It appears as if Barack Obama is no longer afraid to do the "town hall" meet and greet that he so studiously avoided during his campaign against John McCain.
Well, before you give him props for going out there sans teleprompter, please be aware he had the next best thing: A room full of campaign backers that were as unthreatening as a UN nuclear inspector. The Washington Post (!) reports:
...while the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot.
They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008.
Give this guy anything but unconditional love (a room full of supporters, a one-way speech laid out on a teleprompter, a smoochfest on Leno ) and he falls apart, stumbling over his words, glowering at reporters, and otherwise acting immaturely and illogically.
Alas, the world (not to mention his own nation) will not fall in line behind his program as he believed it would. How will he treat the rising opposition to himself and his policies, with dialogue, respect and co-operation (as he promised) or with threats and intimidation?
You know which side my money is on...