By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
I was seated next to the President for lunch today -- the annual background session for television journalists (just as there are frequent sessions for print journalists, members of Congress and business executives) prior to his speech tonight.
It was a wide-ranging discussion (the ground rules prohibit us from quoting the President directly) that included movies ("Slumdog" reminded him of growing up in Jakarta, he saw "Gran Torino" last night and loved it) and his own life and security (he was horrified to learn that everyone who attended his daughter's basketball game this past weekend was searched prior to his arrival) and the business at hand.
On the economy, the President previewed his speech tonight -- in which he will try to explain to Americans what we're going through, while noting the anger, fear and frustration out there. He's going to call on the American spirit and express his optimism that we'll get through this, all the better for it.
He indicated the last month has flown by him, but repeated what he's said before: he loves the work of the Presidency.
These sessions are always interesting and always useful...and it's fascinating to see the differences in personality and operating style between these last two Presidents. The tone in the West Wing and the Residence is decidedly different, in a way that defies an easy description or definition.
Tonight we all get to hear what he proposes...for what ails us. We will have live coverage of the speech tonight...and well before that, we hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.