Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | March 25, 2009

Thinking before Speaking

Here’s a small part of a long, slightly sarcastic, question that President Obama was asked at his press conference last night:

“It seems like the action is coming out of New York in the attorney general’s office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we’re outraged. Why did it take so long?”   

Translation:  Come on, man, we want some excitement here!  We have to feed the news machine 24/7, and we want to hear you spout off like the talking heads on TV, who are outraged.  They are outraged!  The American people are outraged, and we keep writing about it and talking about it and telling them how horrible the AIG bonuses were (plus, it’s a good way to distract them from the big questions of how we fix the underlying financial mess, which we don’t understand and find too wonkish to present on TV, so could you please react with some excitement and drop that boring posture of intelligence and thoughtfulness!)

 We want a soundbite we can talk about for the next news cycle, until somebody else has 8 babies at once.

And here’s what Obama said, with his famous cool:

“Well, it took us a couple of days, because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

It’s like the grownups are finally in charge again.

I’m so glad that we have a president who is trying to attack one of the bigger crises of our lifetime by thinking carefully before he acts.  I’m glad that he is approaching it on several different fronts at once.  And I’m glad that he is including the rest of the world, by way of the op-ed that appeared in 30 papers around the globe.

What is wiser — running around shouting about how upset you are, or figuring out how to solve the problem?


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