Returning from a brief trip to Michigan yesterday, President Obama watched Mubarak's non-resignation speech aboard Air Force One. Given the optimistic tone of the ("a moment of transformation") it's no surprise he was deeply disappointed. Even the White House had been swept up by inaccurate reports that Mubarak was stepping down.
The question buzzing among White House reporters was whether, after more than two weeks of refusing to clearly call on Mubarak to resign, it was time for Obama to change course.
The White House told us the president would be releasing a written statement, and those of us in network news nervously awaited as the clock ticked closer to 6:30 p.m. ET. At 6:15 I was told it was "doubtful" we would get it before showtime. Unfortunately, "doubtful" at the White House is code for "not a snowball's chance in hell."
So for the networks the question became: should we stay around to update the Evening News for later broadcasts in the Midwest and Western states when the statement is finally released?
I asked a senior official if the statement was going to be newsy enough to update, or if it would be a restatement of the principles we've heard over and over again from the White House.
I was told I'd be wise to stay. So, I emailed, did that mean the president was going to call on Mubarak to resign? No response.
So we waited. Around 7 p.m., I checked in with another official. "ASAP" I was told. Apparently it wasn't an easy statement to put together because it didn't hit our Blackberries until 7:52.
Yes, they were right - it was newsy enough to hang around, with the president leaving little doubt he's deeply disappointed in Mubarak's announcement:
"Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy" the president's statement said, "and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity."
But it's still a far cry from a major course change. In fact, the White House has taken great pride in what it sees as a consistent path in its response to the Egyptian crisis. And this statement ratchets up the pressure, but is in line with a series of "recalibrations" rather than major changes.
The questions for today are whether the president will speak on camera about this - and it's hard to imagine that he won't - the silence would be deafening. And if he does speak, will it be enough to repeat what he said last night?
Or, given the magnitude of today's protests, is it time to ratchet up still more? Or even call on Mubarak to resign.
Update: Mubarak resigned on Friday morning. President Obama will make a statement this afternoon.
Chip Reid is CBS News' chief White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.