Tuesday, February 24, 2009

King of the Hill.

Obama really is changing the way things are done in Washington. Here, he has invited both Republicans and Democrats to his “financial responsibility summit.” And, at the end of it, he invited questions from the audience. It's hard to imagine Bush ever taking part in such an exercise. It's not unlike the British ritual of Prime Ministers Questions; and Blair was very honest in the end about how daunting he always found that process.
I have never pretended to be a great House of Commons man, but I can pay the House the greatest compliment I can by saying that from the first to last that I never stopped fearing it. And that tingling apprehension that I felt at three minutes to twelve today I felt as much ten years ago and every bit as acute. And it is in that fear that the respect is contained.
So I applaud Obama for having the courage to face such questions directly from friend and foe alike, especially as he didn't have to. I really think it would be beneficial if this happened more in American politics, where Bush managed to be mostly interviewed only by people like Fox News, which I have always found a strange way for the president to show his accountability. Let him answer to his peers for his actions.

And I thought McCain's remarks about the helicopter were low, especially as it was commissioned by the previous administration, but Obama easily saw him off.
“Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) chided.

“The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me,” Obama answered, to laughter. “Of course, I’ve never had a helicopter before.”
Nicely handled I thought.

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