Gibbs: Currents odds for a presser the same as winning the lottery 

"Scratch and win, Major," Gibbs said. "Scratch and win."  (ap photo)

President Obama hasn't had a press conference at the White House since July. Considering how that one went -- culminating in an awkward beer in the Rose Garden with Louis Gates, that cop and Joe Biden -- you can kind of get the reluctance. But this is about accountability!

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who loves to airily remind the press corps that we used to sniff at Obama for being "overexposed," said there are no pressers on the schedule for now. From his last briefing:

Q: When is the president going to hold a news conference?  Not that you're not adequate.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I appreciate that...

Q: I mean, he's gone an obscenely long time, not holding one.

MR. GIBBS: But again, not the word "adequate." (Laughter.) I don't see one on the schedule at least in the short term, which is precisely what I said --

Q: Is he avoiding us?

MR. GIBBS: No.  Again, the last time we had this conversation here about the President's media strategy I was informed by many of you that the President was overexposed.

Martha Kumar, a Towson University professor who writes about presidential communications, told Fox News that Obama is not likely to have one soon. With the health care bill unresolved, it's too dicey. Plus, the White House likes to put Obama into situations with the news media they can better control.

"He's very interested in explaining things, and that's one of the reasons he gravitates towards interviews because in them he can talk at length about particular issues," Kumar said.

They also don't want to overshadow Obama's first State of the Union address, although they haven't announced a date for that, yet.

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