A-Minus for Obama from CNN: 'Nuanced... Mastery... Articulate... Capable'

CNN's on-staff political analysts and reporters -- not just the left-wing political operatives (Paul Begala and Donna Brazile) were in awe of President Barack Obama's press conference performance. Just after it ended Wednesday night, senior political analyst David Gergen hailed how “in terms of mastery of the issues, we have rarely had a President who is as well briefed and speaks in as articulate a way as this President does.” Gergen enthused: “He's  nuanced. He's very complete. He's up to speed on the issues” and “he's taken it to a whole different level in the way he speaks about issues.” So, “I thought he was an A in terms of material, but given” Obama's inaccurate assurance he's opposed to bigger government, “I gave him an A-minus.”
 
Former CBS News reporter Gloria Borger, now also a senior political analyst for CNN, endorsed Gergen's grade, “I'm totally with him on that,” before recalling how Obama “reminded the American people that he's accomplished a lot, but he has a lot still left to do” and, she reverentially asserted: “That's because he has so much more that he's got to do than Presidents in recent memory.”

Up next, Roland Martin, the fill-in for Campbell Brown as anchor of CNN's 8 PM EDT hour, awarded Obama an A and then Washington correspondent Jessica Yellin declared Obama “is tackling so many issues at once and in such a capable way that it leaves the Republicans unable to target any one issue.”

From CNN's National Report Card: The First 100 Days, just past 9 PM EDT on Wednesday night, April 29:
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Let me just say, I thought that in terms of mastery of the issues, we have rarely had a President who is as well briefed and speaks in as articulate a way as this President does. He's  nuanced. He's very complete. He's up to speed on the issues. The briefings in the White House, the readings he's been done -- have clearly helped to educate him in ways. He's taken it to a whole different level in the way he speaks about issues.

That said, on one issue, I thought he was -- I thought he was a little disingenuous. And that is about growing government. You can't look at what his plans are on health care and look at his plans on energy and say he really doesn't want to extend the influence and grow government. I just think -- so on that basis, I thought he was an A in terms of material, but given that issue, I gave him an A-minus.

GLORIA BORGER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm with him. I'm totally with him on that. I thought it was a pretty lively news conference, so far as these things go. The interesting thing to me, though, was he said it twice. He said, you know, I would have liked a leaner portfolio. I would have liked to have come in like every normal president and just have two or three things to deal with, except now, that's not the hand I was dealt.

He reminded the American people that he's accomplished a lot, but he has a lot still left to do. And that's because he has so much more that he's got to do than Presidents in recent memory.

.....

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that what he's done tonight is shown that the Republicans have an enormous challenge going forward, because this man is tackling so many issues at once and in such a capable way that it leaves the Republicans unable to target any one issue. If he were just going after health care, they could hit him on that. If it were just the economy. But look at what he's doing. And it makes it such a dispersed field, they really don't have a target and they're really struggling.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center