Left And Right Agree: Obama Was ‘Calm’ And Professorial At Meetings With Columnists

Earlier this week, President-elect Obama attended a 3-hour dinner party with conservatives at columnist George Will’s house, followed by an hour-long coffee meeting with liberal columnists at his transition offices. Though the conversations were off-the-record, some of the participants — Will, Bill Kristol and EJ Dionne — praised Obama on the Sunday shows this morning for how he approached the meetings.

“Suffice to say that I think he was impressive and probably we weren’t,” said Will on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Both Kristol, a conservative, and Dionne, a liberal, remarked that Obama came off as a “calm” professor when they spoke to him:

KRISTOL: You know, he is privately — this wasn’t really private — but you know, among nine or ten people, he wasn’t really that different from the way he is publicly, you know. Cool, calm, confident. He was like talking to a very intelligent, moderately liberal law professor, you know, debating a bunch of issues.” [Fox News Sunday]

DIONNE: The really striking thing is, it was like we’re around a table and it was like Professor Obama teaching a seminar on how you deal with whole lot of crises at the same time and stay calm. I mean, it was very sort of focused and easy going in the midst of all of this. [ABC’S This Week]

“He is remarkably calm, I found that last week,” added Stephanopoulos, who interviewed Obama last week. Watch it: