Will Harper and Obama get along?

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Max Bialystock
Will Harper and Obama get along?

 

Max Bialystock

There seems to be this silly belief that the "rightwing" Harper feared the election of the "leftwing" Obama because supposedly he didn't share his neoconservative views. I say that's nonsense. When it comes to Afghanistan, I have trouble telling Obama and Harper apart, except maybe Obama is more bellicose in his rhetoric. Obama's healthcare plan is also the kind of plan Harper would love to implement in Canada.

Max Bialystock

And yet Jack Layton thinks he's Canada's Obama...why is Jack putting himself down?

Sean in Ottawa

Sure if you ignore all context such conclusions make sense. But the reality is that Obama is reaching far enough to the left in the US that he was almost unelectable with a thin popular vote lead.

Layton is further left for sure but in a context where that might be electable. Both candidates based on their contexts were as leftward as they could be and still be relevant. In the US system of course there is no functional opposition at the presidential level so the option of having a minority of seats in a more pure policy base is an option Layton may have but Obama does not have.

Let's watch Obama not only in the context he is but measure him by how far he can bring the US not by positions taken out of context. The same is true when regarding historical figures-- we do not apply the standards of today to those who lived 100 years ago-- what was radical then woudl be redneck today.

the big issue, one we will get to see, is how much of Obama was rhetoric and how much will be real change. As nice as it is to make pronouncements I think we need to wait awhile.

That said, it sure is nice to see such a high profile racial barrier come down and I'd like to celebrate that a while before criticizing too much. And yes I cringed when he said things I did not like but know that without saying some of those things he would not be in a position to do some of the things I hope he may yet do.

Mojoroad1

I think Sean has it right... wait and see. And Layton does not think he's Canada's "Obama"... He (and his team) studied his tactics, and has (some) points of mutual agreement (at least with the regards to some rhetoric, inc the renegotiation of NAFTA, Cap and Trade etc. But, by saying that he thinks he is frikkin Obama, you're just buying into a cheap Con talking point.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Harper is an American sycophant, he will fall into line with Obama without the least hesitation.

Lord Palmerston

I think it will be easier to sell "deep integration" given that Obama is much more popular in Canada than Harper is.

Stockholm

Now all of a sudden, the American President is vastly more popular in canada than the canadian PM. It will be like Diefenbaker and Kennedy all over again.

West Coast Greeny

Where's Pearson, then?

ghoris

I think the Chretien-Clinton and Mulroney-Reagan/Bush relationships are the exception that proves the rule - generally Canadian PMs and American Presidents are not all that buddy-buddy.

In the grand scheme of things, I think history will show that Harper was not the Bush sycophant everyone makes him out to be (albeit mostly because Harper was smart enough not to lash himself to a sinking ship).

Chretien's people called GW a "moron" and GW's folks called Chretien a dinosaur. Not much love lost there.

I don't think Trudeau ever really got along like a house on fire with any of his American counterparts, although he had high praise for Gerald Ford in his memoirs for insisting Canada be included in the G7. And of course we've all heard this famous story:
Nixon: "That asshole Trudeau"
Trudeau: "I've been called worse things by better people"

Then there was the famous LBJ-Pearson "You pissed on my rug!" flap over Vietnam. I don't think Pearson got on particularly well with Kennedy either and of course Kennedy and Dief couldn't stand one another. And as Martin Prince said on The Simpsons, St. Laurent and Eisenhower's relationship was "frosty at best". [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Doug

The relationship depends on what Obama chooses to do about two things - international trade and climate change. If anything more than very minor changes to NAFTA are planned and/or Obama lets Congress legislate protectionist actions against Canada, Harper won't be happy. If the new American cap-and-trade policy on greenhouse gas emissions is at all ambitious (that is, at all useful), he'll be complaining and trying to weaken it. Those are the main points of friction I can see.

Stockholm

Actually, I think Trudeau got along very well with Jimmy Carter (not surprising since they were both very intellectual and religious in a progressive way).

