American Morning

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July 23rd, 2009
06:59 AM ET

Too much Obama TV?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/23/obama.presser.gi.art.jpg caption="President Barack Obama delivers remarks on health care during a prime-time press conference from the East Room of the White House July 22, 2009, in Washington, DC."]

By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

Stagecraft.

Since the dawn of the mass media era, presidents have used it to remain popular and move the masses.

FDR’s fireside chats soothed and moved a battered nation.

President Reagan and media guru Mike Deaver transformed the White House into a virtual Hollywood set. Camera angles and lighting were key allies in showing Reagan at his best.

President Bush (43) used stagecraft brilliantly—and not so brilliantly. He’ll forever be remembered for speaking into that bullhorn at Ground Zero to focus the country on the mission at hand.

The aircraft carrier backdrop with “Mission Accomplished,” of course, is remembered for other reasons.

What about President Obama?

There was a Jim Carrey movie a few years ago called “The Truman Show.” Carrey played a character whose life, ENTIRE life, was a TV show. Every word, every facial expression, every move was broadcast.

The president hasn’t gone that far, of course. But a lot of people in Washington say by getting so much media exposure, Obama is risking that the public will respond with one giant collective yawn. There are televised news conferences (last night was his 4th already); NCAA bracketology discussions; burgers with the media; an All Star ceremonial first pitch; “exclusive” interviews over and over and over with network anchors; and of course date night.

Comedian Bill Maher, who supports Obama, recently told his HBO audience, “you don’t have to be on television every minute of every day. You’re the president, not a rerun of ‘Law and Order.’”

Hold on, says the Marketplace’s Jonathan Friedman.

“I think he’s keeping people calm,” says Friedman, “and he’s reassuring people that he’s in control.”

Cornell’s Professor Theodore Lowi adds, “it’s ridiculous to talk about being overexposed ... given the choices that he has, he’s better off being exposed 24 hours a day. He has to vary his appeal, but he’s very good at that.”

When Teddy Roosevelt famously used the “bully pulpit” to advance his agenda, most Americans never heard a word of it. Everything went straight to print. Nowadays, of course, nary a day goes by without every citizen having the opportunity to catch every presidential word. Words matter. Now some say, too many words matter too.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. sandi d

    I like many many others I speak with daily are beyond sick of everyday coverage of Obama. It's to the point I see his picture and immediately change the channel or put back the magazine at the store. Who's running the country and how much do we pay for all this face time preparation? I live in a very prominent democratic area and his name is now oblahblah. Please enough

    July 26, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  2. tom hill

    I applaud President Obama for taking precious time out of his day to keep me informed. It beats George W's seeming reluctance to keep us informed. Other than his War on Terror, Bush was vocally absent on most issues.
    Obama has the technology, and he's not afraid to use it. He can beam into my living room anytime. Anyhow, we need this.

    July 24, 2009 at 4:34 am |
  3. Bill

    Someone up above was talking about the President living up to his promise of transparency by being on television ad-nauseum. There's a big difference between his tv commercials and transparency. Why aren't we getting to see the bill on-line before they're voted on - like he promised? Even the people in Congress don't get time to read them before the Dems call the vote - which they control. Where is the control of his Cabinet Chiefs over their Departments, when their power is usurped by Obama-appointed Czars that even Congress can't question, let alone vett and aprove? Where is the oversight over the financial departments, when the President won't allow an audit?
    Transparency? I think not.

    Like I said before, apparently, Obama has no intention to get off the campaign trail. His job for the Dem’s and Progressives is to be their spokesman and sell the Progressive’s ideas to the public. He’s good at it. Meanwhile, his Chief of Staff must actually be making the decisions necessary to running the country on a daily basis. Of course, they are of like mind, so what difference does it really make?

    July 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Pat

    Closing comments. We started to talk about the amount of coverage. You must agree that this forum diverted to other topics. I'll just comment on a few.

    Esther: I took the time to look up Section 102: HR 3200 entitled "Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage" and I did not draw the same conclusion as you did. To read this document with understanding almost takes someone who has paralegal training or is familiar with reading legal documents. References are made to other sections, definitions are provided, and you need to read it in depth. In short, you are mistaken.

    I agree with a post that essentially said that some people listened to President Obama to be critical instead of listening critically to what they heard. With critical listening the next step is writing your representatives to ask specific questions or convey specific concerns.
    I heard what I needed to hear, and the HR 3200 document supports what I heard.

    You (Bill) can't expect details to be presented on where the 2/3rds of the waste elimination will come from to pay for the health reform package in a televised address. However, with this administration you can write the white house or your representative for the details and expect a response. That is transparency.

    Let's see now, Allen used the ugly word dictator. I suggest that you study that word meaning and political concept. Your feelings are only important if they are founded on facts. The other word that is thrown around and should be studied is "socialism". Responsible individuals will filter the political entertainment out and research, read, and ask experts specific questions. Read both sides, think critically, then form opinions (void of too much emotion). Ken Williamson, for example, gave us a short concise opinion and referenced authors and books.

    In conclusion, it has been an interesting discourse. Two salient observations:
    1) CNN or the White House should start a blog specifically for people who want to understand HR 3200 so that they don't draw erroneous conclusions because of lack of understanding. Information is power.
    2) Emotions are rampant. When the emotion is not for the health and well being of our citizens it is against the government or against our President. Let's focus on health care reform.

    If we keep the discussion on track on how we can improve health care, we will make progress. If you don't trust the President and your elected officials, who do you trust? If you don't think that Congress, with the wealth of knowledge they can garner, are making decisions that are best for the greater public, then who do you think has our interests at heart? Private Entities? Corporate America?

    My bet is on this administration. Follow the lead of President Obama and give his strategy time. If you have better suggestions, submit them or get out of the way. President Obama is honorable. Until proven otherwise, I believe he will be accountable. He will monitor progress of his plan, admit to mistakes if and when they occur, and then take corrective action if necessary. That is leadership!

    (P.S. I think he is smarter than I am, and he has a collaborate team of smart and good people behind him)

    July 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  5. GWB

    Incredible! Please tell me how you can consider our President is spending too much time on TV and we have troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Unemployment at double digits and people are terrified of their next week lifestyle. Shockingly, the morning CNN team use Bill Mahr to downgrade the President. Bill Mahr who hates God and celebrates the notion of doing drugs daily is your Presidential resource for too much TV. I stopped watching CNN because the two of you are HORRIBLE and ask some of the dumbest questions in America. It’s as if you’re trying to ask the dumb questions to win some of the Fox News loonies, but you don’t want to go too far because you know that you can tip over in the well of crazy.

    Dumb Questions? Our President can never be on television too much. Hey — why don’t you run a show like Fox News to see if President Obama’s birth certificate has a ink spot on his birth certificate, which means that it’s not certified — or you may want to run the show about President Obama’s mother had him as a test-tube baby from a space trip and therefore, he isn’t an American. Get REAL
    ******************************

    Wow! You're pretty stupid. haaaaaa

    July 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  6. GWB

    "Leadership is rare. We have a leader, in President Obama"

    *****************

    HA HA HA HA HA HA. Leader of IMBECILES!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  7. GWB

    This pertains to two stories you are covering this morning. The third and fourth, President Obama’s comment relating to the arrest of a friend that you are doing your best to sensationalize and one more nauseous ‘who done in Micheal’ non-story are not worth anyone’s time.

    Firstly, how can any leader be ‘overexposed’ to those who elected him, in large part due to his promise that he would be the type of President citizens claimed they wanted … open, honest, and trying, to the dismay of over-ambitious members of his own party, Republicans and so called media experts, to solve the biggest mess you folks have created for yourselves since WWII, internationally and at home.

    His approval rating here in Canada is 98 percent … so if the average American would rather catch a rerun of “Dancing with the Numb Nuts” than hear from their own President it’s great news for us. We’ll take him in a heartbeat.

    Speaking of heartbeats … good old Rudy G was quite right when you interviewed him earlier this A.M. related to your current health care system. You don’t see too many Americans coming to Canada for Health care. Unfortunately, it is not because our system is not one of the best in the world. It is because the majority of the millions upon millions of Americans that currently have no coverage are also those that a Republican administration, senate and house deserted long ago (except to send the more healthy ones to war). Far too many don’t have the money to catch a bus across town let alone an airplane. Terrible situation. Looking after your poor, sick and elderly is not socialism. In a democratic nation it ’s called social responsibility.

    D. Morgan
    Summerside
    Prince Edward Island
    Canada
    ******************************
    No offense, but get your facts straight – HALF of the country voted for Oblah blah – no more, no less. And secondly, your country wasn't bombed by terrorists like we were. Thirdly, you're not an American citizen being taxed to death by our States because of Obama's and his cronies stupid spending spree. So BUTT OUT!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  8. Jo

    I think it is good that the President is getting TV Time. At least we are aware of how they view the public opinon. I also think that some of the negative aspect is a bit over rused. Let the President tell us how things are doing and what we can look forward to in the days ahead. Aleast we are not in the dark ages and we know how and where our money is being spent and if we don't like it the we can just write CNN and tell them about it.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  9. Karl and Ritter197

    If there is too much TV coverage, it is about a "has been", Sarah Palin.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  10. Billy j

    All you right wingers,GIVE ME A BREAK, what did president bush accomplish in the first 6 months except reading books to elementary students? Do you people really expect this president to fix this current crises quickly. took chinney and his pals 8 years to really screw up this country(bush was just a idiot who did what chinney told him to do) and now all you people can talk about is what you hear from fox news. Get your head out of the sand and find out whats happening in the world by watching pbs or cnn. will most likely take a decade to get us out of this mess after 8 years of no leadership.WAKE UP.

    BILLY J.
    Atlanta Ga.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  11. Pat

    Leadership is rare. We have a leader, in President Obama, who understands that the American public needs many touch moments from him or they will be led down the path of least resistance. He is asking the American people to decide, and contact their representatives with their vote on health care reform. He stands before the public to gain trust; he has America's best interest at heart. He may stop taking air time to answer the same questions when we finally "get it".

    So often I hear "they", and "the government" used in context like the government is our enemy. President Obama and the government is not our enemy. If we let fear and uncertainty rule then we are our own worst enemy.

    Be confident that this is a collective effort from people we elected and a contingency plan is available to detect and correct abuse. This is not one man's plan. President Obama must lead the reform. It is our elected officials who are designing the rules and ensuring checks and balances in the system.

    Listen to the opposition with critical thinking. What is their ultimate intent? Words and concepts are being thrown around that do not apply to the President's agenda. This is not a game, this is about life and death for the majority of the American public. I salute the fact President Obama cares enough to stand up and explain the message until the public "get's it".

    If he can lead the public in this important issue, the public in turn will call and write their representatives and the people's vote will prevail. That is how our American political system is supposed to work.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  12. Mary

    Totally, yes. I take offense to the President taking his wife on dates to NY and abroad on my money. It cost money to take Air Force One and security on dates. Our country is headed toward bancruptcy and he's taking his wife to NY on a date? My husband and I can't afford to even go to the local movie much less to another city for date night. He's a ham!!
    Oh, and next time he wants to sign a bill, just do it at the White House like every other President. There is no need to waste fuel (we are trying to go green!) and tax payer money. Hello!!! we are in a recession!

    July 23, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  13. Bernice

    This administration inherited this problem, huh? Now, how ridiculas is that?? Think!!! The Bush administration did not have to inherit thier problem!! It all started on the Bush shift, and noone elses! It all started on the terrible date of 911. At that time, we had NO unusual debt!! After the horrible attack on the American People that took place on 911, the Bush administration took it upon themselves to protect the American People by increasing the monies given to homeland secutity ...for the airlines (so we can fly without fear and arrive at your destinations safely), for the war on terrorism (to keep this inevitable fight OFF of American soil (again, for the safety of the American people) for spy satalite systems in outer space (again, for the protection of the American people). He also helped with the prevention of AIDS in Africa (which is a serious disease needing world attention, which he also inherited). Look at reality here! The programs that the Bush administration had put in order were for the safety of the People right here in the USA, against the terrorist who wanted to see the death of EVERY AMERICAN! This administration has all but CATERED to the terrorists and now even allow terrorist to have public functions right here on USA's soil!! And, in Chicago, go figure! The Bush administration caused a debt of 455 Billion dollars?? This administration wants you to think it was Bush's fault!! Well, since it is a worldwide problem, who is to blame for the other countries?? Noway! The world was heading for disaster with or without his assistance!! We could have bailed our own selves out! NOW, we owe TRILLIONS and all we have to sho for it is that the democratic party seems to have had one heck of a HUGE Christmas party! Most of our hard earned money is going to ACORN, who is shady in its illegal practices! DO NOT pass this bill until we have a responsible president in the oval office! If we can cut back on the costs, as he said we can, then DO IT! Here is a better question for all of you, ...if this administration already knows all about the serios spending and waste in the SSI and Medicaid and even the medicare programs, then WHY DIDN"T HE STOP IT?? Then, that would fix the problem!! But, they are not being very honest with us! This healthcare program will be one of the final nails in the coffins of the American People! This is nothing more than a govt. takeover! Why do we have freedom? If you want freedom, DO NOT DO GOVT. RUN HEALTHCARE! He can fithe waste! If thier is this much waste in the govt run programs now, just wait till he gets his way!!! This is not the blame of the Bush administration! It is just easier to find someone to be able to blame! Bush was his scapegoat! Do not become his. We will end up paying dearly for this for many generations to come! They will be taking 60% or more of your income BEFORE you get it! Can you even live off of that? WE CAN NOT!

    July 23, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  14. Billy j

    in responce to steve s coment earlier. what tv program do you suppose he watches all the time? most likely dosen't have a clew about the healthcare problem.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  15. Bertina

    If the president didn't have anything important to say, then there would be a reason for anyone to tune out but guess what, this is the SUMMER and all TV viewing is down at this time.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  16. Jose Antonnio

    He is more boring than Castro or Hugo Chavez, full of hot air,talk, talk,talk and nothing, nothing.,,,

    July 23, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  17. jilly j hegler

    my comment about poling on health care reform.
    poling the general public about a subjact they know little about except what they hear from the tv programs they watch is an inacurate pole. if a fox news pole reports their results from their viewers of course the results will be 99 % negative. a cnn pole from cnn viewers would have a much more accurate result in my openion. a more accurate pole would be from 50% viewers from pbs 25% cnn 25% fox news. give this a shot and see what you come up with.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  18. Dyane

    This pertains to two stories you are covering this morning. The third and fourth, President Obama's comment relating to the arrest of a friend that you are doing your best to sensationalize and one more nauseous 'who done in Micheal' non-story are not worth anyone's time.

    Firstly, how can any leader be 'overexposed' to those who elected him, in large part due to his promise that he would be the type of President citizens claimed they wanted ... open, honest, and trying, to the dismay of over-ambitious members of his own party, Republicans and so called media experts, to solve the biggest mess you folks have created for yourselves since WWII, internationally and at home.

    His approval rating here in Canada is 98 percent ... so if the average American would rather catch a rerun of "Dancing with the Numb Nuts" than hear from their own President it's great news for us. We'll take him in a heartbeat.

