February 24th, 2009
08:25 PM ET

Confident Obama does just one practice session

Program Note: Tune in to watch the full speech and hear expert analysis tonight on AC360°.

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

President Obama apparently buys into that old slogan about never letting 'em see you sweat.

Despite the pressure of his first speech to a joint session of Congress at a time of national crisis, two senior aides tell me the President quietly had only one full dress rehearsal with a teleprompter at about 6pm ET in the White House's historic map room.

The significance is that predecessors like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used to go through at least a few - maybe even several depending on the situation - dress rehearsals for a speech like this to get it just right. Just one session suggests a man feeling pretty confident despite the intensity of the crisis.

As one senior aide told me, "This moment in time needs clarity and a sense of purpose."

Filed under: President Barack Obama • Tom Foreman
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    As the old country song says, "When your are hot you are hot!"

    February 24, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  2. Wardell katrina survivor

    This man headed the HARVARD REVIEW,give his brillance some credit, we're lucky to have him. most like him disappear into wall street, never be to heard from again, can you say filty rich,how fortunate we are, at a time like this. I saw a picture of
    george, after he smashed his face,earlier,and this story about him coming out and admitting he fell off the wagon, no wonder we are in the shape we are in?? Who was running the country?? or the RIPP-OFF.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  3. George Masiello

    Superman does need to practice flying in order to soar across our skies!
    Just beautiful, important, and both sobering and encouraging.
    No surprise, from Superman!

    February 24, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  4. L

    no one is as gifted as this man...

    racists wanted to find nonsense to throw at him during the campaign b/c they realized he was better than them and better than the best they had to offer..

    get on his level..

    February 24, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  5. Theresa

    Transpancy is what we need and have needed in government for a long time . I think the President upset some people who favor fraud, stealing, and corruption . way to go Mr Pres.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  6. Tammy J

    Agree. He was well rehearsed which is always obvious when he speaks. You are able to tell he rehearsed or did not, there is never an in between. He is either amazing regardless of what he says which is unfortunately what most seem to buy into. "He just speaks so well". OR he is uncomfortable to watch with his long pauses, ands, ums, stumbling over his words, etc.

    With the overdoing of the applause and ovations, he only stumbled a few times but he always seems to recover or play it off so well it is hard or impossible to notice.

    The man can speak well in public and under pressure that is for certain. He does have class also, to have introduced his wife who I might say looked the best I've seen. The color was very nice on her, she didn't look so hard as she seems to come across which is probably very unfortunate when a strong woman appears hard, she is a B. When she looks classy and soft or lovely, she can be considered a push over or weak. There is a happy medium and she found it this evening.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  7. anonymous

    I watched Obama's address,it was very well delivered,focussed onthe problems we're facing today.it seems whatever he says comes deep from his heart,people of america are lucky to have such a honourable,patriotic and sensible President for achange,and unlike republicans,I;m astonished to see Bobby Jindall,is he foolish or what,I think he was not prepared enough by the Republicans,I the coloradon thinks no matter how hard they try they can never make another Obama so keep on trying.........god bless the whole world and give sense to people like Bobby jindall,"u can never compete Obama,take his side if you are a true American.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  8. Brenda Johnson

    I really thought our president, gave an excellent speech tonight. I really understood all that he was trying to get across. My only problem was looking at the Republicans in their staunch reactions. It saddens me that some people think they are the only ones that are right, however wrong they may be. They are really turning people off, and making them realize, that their concern about the people are not important to them. They just want to show how divided they are, and how they want to get even, and not on board. I think it was Paul in the bible that said "when I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became an adult, I put away childish things. So I say to the Republicans, grow up, look beyond the color, and see the right, not just the white. We are all Americans.

    February 24, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  9. Albert Nana Ntekoh

    i am writing from germany.Pres. Obama speak was great, he makes the world have hope for future.i just lost my work and have been had for me since then,but after mr. Obamas speach ihave get hope to get a new work soon.i hope the american people will believe in mr obama speak and will try to keep on fighting to make the world economie move.thanks

    February 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  10. Nelson

    The LA Gov. was very articulate, but I feel that, Democrats consider a "small business", Bubba's Bait Shop, while Republicans consider a small business as "Wal-Mart".

    February 24, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  11. sam

    I thought the speach was straight to the point what the country should have done years ago..
    But, I don't get the speach that Bobby Jindel gave after the president speach.. It was one of the worse response I have ever heard..
    Wanting to go down the same old path.. That the republicans want to go.. Trying to lock up congras so we can't move forward..

    February 24, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  12. winnie

    I love what he said. it is hopeful. it fells like you have every thing right now. He is not dump like republican. he is trying to clean their mess they still do not want to help. I know he can do it we all help and pray for him every day.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  13. vincent ellis

    On time that's what the country needs the other side needs to get on this bus before all the good seats are gone and they. People first political tricks last..

