John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Why 5?

Posted on September 19, 2009

Why 5?


 


            So, why did President Obama decide to do five Sunday morning shows?


 


            Was it because he wanted to dominate the news broadcasts so that nobody else could get a word in edge-wise?


 


            Was it because he wanted to make certain that everybody who was inclined to would be forced to listen to his rhetoric?


 


            Was it because he couldn’t make up his mind and didn’t want to alienate anybody, except maybe for Fox?


 


            My guess is that it is the last reason.  He didn’t want to anger his friends so he picked everybody, except, of course, for Fox.


 


            When I was working for the Speaker, we would usually try to do two shows, unless one of them was Meet the Press with Tim Russert.  We would always try to do Fox, and then maybe CNN with Wolf Blitzer. 


 


            If he was going to ruin his Sunday (and his Saturday too), we wanted to make it worth his while.


 


            Doing all of the shows is called the full Ginsburg, named after Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer, who did all of the shows during that adult drama.  Ironically, the only other person to do the full Ginsburg was Hillary Clinton, who did when she announced she was running for President.


 


            President Obama is not doing the full Ginsburg because he is ignoring Fox.  I don’t know why he is not bothering with Chris Wallace.  Wallace is pretty even-handed journalist.  He is no Glen Beck or Sean Hannity.


 


            The explanation seems to be that Obama doesn’t really want to bother reaching to Republicans anymore anyway, so he is not going to waste his time.


 


            The problem with doing the full Ginsburg is that each one of the hosts now must try extra-hard to get news out of their respective interviews.  So, inevitably, the President will be forced to talk more about race, and less about health care.


 


            It seems that every time Mr. Obama wants to make a point about health care, he ends up talking about something else.  Remember the famous press conference when he called Office Crowley stupid.  Not too many headlines out there about health care.


 


            The President’s full Ginsburg says more about his desperation and lack of ability to make choices than it does anything else. 


 


            My guess is that most Americans will be getting ready to watch Week Two of the NFL, and probably won’t be spending too much time parsing the President’s latest health care rhetoric.