The Wall Street Protests — which are now weeks old, and have spread to cities and college campuses around the country — are getting a surprisingly small amount of media attention. And so it was great to see Barack Obama asked directly about the movement in this afternoon's press conference. Ever the diplomat, he was tepidly supportive.
I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country … and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place.
It's pretty much what you'd expect — not a ringing endorsement, not any sort of plan to actually do anything, but a nice "I understand your point of view," from our ever-understanding president. It'd have been nice to get something a little more animated, or to see more than one reporter ask more than one basic question, but I'll take it.
At least he did better than Biden, who when asked the same question on Tuesday claimed to not really know much about it, but said that he had "no disrespect for the Tea Party" and then forgot the name of Van Jones, who was the Green czar in the Obama administration until 2009.
In a strange aside, Biden said that he had "read about" the protests "in the press" and Obama said that he had followed the story on television. Does anyone else think it's strange that these guys apparently know about as much about this as I do, you know, just from watching CNN over dinner?
Obama's full response to the question is below: