The line to get in stretched about 500 feet down a long hallway at the convention center hosting the conference and the 800 seats were all full inside, prompting scores of reporters to line the walls.
When Obama arrived, dozens of the print reporters in the audience stood to take their own keepsake photographs on camera phones and BlackBerrys behind the news photographers thronging the entire width of the vast stage.
When the president departed after nearly an hour, dozens more reporters offered him applause — something one veteran reporter who has covered the globe for decades said he could not recall seeing except for in authoritarian nations.
In between, a veritable auction broke out when Obama said he would intersperse questions from international journalists.
Reporters shouted out the name of their country or continent to plead that he call on them.
“You know, we’re not doing bidding here,” Obama joked, winning titters from the fawning correspondents.
After the press conference, a beaming Swiss reporter turned to an American colleague.
“Your president is just so impressive,” she said. “Is he always so relaxed and open?”
Earlier a Moscow TV crew had come around to the American section of the press file center asking if reporters would go on camera to discuss Obama.
Hat tip: Allahpundit via Twitter.
Update 15:41. Thanks to Seton Motley for telling me about the duplicate link. I've fixed it so you can now visit the original report from Politico.