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Obama loathes 'short answers'

June 21, 2012 - Washington

A political science professor has been studying the communications style of Barack Obama and his recent predecessors.

The research by Martha Joynt Kumar from Towson University shows that as of the end of May, Obama took part in 99 short exchanges with reporters, the Politico reported.

By contrast, at comparable points in their presidencies George W. Bush had done 324 of these sessions; Bill Clinton, 538; George H.W. Bush, 289; and Ronald Reagan, 123.

Words are important to Obama. When he speaks, it is on his terms - in forums that play to his strength.

In engaging the press, he favours long-form interviews where he can prepare carefully and spool out his ideas with the nuance and caveats one might expect from a former Constitutional law professor.

Kumar's research shows that the current President of the US has done far more interviews than his predecessors - 464 as of the end of May, versus 159 for W., 181 for Mr. Clinton; 232 for the elder Bush, and 197 for Mr. Reagan at comparable points in their terms.


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