- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

President Obama apparently has dug himself so deep into the black hole called White House public relations that the media world sat up in shock when he told reporters at a press conference: “I’ll take a question,” he said.

In fact, he took not just one but two questions from reporters during press conferences last week, Politico reported.

The White House is being seen as shifting strategy on its communications, hoping to draw Mr. Obama back to where he’s perceived to shine best — speaking to and in front of the public, Politico reported. The idea is to reverse the president’s poll numbers, which have been faltering in recent months, in time for the November political races.

Even those in Mr. Obama’s political camp who work in the media field took notice at the number of questions he’s taken during press conferences — about once a week — in the last couple weeks.

“It is a remarkable transformation,” said ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton, who’s covered the last seven presidents, Politico reported. “Presidents cannot control the climate in big formal news conferences the way [they] can dominate in a one-on-one interview with a reporter. It appears President Obama is willing to take a handful of short questions when there is real news breaking and, so far, seems to have gotten solid news-based questions, no weird off-the-wall or ‘Why are you failing at everything?’ questions.”

Mr. Obama generally went months without answering any reporters’ questions directly, except from those journalists who were preselected by White House aides, Politico reported.