President Obama lectured. President Trump declares. The big difference between a Trump and Obama news conference.

For the past eight years, a presidential news conference was a chance to hear from Professor Obama, the long-winded lecturer in chief who expounded on domestic politics and international relations with nuance, depth, range and, most of all, a lot of words. Under the new administration, brevity is in.

President Trump, who has carved out a niche online as the tweeter in chief, is willing to go beyond 140 characters while fielding questions from reporters at the White House. But sometimes, it seems, not by much. Trump’s joint news conferences with foreign leaders are brisker affairs. He is not interested in filibustering answers to run out the clock, the way Obama did, but prefers racing through them in a mix of simplistic declarative sentences, ad-libs and non sequiturs. When he does fall back on talking points, as all politicians inevitably do, they are not the kind that come from a briefing book prepared by an aide. Rather, Trump’s talking points often appear to spring from his own id and have little or nothing to do with the subject at hand.


President Obama lectured. President Trump declares. The big difference between a Trump and Obama news conference.