STANDING ROOM ONLY…. Matt Corley noted that when the White House announced Bush’s final press conference, it reminded news outlets that they could only send “one correspondent per organization.”
As it turns out, the White House probably could have been more flexible.
[C]omplicating his last-minute legacy rehabilitation: Nobody seems to be paying attention. The White House had high expectations for yesterday’s final, historic news conference…. But when the appointed hour of 9:15 a.m. arrived, the last two rows in the seven-row briefing room were empty, and a press aide told White House interns to fill those seats.
I’d just add, for context, that the rows aren’t especially big — the briefing room isn’t exactly a movie theater. If memory serves there are seven rows of seven seats. Two empty rows in the back suggests only 35 reporters showed up for an event the president described as “the ultimate exit interview.”
I guess it could have been worse: Bush could have followed FEMA’s lead and started calling on interns as if they were actual reporters.
Nevertheless, the sparse attendance at the president’s final press conference underscores one of the practical problems facing the Bush Legacy Project: after eight years, no one wants to hear it anymore.