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November 09, 2012

President Obama breaks with tradition, spurns post election news conference

President Obama's two most recent precedessors answered questions from reporters days after they were re-elected -- but Obama hasn't followed in their footsteps.

Obama appeared in public today for the first time since his re-election -- but he elected to only issue a statement from the White House's East Room -- which was packed for the occasion, making it difficult for reporters to even get a shouted question in.

The White House said it set out 194 chairs for the event, filled with "middle class Americans and other stakeholders who want to see a balanced approach that keeps our economy growing and reduces our deficit."

Some analysts had attributed Obama's poor showing at the first debate to his lack of jousting with the press.

For the record, George W. Bush held a press conference on Nov. 4 2004, telling reporters that he had "pledged to reach out to the whole nation, and today I'm proving that I'm willing to reach out to everybody by including the White House press corps."

Bill Clinton held a press conference on Nov. 8, 1996 -- his first question was "How do you overcome the image created by your opponent that you are a president who cannot be trusted?"


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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