Commentary: Obama already feeling heat from press

This editorial appeared in The Macon Telegraph.

You can't say the presidential honeymoon for Barack Obama is over; technically, it won't even start for more than a month. But at a press conference last week, one line of questioning elicited a response from the president-elect that was . . . well, let's say a little chippy.

A reporter pointed out, quite accurately, that during the Democratic primaries, candidate Obama consistently marginalized intra-party rival Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience as first lady and as senator, at least once comparing that experience to diplomatic tea parties. Given that the next president has now tapped that same former rival for the important post of U.S. secretary of state, the reporter then – not unreasonably – asked Obama if he could "talk about the evolution of your views of her credentials" since the campaign. Obama didn't blow his stack or lose his cool. But he pretty much laughed off the question – and, more to the point, didn't answer it.

"I think it's fun," the president-elect responded, "for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign . . . I understand, and you're having fun."

No, what the reporters were doing was their job. It wasn't a "gotcha" question; it was a legitimate question and a fair one. Indeed, given that the next president of the United States has now tapped for the nation's highest foreign policy post someone he not so long ago suggested was unqualified for such responsibilities, it was even a necessary one.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Macon Telegraph.

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