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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Reader's point: Obama ran on compromise

By Jennifer Rubin

Now and then I'll put up a reader's comment discussing a point that I've missed or is worthy of further analysis. Today, RainForestRising, in response to my post on Obama's weak hand, wrote, in part:

The major thing the country can take from the episode this week is this: When the nation voted for Compromise, no one envisioned Obama kicking and screaming, blaming everyone - and actually using "terrorism" and "hostage-taking" to describe negotiations.

Instead, Obama sold the nation on the idea that he was some big character who could bring everyone together.

This is a key point. It is not simply that Obama's performance was perceived (not just by me, but my mainstream news reporters and pundits on both sides of the aisle) as angry and defensive. It is that it represents a repudiation of the essence of the Obama 2008 message: "we are not a collection of Red States and Blue States, we are the United States of America." Obama in 2008 sold many independents and moderate Republicans on the prospect of elevating the tone of politics, reaching across the aisle and discarding the partisan animus that the Clintons, the Bushes and their die-hard opponents had engaged in for so many years. The president's public rail against the "sanctimonious" left, the "hostage takers" on the right, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal is the antithesis of the image of an above-the-fray president.

It's true that Obama had already undermined that image to a large extent. He had a long list of individuals, phenomena and groups that he went after -- Fox News, the Chamber of Commerce, the 24/7 news cycle, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, Wall Street, and on and on. He and his bare-knuckles Chicago political advisors soon reverted to form -- attack, attack, attack -- when the administration encountered opppostion and criticism. But in the Tuesday press conference, as RainForestRising put it, "Obama has brought blame to a new art form." Or to put it differently, he lost his temper and control in front of the press and the entire country.

It was about as close as we have come to seeing a president in the mode of Howard Dean's "I have a scream" speech after the 2004 Iowa caucuses. But it's so much worse when the ranter is the president of the United States.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 8, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  President Obama  
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Comments

All one had to do was read Ryan Lizza's "How Chicago shaped Obama" July 21, 2008 profile in The New Yorker on Obama as Chicago politician to know the cultivation of postpartisanship was purely a political ploy.

Add one month immersed in his official campaign website in March 2008, and one discovered the entire campaign was just a top-down giant ATM machine.

When I got brutally cyber-bullied by a pledged delegate for writing something nice about Evan Bayh in June 2008, the myth was confirmed.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 8, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Jen and Rainforest!

The tone and behavior of this administration is so completely at odds with how they ran in 2008. Obama is a very odd bird -- he seems to be almost incapable of emotion....UNTIL you attack him or criticize him or challenge him. Then watch out! His anger goes from 0-10 very quickly. Did he think America would be like a ward in Chicago where 80% buy the liberal line??

Posted by: jmpickett | December 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Best part of your blog is that you actually read & respond to the reader comments (at least the thoughtful ones).

Do you have an email or contact info?

Posted by: keepandbear | December 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, because the Republicans came right out of the gate saying (and I paraphrase), if we don't get what we want then nothing gets done [see the 42 Republicans senators that signed a pledge to obstruct every piece of legislation until all tax cuts were extended]. That doesn't sound like negotiating... more like, well, you know. Let's face it, the tempertantrums are strong on both sides. It's... wait for it... Politics!

Posted by: Deadguy | December 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame me. I clearly saw through Barack Obama from the very beginning. Needless to add, many people were also upset with my observation that he had not worked out his feelings of hostility toward white people. This is the same, after all, who threw his white grandmother under the bus. Obama has "issues." It was so obvious that he would likely try to govern in a very partisan manner. One only had to pay attention.


Posted by: DavidThomson | December 8, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above,but BHO was running against King Lear McCain/or was it the Fool.

Posted by: tfc834 | December 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama's aura of "hope and change" has been gone for a while. Once he took office, his attitude became, "I won, you're irrelevant". When the public turned against his leftist policies, he took to the campaign trail again to spread his message and to rally his base. As he realized he was failing to persuade the voters, he became angrily strident and partisan. He turned to class warfare and demonization of Republicans. Then the public repudiated him in the recent election.

Now Obama's narcissism must be becoming obvious even to his supporters. The classic symptoms are present: He can't handle criticism and rejection; he thinks he's too good for his supporters and for America; and the rest of us can't even recognize how great he is. Grandiosity and sneering contempt are his most salient personality traits.

What is most alarming is not how petulant and emotionally brittle Obama is, but rather how incredibly weak. He's the only commander-in-chief we have. We can't afford for the world to see that he's mush. History teaches us that weakness is always provocative. The Republicans should thwart Obama's policies but not deliberately make him look small, as that is a national security risk.

Posted by: eoniii | December 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above,but his opponent was King Lear McCain,or was he The Fool?

Posted by: tfc834 | December 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

A couple of takeaways from this week's events:

1. Thanks to the radical overreach of consecutive Democrat presidents, the progressive impulse in American politics is on its death bed.

2. Calls from the Left for Republican moderation should never be taken seriously.

Posted by: kbash33 | December 9, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

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