Whether leaders of different countries get along or not often has more to do with personal chemistry than it does with ideology. Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl were both rightwing - and yet supposedly hated each other. But then Kohl got a long like a house on fire with John Major.

Blair and Schroeder never got along despite having a similar philosophy. Mitterand secretely tried to do things to help Kohl win in Germany and betrayed his SPD allies etc...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
[b]Actually, I think Trudeau got along very well with Jimmy Carter (not surprising since they were both very intellectual and religious in a progressive way).[/b]

Trudeau religious???

Stockholm

Trudeau was quite a devout Catholic and was a church goer. He was part of Action Catholique when he was young and wrote about his religioius beliefs quite a bit.

Max Bialystock

OK but do you believe the nonsense that Harper was quaking in fear about an Obama victory?

brookmere

quote:


Originally posted by Sean in Ottawa:
[b]The same is true when regarding historical figures-- we do not apply the standards of today to those who lived 100 years ago-- what was radical then woudl be redneck today.[/b]

Actually in the US it can be the other way around - what was mainstream then sounds radical now.

quote:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

Abraham Lincon



quote:

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”

Theodore Roosevelt


Hard to imagine most Democrats saying such things these days, never mind a Republican.

remind remind's picture

Excellent quotes brookmere thank you!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, those are good ones.

Stockholm

quote:


OK but do you believe the nonsense that Harper was quaking in fear about an Obama victory?

I think it would be a gross over-statement to say that Harper was "quaking in fear of an Obama victory". I suspect that he is mildly disappointed by the results because being a rightwing politician himself - Harper likes it when people he agrees with win elections.

There is no question that between having Labour take power in Australia and having Obama in power in the US, Harper is more ideologically isolated in the English-speaking world (though he may gain an ally in New Zealand next week) - and it is probably a tad more difficult to move Canada in an opposite direction to where the US is now heading. But on the other hand, Harper no longer has to bear the burden of being accused all the time of being "Bush's poodle" etc... What are people going to denounce him for now? Being too close to Obama? It just doesn't have the same ring to it.

ghoris

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
There is no question that between having Labour take power in Australia and having Obama in power in the US, Harper is more ideologically isolated in the English-speaking world (though he may gain an ally in New Zealand next week) - and it is probably a tad more difficult to move Canada in an opposite direction to where the US is now heading.

I think it's a near-certainty that John Key will be Prime Minister of New Zealand before November is out. It is also extremely likely that David Cameron will be the next Prime Minister of Great Britain, although Gordon Brown could conceivably delay that until the spring of 2010.

Elsewhere in the industrialized world, France, Germany, Italy and Japan all tilted to the right in their most recent national elections.

quote:

But on the other hand, Harper no longer has to bear the burden of being accused all the time of being "Bush's poodle" etc... What are people going to denounce him for now? Being too close to Obama? It just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Exactly. If I were Harper I'd be relieved Obama won instead of McCain. I can't see the NDP putting Obama in a scare ad next election.

Stockholm

Don't be too sure about the UK. The Labour Party unexpectedly won a byelection today by a wide margin and apparently Brown's numbers are on the upswing and the Tories are in the midst of some scandals.

I don't think you can say that Japan has moved to the right. They have had the same party in power for the last 55 years - and they are basically a Christian Democrat style centrist big government party. I don't think Harper will suddenly bond with the leaders of Japan for any ideological reason.

Germany has a grand coalition and Merkel's CDU are like reddest of red Tories from the Clark/Stanfield era in Canada.

The US is the elephant in the room. Having a very liberal Democrat as President of the US definitely creates a zeitgeist that makes Harper's style of neo-conservatism look totally out of place and anachronist.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
Merkel's CDU are like reddest of red Tories from the Clark/Stanfield era in Canada.

If true, that would put them to the left of Obama and U.S. Democrats.

Stockholm

That may not be far from the truth. Germany has some of the world's most advanced social programs and policies and the CDU has been in power most of the time since the end of WW2. German rightwingers (who tend to support the very free-market FDP) often lament that in Germany there are two "socialist" parties - the SPD and the CDU!! (now you could argue that there are four if we add in the Left Party and the Green Party!)

