Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama team briefs Democrats on talk shows on their talking points.

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An exclusive look at inside the Obama "talkers" operation.

WASHINGTON--Some time Tuesday afternoon, if things went as planned, a cadre of Democrats often seen on cable shows--dubbed "talkers" by the Obama White House -- were drilled on their talking points in advance of the president's press conference.

A sampler from the talking points for tonight's presser, to start at 8 p.m. eastern:

"* Tonight the President will update the American people on the steps his Administration has taken to move the economy from recession to recovery -- and ultimately to prosperity.

* There are no quick fixes and no silver bullets. It's important to remember that this crisis didn't happen overnight, and it didn't result from any one action or decision. It took many years and failures to lead us here, and it will take many months and different solutions to lead us out."

Presiding over the "talkers" is Dag Vega, the Obama White House director of broadcast media who ran the Obama campaign surrogate press operation.

The "talkers" are the Democratic strategists most often booked by cable television and radio political talk shows for commentary and analysis.

"We will hold our weekly conference call on Tuesday, March 24 at 2:00 pm ET," Vega said in an e-mail sent early today. "A senior White House official will be on to talk about the President's press conference tonight, the financial stability plan, the budget, and other news-of-the-day questions."

The purpose for the "talkers" briefings is for the commentators to hear directly from senior White House about the big issues in the news and to ask questions. The White House also gets feed back on messaging. But mostly, it's to make sure the "talkers" know their talking points.

Other examples of tools for "talkers:"

The Obama "talkers" on Feb. 24 received "topline" points on Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress and on Feb. 26 received guidance on Obama's budget.

1 Comment

This financial crisis took careful planning by others and was blamed on people that don't deserve to take "full" blame. I believe we had a Democratic Congress and things were not pushed through when Bush was in. Blame both parties, not just one.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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