    Speaking of heartbeats ... good old Rudy G was quite right when you interviewed him earlier this A.M. related to your current health care system. You don't see too many Americans coming to Canada for Health care. Unfortunately, it is not because our system is not one of the best in the world. It is because the majority of the millions upon millions of Americans that currently have no coverage are also those that a Republican administration, senate and house deserted long ago (except to send the more healthy ones to war). Far too many don't have the money to catch a bus across town let alone an airplane. Terrible situation. Looking after your poor, sick and elderly is not socialism. In a democratic nation it 's called social responsibility.

    D. Morgan
    Summerside
    Prince Edward Island
    Canada

    July 23, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  19. Larry

    It's refreshing that President Obama wants his administration to be so transparent. Such a contrast to Bush's behind-the-back, deceitful administration.

    This country is going thru very difficult times and President Obama is letting us know exactly where things stand. Thank you Mr. President.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  20. Sandra Winn

    President Obama is getting dangerously close to wearing out his welcome. His views are not appealing to many average Americans. His comments last night about Professor Gates were indicative of this. I hate to see such an popular leader getting far enough away from center that for the first time I can see him being a one-term president.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  21. Ellie, MD

    NOT AT ALL. I love the fact we have a President who remains ENGAGING and INVOLVED in all aspects of his Administration.

    I find it odd that Americans COMPLAIN that President Obama's is doing too much. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? Our President SHOULD BE DOING ALL HE CAN TO WORK TOWARDS FIXING OUR ECONOMIC ISSUES!!

    What's WRONG with everyone? George W. Bush did NOTHING but mumble and jumble his way for 8 years and didn't accomplished a dam thing. The only thing GWB did was allow his Republican Controlled GREEDY Congress to SPEND OUR COUNTRY INTO THE TOILETS and then walk away and BLAME EVERYONE ELSE for the mess!!!

    I'm proud of President Obama, he's doing EXACTLY what I voted him into office to do. President Obama is NOT the cure all. Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the Senate need to get their heads out of their asses and STEP UP and start working for the people who voted them into office and STOP all the personal EGO theatrics. This is NOT about the Republicans and it's NOT about the Democrats!!!

    THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE who are fed up with the DO NOTHING Politicians in Washington who do nothing but complain and whine about everything and yet NEVER have or offer any solutions on how TO FIX the problem.

    Anyone can complain, but where's YOUR solutions?

    July 23, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  22. Allison

    We already ration health care in this country and have bureaucrats making decisions about our health care! It is done by the private health insurance companies every single day. Why does this country allow private companies to profit off of denying people care?

    July 23, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  23. k.cook

    The President is doing what is required to countermand all the republican talking points being regurgitated on a daily basis on radio and television. As stated, "words matter". Which presidential candidate lost an election because he didn't respond to accusations?

    July 23, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  24. Stuart

    Reference to his TV speech last night and asked about the Gates situation, once he said, "I don't know all the facts" he should have shut up! If you don't know all the facts then don't speak. He only made a bad situation worse. Is he there to stir up racial problems?

    And please don't blame Republicans. While campaigning he said he knew how to "reach across the aisle", is this how he does it?

    FYI, I voted for Obama in the primary and the general election.

    Thanks,
    Stuart in Philadelphia, PA

    July 23, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  25. Patrick Hayes

    Cambridge police were investigating a possible break in, they were not pulling over a black man, or were they singling out a black man.
    We don't know the facts, my guess is the whole situation is blown out of proportion, and that a shouting match between two hard-heads happened, and, we all know a cop will win that argument – black, white, yellow,. or red.
    President Obama should shut up.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  26. kasie

    Why certainly this will work, lets just keep spending and keep printing money. Since we never have to pay it back there are no limits on what we can spend, we just need to increase the spending pace- still to slow.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  27. Rita

    No, the president is not over exposed. The president report the facts. The news media likes to gamble, the media misword the headlines, ask stupid question, take stupid polls. Bring on the president

    July 23, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  28. Linda & Tommy May

    We think President Obama is doing a great job considering the mess he was given to clean up when he became president. We would rather have him on TV too much then not at all like Mr. Bush. It is good to know what he is doing or trying to do if people would just give him the chance to do so. We think Dick Chenney does not need another 6 months of security protection take that money and help pay for health care reform. Hard to tell how much the extended security would cost! No matter who is president they are working for the Americian people and they need to get along and get the job done. President Obama needs our support and we need to quit finding fault with everything he does. This is America and we are so blessed so let all of us act like it and let the president get on with the job we sent him to do. He is a good person.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  29. Jeff

    I like a lot of what Timothy May posted. Not all, but most. I have no idea what Ken Williamson just said in his post. More importantly though is what I have to say. I did NOT like it when I was forced to purchase car liability insurance and still do NOT like it. I DO NOT LIKE that the health plan makes it mandatory that I buy health insurance. Will it require a minimum amount of coverage? Will it be affordable and stay that way? What is affordable?

    In a mass email sent out by the White House, signed by Obama, it said, "Without reform, we are consigning our children to a future of skyrocketing premiums and crushing deficits". Where did Obama get this? Did the insurance companies tell him this? Was this a message from God? On what does He base this information?

