Give White House Press Secretary Jay Carney credit. In just a little over five months, the former journalist has perfected the art of stonewalling the press at every turn with a series of non-answers that would make the President proud.
But for journalists Carney’s non-answers are only frustrating them even more, considering that the President promised transparency and has yet to deliver that when it comes to dealing with the press.
Tuesday’s pool report from Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown was a great indication of just how well Carney has learned to bob and weave when it comes to answering the media’s questions:
- Is there any specific progress to report? “None that I’m prepared to read out. … I’m just not giving any more details. We’re not going to give detailed readouts of these meetings. That’s the most I’m going to say about it.”
- Any more meetings scheduled? “I can say he is having a meeting tomorrow with Senate Democratic leaders at the White House. It was actually a meeting scheduled last week for this week. He will have one tomorrow.”
- Now that Biden talks collapsed, what is the structure for proceeding? “I don’t have a structure to provide to you. I don’t think I would agree that the Biden talks collapsed. The Biden talks made significant progress.”
- Any meetings scheduled with Republicans? “I don’t have any other meetings to announce today.”
- When will they have marathon talks? “I don’t want … to predict a schedule that I’m not prepared to announce. … We will continue to have conversation and meetings without much elaboration about the details of what’s being discussed there simply because we believe that enhances the prospects of reaching an agreement.”
- On Blagojevich conviction? “I don’t have reaction.” Have you heard him talk about it? “Not a word.” Is he aware of it? “I haven’t asked him. I think he probably reads the newspapers and watches television and checks the Bloomberg wire.”
What kind of an answer is that to the Blagojevich question? He thinks the President reads the newspapers and watches television? Of course the President is well aware of what was going on. After all it involved his former Senate seat in Illinois. Obama had a reaction all right and it probably was something along the lines of, “how could he (Blagojevich) be so stupid as to get caught trying to sell a Senate seat?” But since he couldn’t tell the press that he decided to try and avoid the entire matter.
If the press thought that Carney was stonewalling then, just wait as Obama’s reelection campaign kicks into high gear.