The major newspapers and cable networks dinged the president for being at once too wonky and too vague, playing defense instead of delivering the push health care legislation needs to move forward on Capitol Hill.
“As a political reporter, I don’t really see what he got out of this thing,” Newsweek’s Howard Fineman said on MSNBC. “I think he seemed a little tired. There was not a lot of news in it. I know that he wants to play his card close to the vest in terms of negotiating with the Hill, but I think for those that wanted him to come out and to declare more specifically and forcefully what he wanted to see in the bill, it was notable more for the absence of that than for the inclusion of it. “
While the White House had built up the press conference as a chance for Obama to reclaim the initiative on health care, many pundits came away wondering what precisely the president had accomplished.
“I was sort of disappointed he didn’t say more. This was a press conference, that seems to me, a lost opportunity,” Juan Williams said on Fox News.