Obama Schmoozes the Media

President uses media to advance his political agenda.

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President Obama is privately reaching out to opinion leaders in the media as he tries to sustain the momentum gained from his victory over Republicans in their fights over the government shutdown and a possible government default.

It's part of Obama's campaign to use his presidential bully pulpit as much as possible to win support for his agenda and outmaneuver the GOP. Like all modern presidents, Obama has a huge advantage over his adversaries in Congress because he can command media attention almost at will while members of Congress don't have nearly the same ability to draw press coverage.

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Other techniques used by Obama have been news conferences, interviews with local media, interviews with network TV anchors and talk-show hosts, formal speeches in Washington, traveling around the country to give other addresses, and use of social media such as Twitter.

It was been disclosed that Obama held an off-the-record meeting Thursday with several journalists including Josh Barro of Business Insider, David Brooks of The New York Times and Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, according to Politico. White House officials declined to comment on the event.

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Earlier this month, Obama met with five conservative journalists: Charles Krauthammer of Fox News, Paul Gigot of the Watt Street Journal, Robert Costa of National Review, columnist Byron York of the Washington Examiner and columnist Kathleen Parker.

In recent weeks, Obama blamed Republicans for the dysfunction in Washington that led to the partial government shutdown and a near-default on federal financial obligations. Both fights were settled temporarily in a deal announced last week.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and on Facebook and Twitter.