On November 12, 1992, Bill Clinton held his first press conference as president-elect. Like Obama, Clinton got generally good reviews. The Washington Post ran the headline "Funky Bill's Talk Show Lingers On," and described Clinton's informal style as "kinda casual, kinda cool, kinda laid-back, kinda funky." The press only mocked poor Al Gore, who stood awkwardly near Clinton for the duration of the presser--leading to lots of mannequin jokes.
And yet, Clinton backed himself in to a corner with his answer to a question about gays in the military, saying that he'd move forward on a pledge to let gays and lesbians into the military. It would become one of the most controversial issues of his presidency.
Anyone notice Obama box himself in like this today? I didn't.
For history buffs: a transcript of the Clinton presser is here.