Reader's point: Obama ran on compromise
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.
Posted by: K2K2 | December 8, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jmpickett | December 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: keepandbear | December 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Deadguy | December 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DavidThomson | December 8, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tfc834 | December 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eoniii | December 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tfc834 | December 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kbash33 | December 9, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.