Posts Tagged ‘press conference’

Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize; But Was It Too Soon?

October 9, 2009

Earlier today, it was revealed that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”  President Obama has become the 4th U.S. President to win the honor, and only the 2nd sitting President to do so (the other was Teddy Roosevelt).

And while I would congratulate the President for such a high honor, I would also question whether or not it may have been a little too soon.  When Roosevelt won the prize, he was already 5 years into his presidency, while President Obama hasn’t even finished his first year.

Some have said that President Obama deserves the award, and it gives him a goal for his presidency, while others, such as past 1983 Nobel laureate Fmr. Polish President Lech Wałęsa were surprised at how soon into his presidency he won the prize: “‘What? So quickly? … He is proposing, he’s started, but he still must act.  We’ll see if he does what he proposes.  Sometimes the Nobel committee [awards the prize] as a way of encouragement into action.”

I would agree with Walesa – I think this was somewhat premature.  President Obama hasn’t really done anything yet – he’s just laid out plans for what he wants to do.  So if he lives up to his promises, he’ll be alright, otherwise it’s going to leave him looking like he really didn’t deserve this.

But I do think that the President handled the situation well – he admitted that he really didn’t think deserve this right now, but that he will take the award “as a call to action”.  Here’s the full transcript of the President’s address to the media earlier today:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                          October 9, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON WINNING THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Rose Garden

11:16 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning.  After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, “Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday!”  And then Sasha added, “Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up.”  So it’s good to have kids to keep things in perspective.

I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.  Let me be clear:  I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations. 

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build — a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents.  And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.  And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.
    
These challenges can’t be met by any one leader or any one nation.  And that’s why my administration has worked to establish a new era of engagement in which all nations must take responsibility for the world we seek.  We cannot tolerate a world in which nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people.  And that’s why we’ve begun to take concrete steps to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, because all nations have the right to pursue peaceful nuclear power, but all nations have the responsibility to demonstrate their peaceful intentions.

We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children — sowing conflict and famine; destroying coastlines and emptying cities.  And that’s why all nations must now accept their share of responsibility for transforming the way that we use energy.

We can’t allow the differences between peoples to define the way that we see one another, and that’s why we must pursue a new beginning among people of different faiths and races and religions; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.

And we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years, and that effort must include an unwavering commitment that finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security in nations of their own.

We can’t accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity and dignity that all people yearn for — the ability to get an education and make a decent living; the security that you won’t have to live in fear of disease or violence without hope for the future.

And even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we have to confront the world as we know it today.  I am the Commander-in-Chief of a country that’s responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies.  I’m also aware that we are dealing with the impact of a global economic crisis that has left millions of Americans looking for work.  These are concerns that I confront every day on behalf of the American people. 

Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during my presidency.  Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons, may not be completed in my lifetime.  But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.  This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration — it’s about the courageous efforts of people around the world. 

And that’s why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity — for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away; and for all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime their lives for the cause of peace. 

That has always been the cause of America.  That’s why the world has always looked to America.  And that’s why I believe America will continue to lead.

Thank you very much.

END                                                    
11:22 A.M. EDT

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has rejected claims that the prize was awarded prematurely, and Geir Lundestad, the secretary of the committee told reporters, “We want to emphasise that he has already brought significant changes.  We do of course hope that there will be many concrete changes over the years but … We felt it was right to strengthen him as much as we can in his further struggle for his ideals.”

Personally, I disagree – I think it was premature, but I am proud that an American won the prize, and I hope Obama is a champion of peace throughout his presidency.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

Terri Land Ends Bid for Michigan Governor & Endorses Mike Bouchard

June 25, 2009

Earlier today Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) held a press conference where she was expected to announce her intentions to run for Governor in 2010.  Instead, she announced that she was putting and end to her exploratory committee and was endorsing Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

The following is an excerpt from her comments during the press conference:

I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration as a Republican candidate for Governor in 2010.  To my colleagues seeking the nomination, I wish you the best of luck.  The challenges ahead are great.  I believe Michigan needs a leader like Mike Bouchard.  I’ve worked with Mike for many years.  I have always been impressed with his ability to make tough decisions.  And I also appreciate his resourcefulness and grit: Mike is a real bulldog who won’t let challenges go unmet.

