At His End-of-Year Press Conference, Obama Was Doing Something That Only Became Clear to Reporters at the Very End


President Barack Obama waves as he leaves his news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. The president claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. He also touts his own executive action and a Chinese agreement to combat global warming. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

At President Barack Obama’s final press conference of the year, every question went to female reporters.President
Barack Obama waves as he leaves his news conference in the Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.
The president claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower
unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance,
and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. He also touts his own
executive action and a Chinese agreement to combat global warming. (AP
Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

After Obama’s all-female question list sent Twitter buzzing, the White House confirmed that it was done by design.

“The fact is there are many women from a variety of news
organizations who day in and day out do the hard work of covering the
president of the United States. As the questioner list started to come
together, we realized we had a unique opportunity to highlight the fact
at the president’s closely watched end of the year news conference,”
press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

The news conference opened with Politico’s Carrie Budoff-Brown, who elicited a blunt response from Obama about
Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview.” She was followed by Bloomberg
BNA’s Cheryl Bolen, the Associated Press’ Julie Pace, McClatchy’s Lesley
Clark, Reuters’ Roberta Rampton, the Wall Street Journal’s Colleen
Nelson and then the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin. The last question
went to April Ryan of American Urban Radio Network.

According to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, TV reporters were told in advance that the president intended to take questions from reporters not regularly called on.

Former CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux tweeted, “Covered White House
for 10 yrs, never have seen POTUS call on all women reporters #unprecedented!”

Gwen Ifill of PBS tweeted, “see how newsy press conferences can be when women ask the questions?”

After getting her question, Budoff Brown of Politico tweeted, “Go women of the WH press corps @cherylbolen@jpaceDC@lesleyclark@robertarampton@ColleenMNelson

Clark of McClatichy tweeted, “Obama’s all-women press conference by the fab @amieparnes http://t.co/RD29LonOkg

Wall Street social media Natalie Andrews wrote, “Shout out to @ColleenMNelson – sixth person (and woman) to ask a question in today’s presser. #whoruntheworld Watch: http://t.co/wqtiYIemor

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Epstein wrote, “women of the White House press corps rock.”

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