Lord Palmerston

Germany does have one of the most advanced welfare states around but it's quite a different creature from the Scandinavian ones. Gosta Esping-Andersen calls it a "conservative-corporatist" type of welfare state in his book Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. It historically rejected laissze-faire capitalism, but also was structured to support the traditional family (i.e. male breadwinner, encouraged the role of women as wives and mothers). Thus Germany has had historically much lower participation rates for women, compared to say Sweden where women's equality and participation in the labor market was a key goal. Of course there's been a neoliberal swing everywhere and the distinctiveness of Christian Democratic parties (and for that matter social democratic parties) are less than they used to be.

West Coast Lefty

Meanwhile, [url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=55d4c238-d5... Riley[/url] reports on the positive and negative implications of Harper's huge rush to embrace Obama on climate change:

quote:

So Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to make common cause with his new friend Barack Obama on a continental approach to climate change. A stunning reversal by a long-time climate skeptic, a cynical dodge, or good news for planet Earth? At the moment, all three are possibilities -- although a green victory party may be premature.

First, for all the excitement generated by Obama's victory -- including among U.S. environmentalists -- the President-elect's ambitions are relatively modest, at least compared to leading edge opinion in Canada and elsewhere. In fact, Tories are right when they claim even Harper's targets for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change are slightly stronger.

The Harper plan would (theoretically) produce a three per cent reduction in emissions by 2020. By contrast, Obama has suggested he wants only to stabilize 2020 emissions at 1990 levels. While Obama's plan is an important advance in the United States, says Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation, "the level of ambition is less than what is being talked about in Canada, except for the Conservative cabinet."

More delay may be just what the Harper government is counting on, say some environmentalists. While it is true, as various Tory ministers have been claiming, that Obama and Harper both embrace a cap-and-trade approach to restraining emissions, Harper's plan is much weaker. It is based on "intensity" targets -- reducing emissions per barrel, not overall -- while Obama has endorsed hard caps. Now begins the complicated and time-consuming process of negotiating those caps with various industries on both sides of the border. (In a cap-and-trade system, government establishes a slowly escalating price for carbon emissions and allows companies to trade pollution permits as they move, at different rates, towards cleaner technologies.)

This could delay by another seven years (at least) a process that is already woefully behind schedule -- a leisurely pace that discounts the urgent warnings of science and mounting public concern. Indeed, there are those who believe this has been the Harper plan all along: wait for the Americans to move and fall into line. In 2006, for instance, the Harper government promised regulations establishing its caps by 2010. Those regulations have been twice delayed. They may be abandoned altogether if the new focus becomes Obama's plan, which isn't expected to kick in until 2015 -- giving Canada's oil patch, if not the polar bears, more breathing room.


It will be very interesting to watch this unfold, and esp to see the reaction of Layton (who openly championed Obama's endorsement of cap and trade as a rationale to oppose the carbon tax), BC NDP leader Carole James and other die-hard Dipper partisans who champion cap-and-trade and hate the carbon tax.

As many of us with more nuanced positions feared, cap-and-trade with Harper and Obama risks becoming a "talk and pollute" shell game which lets the big emitters off the hook for nearly another decade, while GHG emissions soar. That is precisely why we need a carbon tax now, to start pricing carbon in the interim period while cap and trade gets up and running.

Will Layton have the courage to slam Obama if he cuts a deal with Harper along the lines of Riley's column? And if he does, what will the NDP alternative be?

Max Bialystock

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
The US is the elephant in the room. Having a very liberal Democrat as President of the US definitely creates a zeitgeist that makes Harper's style of neo-conservatism look totally out of place and anachronist.

Given their shared positions on Afghanistan, Israel, same-sex marriage...it's hard for me to tell apart a "neoconservative" like Harper and a "very liberal Democrat" like Obama. But I guess I'm alone in caring more about policy than labels.