    February 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  14. Lesma Weir

    This is the moment, our president took a bold step, he look in the camera and spoke directly to the american people. Finally, there is a leader who understand the value of getting an education.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  15. Beatrice

    As President Obama spoke I thought we finally have a real president
    of the people, by the people and for the people. May God continue
    to bless him.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  16. D Wells

    Mr. President is easing our thoughts about this economy. Mr. President keepup the good words to America.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  17. A Moos

    President Obama JUST gave his speech – "State of the Nation" – not exactly, however, his is right on target. Thank goodness we finally have a President who will tell the truth – the whole truth and – nothing but the truth – how amazing is that? Did George Bush EVER did that? I don't think so. Did ANY previous President do that? I don't think so. So, basically, our current President is the very first to aknowledge what our government is about, what it's intentions are and what it's future is....THAT is amazing..don't you think???? Oh YOU Republicans, get over it and just deal with reality – please! For the sake of our country and the world.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  18. Richard Rodgers

    I'm writting from Toronto, Canada. It's so refreshing to here a President sound so positive. Then I here you and all your experts do nothing but shoot him down. It's amazing that a country with so many experts is so far behind in everything. You have the ability to resurrect anybody that can offer their own narrow minded input and just kep mudddling along. Too bad all your 'experts' weren't running your country.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  19. Frank Pagani

    thank god we actually have a president that can articulate his vision for the future of the country.. about freaking time!

    February 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Luis


    Very Contradictory. I see the market tomorrow being a little shaky after he said a tax increase was coming.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  21. Luis

    Obama and a lot of democrats have received gifts from JP Morgan, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

    lets start there.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  22. Luis

    No. other countries lent out too much money to us and thats why the other countries are hurting. They are creditor nations, we on the other hand are just borrowers.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  23. Luis

    Where are all these detainees go?

    They are not U.S. citizens and have no right to our laws and Constitution.

    February 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  24. Luis

    So reduce our military budget but still go to war and fight terrorism at home.

    (?) i confused.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  25. Luis

    Layoff's at raytheon are coming.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  26. Luis

    Office of the controller General does not audit The Federal Reserve.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  27. Luis

    I want the old Kennedys back.

    ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country

    February 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  28. leila

    i have just a question you ask all the time in this plan how to refinance homes
    but never asking about people ho lost their homes and they live in their business or with family how can this plan help those people
    if there any chance to give theme a loan to by new houses or they will be ignored
    i would like to give me an answer
    because you never talk about this situation

    February 24, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  29. Luis



    February 24, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  30. Luis

    Their are a lot of quitters out there.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  31. Luis

    My parents worked with less materials during their school years and they are smarter than the smartest kid in college right now.

    how is throwing money going to help people focus on their homework.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  32. Luis

    expanding expanding.

    Didn't he begin with the idea that he didn't want to grow our government.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  33. Luis

    Health care is only $3 dollars a day for me. It doesn't sound expensive.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  34. Luis

    Our government owes $56 trillion dollars in social security and meicare, medicaid......

    February 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  35. Luis

    Moral Hazard.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  36. Luis

    In less than a month, Obama is already in the hole of a trillion dollars.

    Bush spent $5 trillion in 8 years.

    We are off to a bad start.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  37. Luis

    Start a business and get prepared to get taxed to death.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  38. Luis

    Why did we bail out the Government Sponsored Enterprises known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  39. Luis

    A decade? What?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  40. Luis

    The government was forcing the good banks like JPM, BAC, and WFC to buy up the garbage of other companies. They are not at fault.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm |
  41. Luis

    how do you refinance if your house is worth less than what is worth. I don't get it. Do you?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  42. Luis

    We are borrowing money from China and Europe. They got to be stupid to lend us more.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  43. Luis

    Recovery.gov ?

    Why is the market still skeptical if it's so clear?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  44. Annie Kate

    He's a quick study; he probably doesn't need more than 1 run-through. Its not like he doesn't give speeches well!!

    February 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  45. Luis

    Should i continue working or just get unemployment checks?

    Get paid to do noting? Sounds like a deal to me.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  46. Luis

    Tax Cut = Welfare

    February 24, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  47. Luis

    Freddie Mac and Fannie mae are the biggest buyers of subprime loans. Your right Obama, our banks took too much rick at the expense our the tax payer.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  48. Luis

    He almost said Market collapse but then quickly corrected it to "Sank"

    February 24, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  49. Luis

    Did anybody see Tim the tax cheat?

    Hahahaha. What a joke.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm |
  50. Luis


    (Congress stands and applause)

    February 24, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
1 2