    There are just to many unanswered questions.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  30. Krys

    You guys have a HUuuuge problem. Bush does not speak to he public, you all harp over it.

    Obama is trying to keep an open communication with the people and you are all harping over it and trying to make a big deal out f nothing. GIVE HIM A BLOODY BREAK! Does Obama seem fae hungry? The guy appear to be someone comfortable naked, in Gucci and in JCPenny outfits. He is not doing it for publicity. He is trying to do his job to the best of his ability.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  31. cnn watcher

    I feel that Obama has been on the tv so often it has become the Obama
    Reality Show.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  32. Jeff Williams

    We as ordinary Americans have known for many years, how bad the health care system is. I am a diabetic, I have high blood pressure, I have terrible authritis, and I have a heart murmur. Each year my medical cost puts my family closer to bankruptcy. It is out of control and I pray that the Presidents health care reform will pass. These politicans need to get over the fact that we have a Black President and stop hurting the American people with racist bias and let the man do what we voted him in to do.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  33. Esther Stoler

    Enough of the half-truths. Read the bill at Thomas.gov (bill HR 3200 – see section on keeping your present healt care) and you will see for yourself that the bill is complete government takeover of private insurance. You will not be able to change your plan after the bill comes into effect. You will not be able to join a new plan after that. There is complete government regulation of price, treatment and control of private insurance by the "Comission'. Read the bill and call your congress people if you are not happy with that . Make them read the bill. At least make them be honest about what we (not they, who will have a flexible federal plan) are getting. If that's what people want, fine. But be honest about it.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  34. Bill

    Who determines "inabililty to pay"? Is it based on total reported income? Who checks on under-the-table income? What is the dollar income amount? Does the person making $50K a year, but has a $2K per month mortgage qualify? Both people may not now have health care insurance, but who will decide whether they qualify for free coverage?

    July 23, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  35. Jeff

    I like a lot of what Timothy May said. Not all, but most. I have no idea what Ken Williamson just said. More importantly though is what I have to say. I did not like it when I was forced to purchase car liability insurance and still do NOT like it. I do not like that the health plan makes it mandatory that I buy health insurance. It would delight the liquor distributors if the government made it mandatory for everyone to purchase an alcoholic drink at least twice a day

    July 23, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  36. Enid Dachs

    I am at a loss to explain WHY people are so opposed to just about any plan to fix our country and healthcare along with it. There is no perfect answer, but the President (please don't call him Obama- it is disrespectful) and congress are trying just about every concept available to move forward on this EXCEPT to do nothing which it seems that most republicans are intersted in doing.

    Know one is actually Listening to what the President said. If you like what you have you get to keep it. So stop complaining. Really Americans are so politcally hateful it's embarassing.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  37. Claude Oudin

    Wake up America. Until elected politicians have to live by the same rules that the rest of do, health care and social security will never be fixed. They don't care, they have the best of health care at no cost to them, and they have the best retirement benefit of anyone, anywhere.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  38. Allen

    Everyone who is pro Obama on your program this morning is saying OBAMA said this and OBAMA said that--I dont know what press conference they watched last night but I watched the whole thing and OBAMA did not say anything nor did he define anything and left everything he said with an open end-this way he can come back and say "Well we mean this and we meant that"--The guy is a Socialist--Pelosi says she vows to move forward anyway, HOW can she move forward on her OWN-This political regime is no better and far worse than the Dictators down in South and Central America-–America be ware--we are giving away our secerets to overseas countries in exchange for nothing for they will do as always and make promises with nothing in exchange but hate for America.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  39. ruth mierzwicki

    I do not believe our President anymore. I turned his speech off last night I dont believe in his change anymore AND Nancy Paloise IS REALLY GETTING ON MY NERVES NO TO REFORMED HEALTH CARE

    July 23, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  40. Lucas

    I'm Canadian and I'm glad we have socialized health care. Our system is not perfect – but I never have to worry about not being able to get medical coverage. I can be flat broke but there will always be a doctor to see me. There maybe wait times for some procedures, but they never for light threatening issues.

    On average, socialized health care is good thing – and for the wealthy, they will always have the option of private clinics, doctors, etc. For the regular people like you and me, socialized health care is truly a wonderful thing.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  41. Joe

    when are americans gonna wake up..... the very same politicians that got our country in this pitiful situation are the same ones trying to fix it. People, if they knew what they were doing, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  42. Rev.Ginnell G.Gasper

    Communication is very important to me, especially when it is our president. I feel if we had more of it from our past presidents our country would not come to the stat it was in. Hearing from Pres. Obama about health care is very important to me as a Medicare recipient. I'm waiting for the "change" to take place as soon as possible. The plan Obama is seeking for the people sounds good to me especially when it gives more sufficiency concerning doctors. I can't afford to put my hands in my pocket to pay for necessary care, there is nothing in my pocket. I pray that the government run plan is a good thing.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  43. Steve S

    Personally.. I think that with all the Obama TV and merchandise is crazy.

    The entire CNN network (HLN and sister networks included) are traitorous for drumming up support for this massive government takeover.

    With a Obamanaut cheer leader like Chris Matthews at Obama's leg.. How can you take this administration seariously???????? WAKE UP AMERICA!

