Last Presidential Presser of the Year: Live Blog

Why are they in the EEOB?

10:36: "Economy on solid footing, remarkable achievement, etc": repeat until true. Created twenty kajillion jobs. Best not to put number in context. Emphasis on the number, not the fact.

10:37: "Fix" social security for children and grandchildren... if you mean "fix" in as in "a horserace."

10:37: Elections in January "are only the beginning of a process." Translation: The country may explode, but it's only the beginning... give them time.

10:38: "We will increase U.S. troop strength" .... with steroids.

10:42: "It's complicated, it's complex rather than complicated. . ." Someone got a thesaurus for Christmas!

10:43 "The secretary of defense is a complex jobs. .. . complex in times of peace, complex in times of war." Someone really loves that thesaurus!

10: 45: On Kerik: "Council asks questions, nominee answers questions...." It sounds so simple when he says it.

10:46: "I've got great confidence in our vetting process." When it's done by the New York Daily News.

10:47: Just us or did he look nauseous? Thank God that Kerik crap is over. Now to the TV boys!

10:48: Our president's understanding of popular opinion is truly refined: "polls go up, polls go down..."

10:49: It is a Freudian slip when you're just being mean? "I was going to say before the intermitable press conference, I mean press party..."

10:51 "I had to work my way [through] the mass medias" to John King. Ah, yes, medias. Begat the internets, I understand.

10:55 Social Security reform is complicted: "The temptation is to get me to negotiate with myself in public . . . and they will want me to stop playing my hand. . ." Yes, stop negotiating with yourself of you'll go blind. Palms get hairy, etc.

10:56 "I just want to try to condition you but I'm not doing a very good job..." You keep acting like reporters.

10:57: "Don't bother to ask me. . . well, you can ask me, I can't tell you want to ask, that's not in the holiday spirit..." Yeah, this conditioning thing is not going well at all.

10:58: "I will try to explain how [Social Security reform will work] without negotiating with myself. . . very tricky way" you guys work." Going to have to start using electrodes and whatnot if you want this conditioning to really take, Mr. President. Maybe Gonzales can write a memo?

11:02: "Now, that's a very legitimate question." Translation: Dickerson isn't here.

11:04-11:09: Zzzzzz

11:09: "When you bring up Social Security reform, people go running around the country saying 'he's going to take away your check.'" Yes. Part of a successful reform effort is to lie better about that.

11:10: Watch the president get confused: "The formula I relied on won't change. . . Was trying to be really brilliant..." Yeah, don't try too hard. "Now what was the second part?"

11:12: "I'm not pretending to be an actuary." Actuaries everywhere breathe sigh of relief.

11:14: "Long border to the south. To the north for that matter. I was the governor of Texas! People are compassionate. Gotta stop the coyotes. Putting people in trucks. Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande. People out there, find them dead. Bad. System not compassionate. Not working. Not rational... Doesn't work like a rational system would with compassion and no coyotes and I was the governor of Texas, ok? Texas!!! ... Uhm, yeah."

11:18: "Habeas review" -- oh yeah, much grittier than Paris Review. Interviews more, uhm, grueling.

11:19: "I want to make sure before they're released that they don't come back and kill again." We're working on using a Ouija board. Already have them blindfolded and all.

11:20: "I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart." I keep it in a box on my desk, next to his balls.

11:21: "I've been in the diplomatic dental chair for four years!" Put the press in that chair and may be the conditioning will take.

11:23: "We can not short-cut the process." This press conference, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.


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