- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2009 (AFP) - President Barack Obama is to give a press conference Tuesday at 8 p.m., the White House said Wednesday.

The nationally televised press conference from the White House comes amid a series of public appearances by the president as he faces a mounting scandal over the government’s AIG bailout.

“This is a part of that effort to speak with the American people,” White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama flew to California.

Obama is making stops Wednesday and Thursday in California to press his economic recovery package, and was scheduled to be comedian Jay Leno’s guest on “The Tonight Show” Thursday.

Boiling public anger over news that AIG executives have received 165 million dollars in retention bonuses has overshadowed Obama’s other economic initiatives, confronting his administration with its biggest political challenge to day.

Obama’s advisors are concerned that the turn in public sentiment could complicate efforts to get Congress behind the next pieces of the administration’s strategy to pull the US economy out of its most serious recession since the Great Depression.

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