We’re both worried that our kids will be forced to leave Michigan to find jobs.

Mike realizes that it took a long time – and a lot of bad decisions – for our state to get here.  He knows that there aren’t any easy fixes or simple solutions to turn things around. Mike will do what’s right rather than what is popular.  And that’s the kind of leader we need to get Michigan working again.

And here’s some of what Bouchard said:

I’m really happy to have Terri’s support – it means a lot to me and my campaign.  Terri’s well respected across the state.  She’s a consensus builder who isn’t afraid to make the touch choices.  From day one as Secretary of State, she looked to cut costs and make her department more efficient.  We need more leaders like Terri who are working to turn our state around.

Terri’s endorsement is another big step forward for my campaign.  She is respected across the state as a true leader.  As Governor, I know that by working with leaders like Terri, we will fix Lansing so Michigan can get back to work. 

When asked “Where will you look for a Lieutenant Governor?”

Bouchard responded, “One [candidate] who would be and should be on anyone’s short list is standing here,” as he nodded toward Land.

The two also released the following video:

If you would’ve asked me who I honestly thought would win the race, I would’ve said Terri Land, so this comes as a shock to me.

But I think I may see where she’s coming from – a lot of people have said that as a woman, she’d be disadvantaged in the race, since she’d be running right after Granholm, who’s seriously screwed up the state.  Personally, I don’t think people will blame the state’s problems on electing a woman governor, but I may be putting too much faith in Michigan voters.

I think this move does tell us one thing though: Mike Bouchard has most likely picked a running mate, and I’m willing to bet that that running mate is Terri Land.

I was still undecided as to who I was supporting, but Land was up toward the top for me, and now that both her and L. Brooks Patterson have dropped out, I’m pretty much back to square one for figuring out who I’ll be backing.

I’ll continue to cover the race up until Election Day in 2010.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

John and Revé Walsh Hold a Press Conference on the Solving of Adam Walsh’s Murder by Ottis Toole

December 16, 2008

Today, the Hollywood, Florida Police Department announced that the case of Adam Walsh’s murder had been solved and that Ottis Toole, a long-time suspect was indeed the killer.  This decision was made by Police Chief Chad Wagner, the Hollywood Police Department, the Broward County District Attorney’s office, and the Walsh family.

After Adam was murdered, John and Revé Walsh, Adam’s parents, became advocates for missing children and founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  The Walshs also helped in getting the Missing Children Act of 1982, Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984, and Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 passed.

Here’s 3 clips of today’s press conference (all courtesy of MSNBC).  The first is Chief Wager’s statement:

And here is Revé’s statement to the press:

And lastly, here is John’s statement at the press conference:

Well, I am happy that this case has  finally been solved.  I’ve always watched America’s Most Wanted, and I have a lot of respect of the Walsh family and what they do.  I am glad that justice was finally served for little Adam.  My thoughts and prayers are with all the other families who have gone through what the Walsh family has gone through these past 27 years.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican

Where Was the Secret Service When President Bush Had 2 Shoes Thrown at Him?

December 15, 2008

Alright, I had hoped on doing this post earlier today, but I spent the entire day driving around trying to get a flu shot.

Anyway, I’m sure by now that most of you saw/heard about the incident where an Iraqi reporter threw 2 shoes at President Bush during a press conference on a surprise trip to Baghdad.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video:

Now, I can understand the Secret Service not stopping the first shoe throwing, but the second one (2 seconds later) never should have happened.  Why wasn’t the Secret Service shielding President Bush?  What if that hadn’t just been shoes?  What if it was a knife or some sharp object?

In my opinion, the Secret Service was way too slow to react here.  Hopefully something like this doesn’t happen again, but if it does, I hope the Secret Service does a better job of getting in the way quicker.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton “Sleep Deprived” When She Misspoke; What About the 3:00 A.M. Phone Call?

March 26, 2008

Alright, so last week Hillary Clinton was in Washington, D.C. and was discussing her trip to Bosnia in 1996.  She said the following concerning her landing at Tuzla airport: “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

CBS later released footage that showed that there was no sniper fire and that the plane landed routinely.

