WASHINGTON — As he introduced his new choice for secretary of health and human services in the East Room this week, President Obama turned his head from right to left, but he wasn’t looking at the audience. He was reading from two teleprompters, strategically set up outside the tight television camera shot.
When he was done, the teleprompters quietly began retracting down to the floor. As she stepped forward to make her own remarks, his nominee, Kathleen Sebelius, seemed momentarily surprised.
“Don’t mind the little—— “ Mr. Obama said with a smile.
“It’s disappearing!” she joked.
Presidents have been using teleprompters for more than half a century, but none relied on them as extensively as Mr. Obama has so far. While presidents typically have used them for... +Continue Reading
Bush: The Difficult Decisions
In October 2006, things were not going well for George W. Bush or the Republicans. Iraq was a mess, and the fast-approaching midterm elections looked as though they would be a disaster. But the president was determined to give it his all, and that was how I found myself in suburban Detroit at a campaign rally for U.S. Senate hopeful Mike Bouchard.
I was a few months into my tenure as White House communications director — and a million miles removed from the press table at Reunion Arena, where I had been the Mavericks communications guy for almost two decades.
As the president concluded his remarks, I hustled for the motorcade. You see, just as the Mavericks team bus doesn’t wait for the PR guy, the presidential motorcade doesn’t wait... +Continue Reading
During a White House meeting last year on possible venues for press conferences, President Bush recalled seeing pictures of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman talking to a swarm of reporters around the desk at the Oval Office.
Bush wondered whether it was feasible to return to pre-televisions days and occasionally conduct a press conference at his desk. Kevin Sullivan, the White House director of communications, replied, “yeah, sort of like ‘throwback jersey day’ at the ballpark.”