By: Joe Strupp
After addressing the journalists gathered at the annual Associated Press luncheon in Washington, D.C., today, Sen. Barack Obama, standing at the podium, took a few questions. The last one from the audience, delivered via AP chairman W. Dean Singleton, was related to Afghanistan, our troops in Iraq and the threat posed by, as Singleton put it, “Obama bin Laden.”
Obama quickly corrected Singleton. ?That?s Osama bin Laden,? he said. The crowd laughed a bit. “If I did that, I am so sorry,” Singleton replied.
Then Obama said, ?This is part of what I have been going through for the past months, which is why it is impressive that I am still standing here.?
Singleton earlier had introduced Obama by noting that there were more than 1100 attendees at the luncheon, believed to be the first sold out AP luncheon ever. ?One thing I can say about you is, you sure are a draw,” Singleton said. “You?ve done better than the Rolling Stones do. We are glad to have a little extra income….Imagine that, journalists and media folks slugging it out to pay to hear a politician.?
Last year?s speakers were Mike Huckabee and Eliot Spitzer. ?I can be sure that Sen. Obama did not spend last night at the Mayflower Hotel,? Singleton quipped.
Obama’s talk had amounted to little more than a basic stump speech and his answers to questions tended to be rather long-winded — at least until the Osama/Obama reference — and some luncheon attendees exited early.
Unlike Sen. John McCain this morning in speaking to the AP annual meeting, Obama did not tailor his talk to media issues and the debate over the proposed federal shield law for reporters.
The new book by E&P Editor Greg Mitchell, “So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits — and the President — Failed on Iraq,” looks at media sourcing and the war.