Clinton then said at a press conference in Greensburg, PA, “So I made a mistake.  That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.”

 OK, that’s fine – plenty of people misspeak (including myself), but then she said this: “I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke.”

And then the trouble started.  Do you remember that ad about the red phone ringing at 3:00 A.M.?  If not, see the video below:

HEHE – I just found this regarding that ad – I find this one quite amusing:

OK – back on track.  Now, personally, I could care less if she was sleep deprived – I get 5 hours of sleep a night – I understand not sleeping.  I don’t think the misspeaking was a big deal, but a lot of people are making fun of her about the 3:00 A.M. phone call ad and the fact that she misspeaks when sleep deprived.

On MSNBC’s website, Brian Hussein makes a comment saying, “She was ‘sleep-deprived’ and ‘misspoke’?  Would she be sleep-deprived and “misspeak” when the phone rings at 3 AM?  Perhaps she’d confuse the housing crisis with sniper fire and order a carpet bombing of Wall Street? <– insert sarcasm here,” and Sue from Bloomington, IN says, “She was sleep-deprived?  I hope she’ll be wide awake enough to answer that 3 a.m. phone call without misspeaking.  ‘you know, they told me there were snipers, you know and I just, you know, told them to take military action, you know….or was that Iraq?’”

So, this could become quite an embarrasment to her campaign, along with the revelation that the girl in the ad, Casey Knowles, is actually an Obama supporter.

All this infighting and McCain might not even have to campaign!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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A Little Lesson on “Freedom of Speech” – There are Consequences to What You Say

December 6, 2007

Yesterday, Judge Sidney H. Stein of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled against Debbie Almontaser, the former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, New York’s first Arabic-themed school, in Brooklyn.  Debbie was pressured to step down after her discussion of the word “intifada” during a press conference in August.  The word had been used on a t-shirt, and she was being criticized for her lack of  condemnation of the word.

The judge claimed that since she was being interviewed as the school principle and her employers were responsible for upholding the public image of the school, her speech was not protected under the first amendment.

Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union said, “This is just another example of how recent Supreme Court rulings are undermining constitutional rights in general and First Amendment rights in particular.”

Yes, she has the RIGHT to say what she said, but she also has the responsibility to uphold the public image of the school.  This is exactly the same as Don Imus and the “Taser This:  Bush!” editor-in-chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, David McSwane (http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2007/09/28/student-editor-should-be-fired-for-printing-taser-this-fk-bush/).

Don Imus had the RIGHT to say what he said, but CBS had the obligation to fire him because of 1) their public image and 2) the fact that their advertisers were pulling out.

The Editor-in-chief: he had the RIGHT to publish the ” Bush” letter to the editor, but at the point that advertisers started pulling out, his lack of judgment was seen and  he was justly fired.

The same goes here – she had the right to discuss the t-shirts, but when it causes people to look at the school in a worse manner, the school leadership has the responsibility of upholding the school’s image and firing (or urging to step down, as in this case) leaders who show poor judgment.

The lawsuit will go on to a trial, based on further evidence.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

FEMA: FAKE Emergency Management Agency

October 30, 2007

Well, I had meant to write about this before, but forgot, so now that the first personnel causality has taken place, I’ll write…

About a week ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a press conference, problem is, they forgot to tell the press until 15 minutes before, so they had them phone in, but not ask questions.  Instead, questions were posed by the staff.  And these were easy questions that made FEMA look good.

As a result, John P. Philbin, the agency’s public relations chief, was fired, even though he claims that the stunt was not intended to deceive the public, just inform them in the midst of the mistake in not alerting the press of the conference.  Sounds like bull crap, but it could be true.

This comes just 2 years after FEMA messed up when it came to Katrina (but let me say, it was not as much FEMA’s fault as we all say – “Mayor” Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco were just as much to blame – he should’ve just put people on buses and had them drive north – worry about where they’re going to stay AFTER they’re out of the city.  And Governor Blanco – how did you not know that it was your job to dispatch the state’s National Guard, not the Presidents? – that’s just BULL CRAP!)  Anyway, it is now policy that staff not ask questions and that reporters be given ample notification.  Russ Knocke, Homeland Security press secretary, has taken over the press operations of FEMA for the time being.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican


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