heh.. I will give him minor props for this.. Now he he can do it when facing certain world leaders....
WASHINGTON -- President Obama paid a surprise visit to members of the White House press corps Thursday evening when he walked through their working area of the West Wing, but he quickly became agitated when he was confronted with a question by one of the journalists.
According to reports, when the Politico's Jonathan Martin asked the president about his nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, Obama refused to answer, saying he was not there to take questions.
"I came down here to visit. I didn't come down here -- this is what happens. I can't end up visiting you guys and shaking hands if I am going to grilled every time I come down here," the president said.
Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.
"All right, come on," he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference, at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys -- that's all I was trying to do," Politico.com reported.
The situation came to a close when a cameraman in the room interrupted, declaring: "I'd like to say it one more time: 'Mr. President.'"
The nominee in question, William Lynn, is a former lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, a pick Obama made in contradiction to his much-heralded anti-lobbying rules.
Obama was willing to field lighter questions, though.
Yes, he's discovered the gym in the White House residence. No, he hasn't played basketball yet on the outdoor White House court because it's been too cold.
The president's walk-through came without notice, causing a bit of a wild scene. Reporters started running toward him, wary of missing a single word. When one reporter who hadn't spotted Obama yet asked what everyone was rushing toward, another one responded: "The big guy."
Obama made it to the back of the briefing room, in a narrow hallway, where he shook hands.
"I've got to say, it's smaller than I thought," the president said as he looked around for the first time.
He introduced himself to those whom he didn't already know from the long campaign trail and said it would take a little while to learn everyone's names.
The president then continued on, walking by the media outlets' booths on the same floor.
Obama asked about the reasoning behind why certain media outlets had work space where they did. When he got an answer involving the intricacies of press corps protocol, Obama responded: "This is worse than the Middle East here -- who's sitting where and all that stuff."
As he walked through the area where journalists have lunch, Obama noticed a pair of vending machines that dispense soda and junk food.
"Looks like you have some healthy snacks, guys," Obama said.
Then he walked through the basement quarters, where several other news outlets set up shop. He said that was smaller than he expected too.