Stockholm

In that case EVERYONE in North America is a so-called neo-con - since virtually every mainstream politician in both countries is relatively "pro-Israel". There are tons of issues where Obama and Harper differ - Obama believes that global warming exists, harper doesn't. Obama wants to expand the role of government and wants to move towards universal health care in the US - Harper wants to move in the opposite direction. Obama opposed the war in Iraq, harper supported it.

On the issue of same sex marriage - I suspect that personally both Harper and Obama support it - but harper has to keep his base happy and Obama probably knows that in the US you can't put the horse before the cart - but Obama is also regarded as having just about the most gay-positive record of anyone in the US senate and his speeches regularly make reference to gay and straight Americans. harper never says a word and just wishes that social issues would go away. Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. harper wants to cut them.

The US has been under extreme rightwing rule for the past eight years (and the period before that wasn't anything special either). Trying to make really big changes in the US will be like turning an oil tanker around.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by West Coast Lefty:
[b]It will be very interesting to watch this unfold, and esp to see the reaction of Layton (who openly championed Obama's endorsement of cap and trade as a rationale to oppose the carbon tax), BC NDP leader Carole James and other die-hard Dipper partisans who champion cap-and-trade and hate the carbon tax.[/b]

Norway is an energy exporting nation, like Canada. And GHG emissions in Norway have soared even with a carbon tax in place. But we're not reading many critiques of that experiment from advocates for carbon taxes.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
The US has been under extreme rightwing rule for the past eight years (and the period before that wasn't anything special either). Trying to make really big changes in the US will be like turning an oil tanker around.

With the Rahm Emanuel pick as chief of staff I think we may be going back to Clinton-style govt.

Stockholm

I don't read anything into that. The Chief of Staff is essentially there to direct traffic and run a tight ship at the White House. He or she has little or no role in policy making.

miles

actually Stock the chief of staff makes 99 percent of the decisions of the white house before the presdident ever knows about them.

Lord Palmerston

There was a discussion of Harper and Obama on last night's Agenda with Steve Paikin which included Raymond Chretien and Prof. Stephen Clarkson.

One thing that concerns me is given Obama's massivep popularity in Canada - could that lead to a surge in public support for the Afghanistan war, or at the least, undermine the anti-war movement?

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Lord Palmerston ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I don't think so. What it likely means is that the Liberals will likely be looking to Ignatieff to lead them -- and the country. In fact, I will predict Ignatieff will be the next PM of Canada.

djelimon

quote:


actually Stock the chief of staff makes 99 percent of the decisions of the white house before the presdident ever knows about them.

I think that specifics of that dynamic will depend on who the president is.

Stockholm

I think that Obama being President is going to create a crisis for a lot of people on the left in Canada. For so many years, Bush was there like a security blanket - everytime you wanted to criticize anyone or anything - all you had to do was bring Bush into the discussion and nothing more had to be said. He was the ultimate "man you love to hate". The years were a bonanza for Canadian nationalism and for being able to mobilize Canadian public opinion against all kinds of stuff. If Bush said "black" we could all happily say "white". We were able to be so smug in the knowledge that the US president was a virtual parody of every negative American stereotype known to man.

Now with Obama as President that all stops dead. Suddenly people will have to make substantive arguments and not just rely on "If Bush supports it - it must be bad" etc...

For the past few years the biggest knock against Harper was that he supported the Bush agenda etc... so what happens now? Do we start having mass marches accusing Harper of being too close to Obama? Do we start to see TV ads where Harper and Obama's face are super-imposed on one another?

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]I don't think so. What it likely means is that the Liberals will likely be looking to Ignatieff to lead them -- and the country. In fact, I will predict Ignatieff will be the next PM of Canada.[/b]

And even when Ignatieff is Liberal leader, we'll still be hearing how we must support the Liberals to stop Harper and how the Liberals are much closer to the NDP on the issues than to the uniquely evil Tories.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Absolutely.

Lord Palmerston

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
I think that Obama being President is going to create a crisis for a lot of people on the left in Canada.

