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President Obama Says Hi
WASHINGTON (CAP) - Breaking from the traditional issue-oriented daily press conference, today President Obama took to the podium in the White House briefing room to simply say hi to the gathered reporters and media outlets. He then asked how everyone was doing and whether or not they had a good weekend.
"You know, we devote so much time talking about this crisis and that crisis that, uhh, it's good to take a breather every now and then and just say - Hey, what's up?" Obama said. "The thing is, when you spend every day rolled over a barrel, it's nice to be able to just stand up and, uhh, stretch your legs on occasion."
Most who were present at the briefing said they were appreciative of the brief hiatus from the typical routine, relaxing as Obama regaled them with stories about how he ran out of half-n-half and had to drink his coffee black, or how moody Michelle was because it's that time of month, or how chilly it was in the limo that morning until the heat kicked in. Many said it was like "the good old days" of when Obama first took office and everyone was happy and gay.
"It's like, here I am, just talking with this regular guy, this regular black guy, and I'm not worried about being mugged or raped or murdered," said one Washington Post reporter. "No barking from the dogs, no smog - and the White House chef cooked a breakfast with no hog.
"I can't believe, today was a good day," added the reporter.
Pundits and bloggers who were waiting for the latest topic du jour about which to write instead found themselves comparing this kinder, gentler Obama to the one who told everyone they can "all just go to hell" back in August, 2009. However, many pointed out that saying hi to the American people really should be the vice president's job.
"Where the heck is Biden anyway?" said Huffington Post political reporter Sam Stein in a phone interview with CAP News. "I mean, he is long, long overdue for saying something stupid - oh, hey, look, my December GQ just arrived. Can we chat later?"
As word of the presidential lovefest spread, Republican leaders tired of railing against Obama for the same thing day in and day out took the opportunity to renew their attacks and enjoy a little change of pace. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who had been in a self-admitted Obama-attack rut as of late, took to the Senate floor firing on all cylinders.
"I don't want a president who cares how I'm doing, I want a president who - oh, hey look, he sent me a Thinking Of You ecard," said McConnell. "Oh, these penguins are a riot. Hang on, let me forward this to you guys. You gotta see this."
Obama acknowledged that things haven't been as fun as they used to be and that politics doesn't have to be "all doom and gloom." He said he hopes he can continue to add a little levity to the daily sparring with angry Republicans, disgruntled Democrats, and anyone disillusioned with the current state of jobs and the economy.
"Except those Tea Party folks," he noted. "They can't take a joke at all. No sense of humor."