Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Meets White House Press Corps, Fends Off Tough Questions

President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance during the daily White House briefing today to chat with reporters. But what he wanted to chat about wasn't what the reporters wanted to discuss.

Here's what Ben Feller of The Associated Press wrote this evening:

When a reporter tried to quiz him about a lobbyist chosen for a top Defense Department job, Obama begged off. "I came down here to visit. I didn't come down here — this is what happens. I can't end up visiting you guys and shaking hands if I am going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Obama was willing to field some lighter questions. Yes, he's discovered the gym in the White House residence. No, he hasn't played basketball yet on the outdoor White House court because it's been too cold.

Obama may have to get used to reporters firing tough questions any chance they get. It's a White House tradition. If you don't want to answer tough questions, don't put yourself in that position.

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