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Obama news conference: What's surprising? Troubling?

April 29, 2009 |  6:01 pm

Suprising One reporter asks several questions. “What has surprised you the most? Humbled you the most? Enchanted you the most? Troubled ...”

“Let me write this down,” President Obama says, fetching a pen.

“Surprised, troubled, enchanted,” the reporter says.

“Nice,” says the president. “And what was the last one?”

 “Humbled.”

 There’s a pause as Obama considers, then takes each word, one by one:

Surprised? “I am surprised, compared to where I started, by the number of critical issues coming to a head all at the same time.” When he first starting running for office, Iraq was dominant. The economy was an issue. “Obviously I did not anticipate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” So unlike new administrations that deal with three big issues, he says, his has about eight to address.

Troubled? He’d prefer the word “sobered.” He says he disappointed that “change in Washington comes slow.”  Bickering and posturing remains, even in a crisis.

We'll get to enchanted and humbled in another post.

-- Steve Padilla

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