    July 23, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  44. Ashley

    I think it is awesome that we have a president that finally wants to connect with the people and share his thoughts and motives with us, during these conferences. We have a lot going on, right now, in the United States and it is very helpful to have these conferences on t.v., so everybody is able to watch and watch & hear what our president is doing and what his plans are. I watched last night and thought he did a wonderful job. His opening sentences were very good and so were his answers. I am proud of President Obama and would gladly watch him on t.v. any day!

    July 23, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  45. Bob in Florida

    I don't believe his on too much. I only wish Congress would watch more TV, perhaps they would get a clue!

    July 23, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  46. michael armstrong sr.

    Obama just wants people to know that hes doing his job and not playing golf all the time staying in touch with the American people in a time of crises t be considerd to much air time.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  47. JPeyton

    For me,.. there are two parts of concern. #1 Where from and the quality of "plans". #2. As a small business owner, why should I and others like me have to shoulder the responsibility of funding this healthcare proposal? Would it not be fairer, more democratic to make all Americans responsible for funding this proposal?

    July 23, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  48. CC Love

    Sonne, Please! I'm from Georgia and he just saved Trillions by stopping Lockheed from continuously building F22s that we don't need and reorganizing that skill group to build F35s that gives us power in the skies...You better REALIZE that he's going line item by line item on the budget and the status quo is bombarding the media with propoganda because they know it's a NEW DAY in Washington. You are so accoustom to being told or not told how you are being f***** by your Party or govt that you are numb. AND If you listened to the press conference like I did..get away from "HIS LEGACY"...he spoke on that..it's not about PRESIDENT OBAMA or HIS LEGACY, it's about the millions of Americans writing him complaining that they are about to lose their homes, their livelihoods due to healthcare costs running amuck. ONE sickness can wipe out MILLIONS from a family. Your people are your greatest resource whether it is Corporate America or United States of America. People have lost jobs, lost health insurance coverage...Offer solutions Republicans...don't say it's not going to work and don't offer a Solution. One thing Pres Obama does is listen to all sides and try to take the best of each and execute. Thats an EXECUTIVE... GET REAL!

    July 23, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  49. Ken Williamson

    The health care reform debate is a perfect example of a proxy war with one side trying to fix a society wide problem and the other side fighting a rear guard fight for their collective ideological lives; the end of Adam Smith's capitalism and social Darwinism and the Ian Rand's edifice to the individual and the absolute belief that individuals acting only in their own self interest will work for society as a whole.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  50. Timothy May

    To me , this health care reform is a facade.Spending more money is never the answer.My opinion,this whole plan is cadswallop.My plan would be first completly abolish the medicaid and medicare programs.Then the government should require that hospitals and doctors bear the burden of health care for those who cannot afford it.In doing so and in return doctors and hospitals will receive substantial tax breaks and deductions.The government could even cut these doctors and hospitals taxes by 50% up to 100% depending on the amount of costs incurred.Then they should be required to treat patients with the inability to pay to circumvent doctors and hospitals from turning them away in favor of people with no health care plans. End ALL foreign aid for a period of 10 years.Let other countries take the brunt of supporting countries who need aid.Use the money that was dedicated to that aid to restructure the economy, pay off national debts.LET businesses fail.If a business is failing there is usually a reason and the reason is usually mismanagement.Businesses should have to face the consequences for mismanagement or bad business decisions.Ok lastly the government should make trade deals with other countries.The government gets goods from a us based company in exchange for tax breaks,then the government trades these goods to countries we owe money to in order to satisfy our debts.We should provide food, shelter, etc for our elected officials,however we should cut all salary for elected officials including the president and make a public office truly civil service where the individual is working hard to contribute to the betterment of our country.Lobbyists should be disbanded and not allowed to approach anyone in public service to reduce corruption.there are lots more ideas but you get the point...government has gotten entirly too big and greed oriented

    July 23, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  51. robin

    Oh, and I find people who think he's communicating with the American people too much pathetic. Everyone I know WANTS to hear from the President of our country as much as possible... because we have problems, serious problems – and for a CHANGE we have a serious President who's actually seriously attempting to address them. I guess there are SOME folks that would rather live in a bubble than know what's going on and would rather bury their heads in the sand than deal with things. I'm not one of them, and thank goodness when I talk to people, I don't get the feeling I'm in the minority. I think the number of negative comments simply reflects the efforts of a very vocal minority that's going out of it's mind with frustration, hatred and most of all sour grapes over losing an election. They seem to think if they dominate these kinds of media – it will appear there is more disapproval than there really is. And naturally, you folks in the media are happy to accomodate their effort to distort reality.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  52. Lisa Chambers

    We're experiencing a presidential culture shock. Coming from an administration that has kept us in the dark for 8 years, makes it seem as though Obama is overexposed. However, he's doing exactly what we need him to do. For the president to do anything opposite of such, would draw a more formidable claim of not keep his campaign promise. I believe he's personally engaging the public because he's aware that the jackels will have their way with his policies, if left alone to decipher. Re-read the Audacity of Hope. Our president has a better understanding of the political arena than most give him credit and his strategy is causing a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  53. Sonne` Rochel

