken that job on Wall Street for that law firm and make some big bucks instead of giving back to his country.
      Who does this Community Organizer think he is. Thanks for the laugh, Ms.

      September 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Johnathan

    And no one is wrong 100% of the time, so he should at least have something positive to say every now and then.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rufus Cunningham

    Intelligence is a matter of prospective. Let me illustrate JV; XWNGLADY that agreed with you, does not even realise that I agree with President Obama.The comments, thoughtful and on message. Stone throwing was not my point and in retrospect I should have followed with these words; in an effort to detract from the president's message the "analysts", best response was to call the speech boring and not entertaining as if they are watching some game. To think JV, is to be able to analyize in a critical manner the substance of whats been said and to reach a conclusion. The view is tainted when prejudice clearly outweighs that conclusion and when voiced speaks volumes as it did today.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phil

    The GOP wants an Obama failure more than a national success. Our country is held hostage to their political vandalism.

    Shame on them and kudos to the President for a clear, strong message: no going back.

    September 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
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