The President’s Speech: Tales by Twitter

That, and other news, in today’s Roundup and Recap.

President Obama’s speech may have been the most Twittered event in history, what with all of the lawmakers, media figures and bloggers offering up nuggets of much snark and things stark. But the Twitter phenomenon — which has taken off like wildfire in D.C. media circles in recent weeks — seems to belie the message that Obama was conveying, that the crisis won’t offer quick explanations or solutions, but long-term investment.

Howard Kurtz writes in the Washington Post, “The president’s address to Congress last night was an important piece of political theater. But the media-crafted idea that even someone with his oratorical skills can lift us out of this deep financial hole is a bit fanciful.

“Yes, in the grand tradition of “nothing to fear but fear itself,” a president’s words matter. But as much as Americans like the idea of a quick fix, rescuing the banking system, the housing market and the economy itself is going to take months or years of painful measures.”

He also reports, “ABC flashed a headline that Terry Moran was Twittering the speech. When Obama said his vice president would ride herd on the programs, Moran wrote: ” ‘Nobody messes with Joe.’ I dunno. Biden is many things. An enforcer?””

Katie Couric, herself a new Twitter adherent, posted a link to her blog in which she offers some details to the meeting that Obama had with herself and the other network news anchors in advance of the speech. 

The conversation was on background, but Couric offered up some details.

Whblog_0225 She writes,”The president’s mood was good. Serious, but upbeat – and he seemed to be very cognizant of the huge responsibility and challenging situation he’s facing vis-à-vis the economy. The White House, he feels, is a very nice place to live, especially because he can have dinner almost every night with his family. The Obamas play a game called roses and thorns, where the girls talk about the good things that happened to them that day and the bad things – a device that gets them to “open up.” (I need to try that tactic at my dinner table!) One night, Malia, after hearing about some of her father’s challenges, remarked that he had a “very thorny job!” Meanwhile, all the baubles – perks like Camp David, helicopters, etc. – still make it hard to live in a bubble, it seems, because the President can’t go to the corner drugstore, run on the National Mall, or sit in a diner and soak in the mood or overhear conversations. 

“He said he wishes he could do the job anonymously. At that point, his senior adviser said: “Then you’d be Dick Cheney.” That got a big laugh. ” Couric also wrote that Obama missed the Oscars, but praised “Slumdog Millionaire.” “It reminded him of growing up in Jakarta, where he lived between the ages of 6 and 10.”

More on the lunch from Politico’s Michael Calderone, who notes that George Stephanopoulos tweeted the menu: lobster bisque, seared Virginia bass with leeks and potato, and lemon sorbet. Calderone also notes that it was Chris Matthews who was caught on live mike saying “Oh, God” as Bobby Jindal began to deliver his response.
Update: Matthews provided this statement to Calderone: “I was taken aback by that peculiar stagecraft, the walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd antebellum look of the scene,” Matthews said. “Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?
Photo: Time has launched a new blog of candid photos from the White House, with Corbis’ Brooks Kraft taking the above shot last night.
Censored Content: Asian satellite service STAR edited out the words “gay” and “lesbian” whenever they were mentioned by Sean Penn or Dustin Lance Black during their acceptance speeches at the Oscars.

Music Moments: Patti LaBelle, Sheryl Crow and showed up on Capitol Hill to lobby for the Performance Rights Act, which would require radio stations to pay artist performers when they play their songs. The Post’s Reliable Sources reports that Dionne Warwick also was present.”I’m going into my 48th year in this industry, and for that period of time my recordings have been played worldwide with no amount of compensation coming to Dionne Warwick,” she said. “I think it’s about time that I do get paid.”

But the column’s Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger take issue with Warwick. They write, “Guess that means she can relate to all the people who got stiffed at the American Music Inaugural Ball she was supposed to host last month. You know, the one at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel — hundreds of dollars per ticket, canceled at the last minute? Our colleague Marissa Newhall chased Warwick out into the hallway yesterday for an update.”Honey, that’s something we’re not gonna talk about,” she said with a dismissive wave before disappearing into an elevator.”

Newman’s Own: Yeas & Nays reports that Congress is just now getting around to honoring Paul Newman.

Matthews Hits Post: Chris Matthews calls the Washington Post’s story on the FBI investigating Jack Valenti “horrendous.”

Balloted Out: There’s more setbacks for Norm Coleman in his challenge to Al Franken.
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