White House Watch: Press fumes over Bush timing
The White House press corps is buzzing about what many reporters consider another late announcement of a presidential press conference. The White House press office notified journalists by E-mail at 8:11 this morning that President Bush would hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. and signups would close at 8:45 a.m.
Many journalists believe Bush and his media aides consistently try to keep them off balance with late notices. Previous presidents, including Bill Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Ronald Reagan, customarily gave a day or two notice, sometimes more. Reporters argue that Bush has been avoiding them rather than face tough and sustained questions about his low approval ratings, the war in Iraq, high gasoline prices, the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and other issues.
The reason for holding today's press conference was mainly to make the case for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, White House insiders say. This morning's event was Bush's first full press conference since May. After his re-election last November, his aides had promised a press conference every month.