    I listened to President Obama`s entire press conference at work yesterday evening and I must say, I was not impressed or informed. I believe the same information he
    gave us shared with us, we already knew from previous media engagement`s. What I would like to hear is EXACTLY how 2/3 of this trillion dollar price is already accounted for in wasted govenment spending and where the other 1/3 is coming from. To me, it seems like "He" wants this healthcare package to be "His" legacy as President but it should not happen on the back`s of taxpayer`s.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  54. David Carter

    I wish I had the money to counter the add from the woman from Waterdown, Canada who is paid to tell Americans that our system is bad. The issue is more complicated than a silly one minute add can show. Sure, If you have 100 000 dollars you can buy what you want...our system is not perfect, and yes people do die sometimes...but many more are saved. Here in Canada we respect Americans and do not need to insult you. As a Canadian, I can tell you that I am happy and safe here in Canada and never fear for my health care. I may get sick and may not be saved but that`s life. I go to bed each night proud of my country and what we stand for and would never want to trade it in for a system that cares more for those who have more.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  55. Floyd Williams

    Why can't the American people receive the same type of health care that the congress and the military receive, and yeas the President receives? However, unlike the congress the President and the President we are not asking for free health care there should be a co-pay that should be established according to one income. As far as the cost of all of this, the President is right, doing nothing will cost us more down the road. This health care issue is like a leaking pipe if you don't stop the leak the cost of the repairs eventually will become more. STRAP ON SOME KAHONIES CONGRESS AND GET IT DONE .

    July 23, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  56. Judy Mathews

    If the insurance companies want to keep customers, all they have to do is -
    1) Give better coverage
    2) NOT keep so much of the money they charge

    Health insurance companies are getting rich, richer, richer...

    People will do without new furnture, clothes, cars, and vacations. But they cannot do without health care. The insurance companies prey on people because they know this.
    Let's give the U.S. Government a chance to help the people of the U. S.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  57. D. Sandlin

    .......and if he was not on T.V. there would be just as much said, so give it a rest. He is the President of the U.S......whom the media never really gives the proper respect by addressing him as President Obama or Mr. President as was done for those before him. He is talking directly to the American people about somethng that is of extreme importance and there is no easy answer.....I believe everyone involved is working to create the best plan possible. So I think those of you in the media should pattern yourselves more by Walter Cronkite and report only the news and less your own opinion. If you don't like President Obama, get over it....he's President and he's trying to do his job. Offer some ideas and pitch in to help......stop with the constant criticism....offer solutions!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  58. robin

    President Obama answered all my questions. So imagine my surprise when the TV analysts told me he DIDN'T!!! Gee, it's sure a good thing we've got you guys to tell us what we just saw! (Insert sarcasm here) How did we ever get along without you telling us what to think?

    July 23, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  59. Vanessa Reyes

    Healthcare reform is a joke. It doesn't work in Canada or Great Britain, so why would it be different here. If it is so great for the American people why would Congress and the President be exempt from it? I do not want this healthcare reform passed. The president admitted that he has not even read it fully, so why push for it so hard. This is ridiculous. Our current healthcare is faulty because of government control and waste, so why would more government control be the answer.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  60. Bill

    Apparently, Obama has no intention to get off the campaign trail. His job for the Dem's and Progressives is to be their spokesman and sell the Progressive's ideas to the public. He's good at it. Meanwhile, his Chief of Staff must actually be making the decisions necessary to running the country on a daily basis. Of course, they are of like mind, so what difference does it really make?

    July 23, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  61. Dan Rogers

    I am a physician, and much like the majority of phycsicians the AMA doesnot represent me. The AMA membership includes less than 20% of physiscians. The fact that Obama is trying to reform healthcare without torte reform is a strong indicator of his deference to ambulance chasers like John Edwards. This deference is an indicator of his thoughts on how physicians should be treated.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  62. MGrant

    No, the president is not over exposed. It is his job to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to move important legislation forward. In this case, he gave health care a much needed boost.

    If anything, it is the media that is obsessed with covering his every move and then complaining that he is overexposed.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  63. Dolores Kluck

    Pres. O is on TV too much. He needs to work more rather than feed his ego. His ideas and claims about a proposed federal health care bill are impossible to believe and he refuses to fully explain or can't..
    Our government run programs like Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D, SS, Veterans Health Care and Hospitals, the Postal Services and Amtrack to name a few, are all mismanaged, in debt and need fixing before we take on any more programs.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  64. Seal Team 2

    Incredible! Please tell me how you can consider our President is spending too much time on TV and we have troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Unemployment at double digits and people are terrified of their next week lifestyle. Shockingly, the morning CNN team use Bill Mahr to downgrade the President. Bill Mahr who hates God and celebrates the notion of doing drugs daily is your Presidential resource for too much TV. I stopped watching CNN because the two of you are HORRIBLE and ask some of the dumbest questions in America. It's as if you're trying to ask the dumb questions to win some of the Fox News loonies, but you don't want to go too far because you know that you can tip over in the well of crazy.

