The Daily Telegraph

Barack Obama is running scared of tough questions
The Daily Telegraph

I would have more insights on the mood and appearance of the president, but like the other DC based correspondents I was deemed surplus to requirements by the White House, who clearly had no intention of letting British and American journalists question the pair, as is customary, for 40 minutes or more. I’m not even sure the whole of the travelling lobby pack got in.

Major British hack involvement in a full blown press conference has always been regarded as useful by the White House press corps. We ask different questions from them, usually more aggressively and get answers they could not. There were several spiky and revealing moments between President Bush and the BBC political editor Nick Robinson. It is bizarre that Mr Obama is less willing to answer questions than Mr Bush. It reflects very poorly on his tendency towards control freakery, which has been in evidence since his campaign.

Obama has been running scared of the international media and the British press in particular since the start of his campaign. He didn’t give a single interview to a British outlet even when he was in the UK. This is very unusual, particularly from a man who so desperately wants to be loved on the world stage. We know we’re not special, given Obama’s general contempt for beat reporters (as opposed to his schmoozing with editors), but it is still peculiar.