I didn't realize you considered the Liberals part of the "left"? The Canadian politician who I think is most guilty of Harper = Bush is Bob Rae, who kept referring to the Conservatives as the Republican farm team.

Stockholm

I guess I was thinking of the NDP ads that ran in Quebec that showed Harper and Bush together etc...

I suppose that not being able to depict Harper as a Bush acolyte will also make it harder for Liberals to do their "You must vote Liberal to STOP Harper the Bush clone" shtick.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I think it's still valid. I think Ignatieff will play up his connections to Obama and his ability to see eye-to-eye and work closely.

As well, Harper right now is trying to snuggle up warmly to Obama. I think that can backfire.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Stockholm:
[QB]I think that Obama being President is going to create a crisis for a lot of people on the left in Canada. For so many years, Bush was there like a security blanket - everytime you wanted to criticize anyone or anything - all you had to do was bring Bush into the discussion and nothing more had to be said. He was the ultimate "man you love to hate". The years were a bonanza for Canadian nationalism and for being able to mobilize Canadian public opinion against all kinds of stuff. If Bush said "black" we could all happily say "white". We were able to be so smug in the knowledge that the US president was a virtual parody of every negative American stereotype known to man.

I wouldn't worry about it Stockholm. The Obama=Bush, Obama is No Better then Bush narrative is being diligently set all over the place including right here on Babble. Any out right contraian or more generalized nuanced views are firmly being challenged and anything potentially positive stamped out. First on sheer policy arguments and assured speculation about future actions and now with questions being brought up about peoples morality for daring to 'go there'...in a generalized way of course. Must tow the line. Prevention is key.
Obama=Bush, learn the mantra, live it, breath it, or forever forgo your leftie cred, it's easier that way. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Good observation though.

Stockholm

A few fringe people in the loony left (ie: to the left of the NDP) may be trying to start an Obama=Bush mantra - but I predict it won't go anywhere. The great centre-left majority in Canada will love Obama for everything he represents and there will NEVER be the kind of hate on for him that there was for Bush.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

That from the loony faux left.

Stockholm

Think back to when Clinton was President. I don't remember anyone being attacked for being friendly with Clinton and there was none of the anri-American sentiment that characterized the Bush era.

Bush will be missed. You won't have him to kick around anymore and it will be very challenging to get people to hate Obama.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Well you see, that is where we are very, very different. I am not interested, at all, in getting anyone to hate anyone nevermind Obama. I would prefer people to critically look at the people who surround him and the policies they pursue as members of his administration. One of the fundamental policies of the Bush administration was the right of America to attack without provocation and to advance its interests at anytime and anywhere. Obama doesn't contest this policy. In fact, as much as Obama accused McCain as being a continuation of the Bush regime, Obama, himself, has supported Bush's war funding, curtailments of civil liberties, and the huge transfer of wealth to the banksters.

Obama doesn't reject the Bush Doctrine, he questions the theatre of operations and that is all.

Mc'lovin

fm

Do you believe another attack similar to 9/11 is likely or possible and what if anything can Obama do to protect against it. (excluding anything that would be against what you believe should be allowable in terms of a countries national security) or do you think such attacks against civilians are justified in any way?

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b] The Obama=Bush, Obama is No Better then Bush narrative is being diligently set all over the place including right here on Babble. Any out right contraian or more generalized nuanced views are firmly being challenged and anything potentially positive stamped out. First on sheer policy arguments and assured speculation about future actions and now with questions being brought up about peoples morality for daring to 'go there'...in a generalized way of course. Must tow the line. Prevention is key.
Obama=Bush, learn the mantra, live it, breath it, or forever forgo your leftie cred, it's easier that way. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Good observation though.[/b]


I agree and am personally still sorting through all the potential reasons why this happening.

Was speaking with my "republican" friend from Long Island yesterday morning, for several hours in fact, about the election, Obama/McCain and what does he perceive.

