Barack Obama is in Southern California tonight and tomorrow. He’ll be the first president since Grover Cleveland not to crack jokes at the Washington Press Corps’ Gridiron dinner on Saturday night, and the first sitting president to appear
on a late-night talk show. With a supportive audience of 1000 at the Orange County Fair Grounds this afternoon, he was relentlessly upbeat despite all the problems he faces, including the growing public outrage over tax-paid bonuses to failed executives, and he took responsibility. The President made a pitch for his budget and answered questions on unemployment, credit-card interest rates, pink-slips for teachers, immigration and the international banking system. Was it an honest effort to hear from the people? Political theater? Will it help get his programs adopted on Capitol Hill?