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Barack Obama: Our telegenic commander in chief

Obamanewsconf_2Barack Obama looked so … presidential in his first live televised news conference.

Where was the smirk? The pathetic attempts at humor? The wincing and squinting and squirming at tough questions? The tripping over the tongue?

Obama, sporting a dark suit and baby-blue tie, came off so calm, cool, collected and in charge, and telegenic as all get-out. Goodness knows we never got much of that from “The George W. Bush Show,” with all of its bad acting, ridiculous scripts and horrendous plots.

With Obama’s resonant voice and natural ease in front of cameras and microphones, he could have had a career in broadcasting had he not gone into politics.

Given the flood of bad economic news this morning, Obama opened Friday’s newser in what felt like an appropriately somber tone. At first he seemed to be keeping a close eye on his prepared remarks, but he warmed up during the Q&A period. He also knows how to warm up a room full of reporters, paying respect to the local print journos who covered him when. Obama made a point of calling out for a question from Chicago Tribune’s John McCormick (“let’s give the home town local guy a little bit of time”), and a few moments later asked Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet “what happened to your arm?”

(Those of us watching on TV couldn’t see exactly but I’m guessing she had a brace or cast on. From what we could gather it was some kind of injury she got in the crowd at Grant Park on Tuesday night for Obama’s victory celebration. As the prez-elected noted, Sweet’s injury “was probably the only major incident during the entire Grant Park celebration.”)

Sweet asked the sweet question of exactly what kind of dog the Obamas are planning to get for their daughters, as the president-elect noted in his victory speech on Tuesday night. Obama showed a sense of humor by noting that “this is a major issue for the Obamas” and that there are “two criteria that need to be reconciled” in regard to the procurement of the pooch.

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