Found out, some interesting and boggling to me, stuff. Some are

1. The perception is that Obama is "far left" even by Canadian standards. :bigeyes:

2. Believes Obama will govern more to the right that what he has stated he will.

3. He and his family voted for Obama and democrat for the first time because of Palin and "Christian" fundamentalists.

4. Has hopes that Obama's first move is to get closer to Canada diplomatically, so that the Canadian social justice infrastructure can be looked at, for adaptation to the US system. As well as enhanced for cooperation on environmental initiatives.

5. Hopes for a more open border, as opposed to the more closed one under Bush.

6. Believes that there will be a more internalization of US activities, and less focus on external imperialist activities, out of necessity.

7. Is more worried about Pelosi and Reid, than Obama. Is happy that the Democrats fell short of 60 seats.

8. Is not sure about the future of the Republican party with the apparent splintering of the factions within it.

9. Thought that the federal bailout of the banks was wonderful and necessary.

10. Does not believe that the US will continue in either Iraq, nor Afghanistan, and that it will drop most of its ME activities and will focus more on issues in Africa. :bigeyes: (for a variey of reasons)

11. Does not believe Rahm Emanuel's presence signifies anything to do with actioning more pro-Israelis policies, and more to do with developing more economic trade ties and "foreign" cooperation.

12. Is incredibly happy that there is a regime change and Bush is gone, even if little changes as first, as he feels like a weight has been lifted off of himself and other Americans.

Of course, I shared my differing opinions on all of that. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Mc'lovin:
[b]fm

Do you believe another attack similar to 9/11 is likely or possible and what if anything can Obama do to protect against it. (excluding anything that would be against what you believe should be allowable in terms of a countries national security) or do you think such attacks against civilians are justified in any way?[/b]


Why is that relevant at all?

Mc'lovin

It seems you are arguing that Obama would have launched the same wars if he were in Bush's spot in 2001

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]
1. The perception is that Obama is "far left" even by Canadian standards. :bigeyes:
[/b]

The McCain campaign, with some reinforcement by the media, spent months trying to convince Americans that Obama is the The Most Liberal Senator Ever (based on a single magazine article about his voting record in 2007 that only included 2/3 of the votes held in that year). When that didn't scare the voters enough, in the final weeks of the campaign they began calling him a socialist. Of course now that Americans have elected this man of the "far left", the same people are trying to claim that it means the U.S. is actually a "centre-right" country. Such is the logic of American politics.

If you look at his policy proposals I think they suggest a fiscal conservative roughly comparable to our own Conservatives, and a social moderate roughly comparable to the right side of our Liberals. I say "roughly" in both cases because direct comparisons are a little complicated. Different countries with different systems of government and different cultures.

On foreign policy he appears to have a serious case of American Exceptionalism but it remains to be seen how much of that is rhetoric designed to win an election and how much will show up in his actual policy. I don't expect him to do things as stupidly as Bush did but I expect him to do things we really don't like in an effort to project and protect American power. I'm trying to leave room to be at least a little pleasantly surprised now and then. (By way of comparison, towards the end of the campaign I began to wonder if [i]any[/i] of us would survive a full term of a John McCain presidency.)

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
On foreign policy he appears to have a serious case of American Exceptionalism but it remains to be seen how much of that is rhetoric designed to win an election and how much will show up in his actual policy. I don't expect him to do things as stupidly as Bush did but I expect him to do things we really don't like in an effort to project and protect American power. I'm trying to leave room to be at least a little pleasantly surprised now and then. (By way of comparison, towards the end of the campaign I began to wonder if [i]any[/i] of us would survive a full term of a John McCain presidency.

Thats pretty much how I see it a feel.

The one other thing that some probably see it as inconsequential but for me at least fits into the not like Bush is that he can actually talk intelligentally and with nuance. I think the press is going to have to get used to that. No more quotes and soundbites on the 'eviler doers' and "I'm the decider" level.
I saw saw MSM coverage of his first press conference, it was typical, sounbitety and with little depth. What the MSM said made me go what? Then I went and actually watched most of it and read the transcript it was quite different then what the press said he said. Even though on some parts I still said 'what?' it sure was refreshing.