Steve Benen: Six of the major Republican presidential candidates stopped by Fox News on Saturday night to field questions from Mike Huckabee and some GOP state attorneys general. The exchanges weren’t terribly newsworthy, but something transpired behind the scenes that spoke to a larger trend.
Fox News allowed a New York Times reporter to roam around before, during, after the interviews, covering how the candidates and their teams operated. One campaign “stood out by going into defensive mode immediately, insisting that the reporter stay far away”:
….. Spotting the reporter, Mr. Romney’s aides sprang into action, questioning where he worked and what he was doing there, and then insisting that he not physically approach Mr. Romney before or after he was questioned on television … The request was reiterated to executives at Fox News.
Romney’s aversion to media professionals is making the transition from an oddity to a problem. Indeed, the political press will put up with quite a bit, but it really doesn’t like being ignored, and Romney has apparently invited a backlash.
11:10 The President meets with college presidents to discuss college affordability
USA Today: President Obama has invited the presidents of about 10 colleges and universities to a meeting at the White House on Monday to discuss affordability and productivity in higher education. While many White House events feature various presidents of colleges, a private meeting – called on short notice, with the president himself in attendance – is highly unusual.
The meeting, described as a roundtable discussion, will include Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, White House advisers, and a small group of college presidents and “thought leaders” in higher education, according to an invitation sent by the White House. A list of those invited has not been released.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Bill Clinton pose with the 2011 Kennedy Center Honorees, front row from left, Sonny Rollins, Barbara Cook, back row from left, Yo-Yo Ma, Meryl Streep and Neil Diamond at the State Department following a dinner and reception on Dec. 3
President Barack Obama will host the five recipients of the 34th Kennedy Center Honors at a White House reception before attending the evening gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.