    Dumb Questions? Our President can never be on television too much. Hey - why don't you run a show like Fox News to see if President Obama's birth certificate has a ink spot on his birth certificate, which means that it's not certified - or you may want to run the show about President Obama's mother had him as a test-tube baby from a space trip and therefore, he isn't an American. Get REAL.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  65. Big Al

    Ok, first of all when did we start calling the president Mr.________ so much. I do not recall Bush being referred to as Mr. Bush as often as President Obama gets the Mr. Are we waiting for a ball to drop and then we can say "Well I never really considered him the President anyway".

    Secondly, we see what happened when we don't know what our President is doing. We either never saw Bush, he was at his ranch in TX, or we were cringing at the times when he did see him speak, walk, chew, laugh, dance etc. Give me a break. There is nothing wrong with the man being a person that is real and has a wonderful family life. I do not see a problem with this. Now if we are still seeing townhall meetings a year from now, then maybe. However, I think Obama really wants to show his staunch non-supporters that he is a person that has the same kind of life that they have.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  66. Angela

    I appreciate Pres. Obama's endeavors to keep the American public informed and abreast of situations concerning us. To say he is getting too much press is absurd. I attribute his decreasing viewer numbers to a couple of things. First, it is summertime! I missed his news conference because I was at a local 4-H meeting with my son AND I knew I'd get the key ideas of his comments on CNN. Second, people who tune out are people who have the most faith in the system/plan. People who are really fired up and opposed to change are the ones who tune in because they can't help themselves. They need to criticize everything he says and often take things out of context to do so.
    On the Cambridge Police issue...I think having a President who calls a spade a spade is refreshing. An innocent man was harassed and it is always 'stupid' when that happens!

    July 23, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  67. William Beers

    I think if this guy would shut his mouth for 5 minutes so that he could listen to what the majority of the American public wants, he would get more results.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  68. John Vincent

    I suspect that part of Obama's falling TV ratings has to do with when he is speaking. Is anyone watching in July? This report could have used less Bill Maher, and more complete sound bites from those experts. I suspect the "why" for some of those ideaa would be good to know.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  69. Bob Dobolina

    You people should get real. You batter us with 24 hour Michael Jackson coverage and then you wonder if the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is spending too much time in front of the camera? Are you a news source, or freaking Entertainment Tonight?

    Walter Cronkite recently stated that one of his big regrets was not being able to pass along to a younger generation journalistic standards his generation had adhered to. Boy, did he nail that one.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  70. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Kiran, Rudi is the very last person to give advice on what Pres. Obama is trying to do for Americans. He is an attorney representing corporations who oppose any sort of government control. He ran New York City with an iron fist. One of his only claims to fame is that he increased the roll of law enforcement on the streets. He did NOT create or fund programs to the agencies who provide services to the poor and homeless! Of course he is going to spout his party line and be against whatever Pres. Obama and the Democrats are trying to do for middle America. Rudi wants to keep Bush/Cheney status quo. Those days are over and good riddance. The rich and powerful have controlled our government and thus the country for MUCH TOO long!

    July 23, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  71. Mary Docken

    Your earlier guest answered the question before it was asked. Most people polled want their own healthcare uneffected. Since Obama is already assuring us of this, we don't need to tune in to a speech focused entirely on healthcare. It has nothing to do with him being overexposed. I feel more in touch with my government these past months than ever before.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  72. Tom Peyton

    Health care has been a problem for years. Why all the rush to do it immediately. Where are the main players ( physicians-nurses-pharmacists-employers-ins companies-pharmaceutical companies-hospitals- patients) ? They should "ALL" have some serious input instead of politicians who really do not have a clue. The problem is far more reaching than what washington is addressing. Personally-I think in the truest since of the word- they ( politicians) are ignorant of all the problems of health care. Let the players be involved. We already know it is a problem. Let representatives of these groups define problem areas and " address" possible solutions. Keep the govt at bay for a while before they make it worse.

    Tom Peyton Cambridge City Indiana

    July 23, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  73. Raleigh R. Skaggs

    I've had enough smooth talk, give me a break, too much Obama, I want straight talk with honesty and not half truths.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  74. CC Love

    Americans and The Media are funny! We FINALLY have a President that is trying to get above mediocrity and we are saying he's overexposed. We have a President that inherited a BIG PROBLEM...it's funny that you ask Rudy Giuliani anything...IS HE REALLY STILL RELEVANT. I mean 911 happened on his watch but he was trying to move his mistress into the People's mansion. NO, I want to hear the facts from MY President..and I heard what he said. How he's going to pay for healthcare...I heard him say that he is going to cut OUT EXCESSIVE WASTE....we have that in our system ALWAYS have....please give him time. Where were these naysayers when we were spending $10B/month in Iraq....CNN please stop with the Rudy Giuliani's He's not relevant....

    July 23, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  75. Diana Weiner

    You can't have too much communication between your political leaders and the public. Obama serves us and our interests so we want to know what he is thinking and what actions he is taking. That gives us the ability to respond and join in the decision making. That is what democracy and responsible citizenship is all about.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  76. Sue Gerberding

    Isn't this a little rich, coming from CNN which covered nothing but Obama for his first hundred days in office? I have CNN running all day long, and believe me, long before day 100 I was ready for you to move on....

    July 23, 2009 at 7:33 am |