By Michael GoodwinDaily News Columnist/FOX News Contributor

Now you know why President Obamawent on Jay Leno. It's a lot more fun for him, and a lot easier to get applause, when people are laughing and having fun.

There were no yuks Tuesday night, and by my count, his first big smile came 46 minutes into a very sober press conference. It's no coincidence that he also suffered a setback to his aim of selling the public on the idea that the economy depends on his budget being passed intact.

"The budget is inseparable from this recovery," he said, putting his chips on a radical spending, borrowing and tax plan.

It's a bad bet, one he won't win -- and shouldn't win.

Peppered with questions about the trillion-dollar deficits his proposal creates and the chorus of opposition from Democrats and Republicans, not to mention concern in Europeand China, Obama had no persuasive answers. His silver tongue seemed tied in knots when he was asked why, despite his promises to cut the deficit, projections have it rising dramatically - trillions beyond what his own office estimates.

To read Mr. Goodwin's entire column click here.