We started our trip with a visit to the Newseum, a museum of news where ABC actually films This Week with George Stephanopoulos. CNN also has a studio, and some of us even recognized CNN staff from our visit to the Democratic National Convention last fall.
At the Newseum, Stephen Hess, former advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter, gave a speech called “Inside Media: Presidential To Do’s.” He called on experience with presidential transitions since 1960 to discuss Obama’s transition and offer some advice. He commended Obama on many points, especially being flexible with feedback from experts, special interests, and others.
Another interesting point was that Obama will have to lose a little popularity abroad when it becomes apparent that he must continue to defend some of the same interests President Bush defended – for example when Obama needs to send more troops to Afghanistan.
He will certainly have to balance carefully between the idealistic imagery of his campaign and presidency and the reality of the office.