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Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Worst press conference -- ever

By Jennifer Rubin

I don't mean just for Obama. I mean any president. Or head of state. When I wrote this morning that he doesn't do well in defeat, you didn't know how right I was, huh? Let's count the ways.

Calling Republicans "hostage takers." Not helpful. Saying Republicans opposed middle class tax cuts. Not true -- they wanted no tax increases for anyone. Accusing Republicans of holding out tax cuts for the rich as the "Holy grail." Also wrong. As Republican strategist Mike Goldfarb tweeted, and as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said, beating Obama in 2012 is the Holy Grail. Then Obama started ranting at the media and bashing the left, which, if we are to believe statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, seems poised to abandon him on this. Obama also dragged in the "public option" for no apparent reason other than to remind everyone of the last time he disappointed liberals. Admitting he's had a whole bunch of lines in the sand. Umm. Thunk.

On Twitter, there is shock and awe among pundits and reporters. Is Obama melting down? Has he lost control of the conversation? Yikes. Whoever let him go out there and do this rant-a-thon should be fired. Oh, was it Obama's idea? I think his own party is indeed going to go into "riot mode." A House GOP leadership aide pronounced the performance "angry" and out-of-touch. That's being generous.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 7, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  President Obama  
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Next: Obama's Middle East policy collapses


Querulous and weak is no way to go through life, much less your one term as president.

I'm glad the Republicans are running things in Congress now, even in the lame duck. But I worry that our enemies around the world have taken Obama's measure.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Certainly don't hear much stupid talk about betting against "Brand Obama" anymore.

Posted by: JohnKnox1 | December 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Really, Jenn? you think that's the worst press conference like ever? were you asleep or dosing on Nyquil when W was president? Get serious. W is hands down the stupidest president to have bungled his way down the halls of the White House or stuttered or blanked out mid sentence in a press conference. As for President Obama, he's a wimp. Who knew? Some of us thought he would at least put up a fight against the raging frothing butt crack brigades of the Republican right.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | December 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Jenn has no clue, like the sociopaths in the GOP.

Posted by: sufi66 | December 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mrs. Rubin,

How does this compare to post Katrina conference of Bush-II?

Thanks for your consideration.

Posted by: DrCha | December 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you on most of those counts - Obama was LYING about the Republican positions the way through.

The Republicans have ALWAYS been in favor of tax cuts for the middle class.

HOWEVER, on one point - I think Obama's statement last night was worse - Obama was kicking an screaming like a little girl last night.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Jen your so right after 8 years of lies and Bushism you know have a President who works for all the people and not just the 2 per cent Wealthy. Obama is wrong to protect the Middle Class and poor. As reporters and Journalist are paid well to spread the hate and propaganda your doing a great job. Time to remove Obama and get a President who will work for the Wealthy/Banks/Corporations. Obama's biggest problem is he's fighting for every Americans who no one like yourself will listen to. What's sad is to see the President have to education the Press, like a teacher teaching students. Once the News Papers/Media lost funds in the Recession they hired cheap labor as we see in this article.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | December 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"raging frothing butt crack brigades of the Republican right."

Way to elevate the discussion. At least it took a whole three comments to get there.

Posted by: SupportAndDefendTheConstitution | December 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah right. We're being told that Obama's inability to maintain the stature of a president is the fault of the conservatives in America. Obama's inability to act presidential is as nothing compared to Bush.

that's what the liberals will try to sell themselves tonight. Good luck with that lefties. Your boy has just melted down and all you've got is "oh yeah, well Bush..."

Stick that where the sun don't shine kids. How long did it take for Obama to wear out the Democrat's welcome? Hmmm?

When the Republicans lost the majority in congress much of that was the result of the poor performance of the republicans in congress. What's Mr Obama's excuse?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 7, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Another right-wing columnist for the Post's ever-increasing stable of same. They, like their counterparts among elected officials, seem to be in a contest to see if their followers will reject obviously absurd statements. Back to basics: Republicans claim to be concerned about the deficit but increase it by $700 billion over 10 years with tax cuts for the wealthy who don't need the money. And their claim that this helps create jobs is belied by the Bush years, CBO analyses and other reliable economists.

Posted by: ksc1 | December 7, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"raging frothing butt crack brigades of the Republican right."

Way to elevate the discussion. At least it took a whole three comments to get there.

Posted by: SupportAndDefendTheConstitution | December 7, 2010 4:29 PM |
It's fun watching them sputter impotently like Obama. Whiny losers all.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The entire tax rate extension tussle has been a disaster for both Obama and congressional Democrats.

They've been solidly in charge, yet they let the clock run out because they were fearful of broaching the subject before the mid term elections. Now they may think they can do the same thing in 2012.

But Republicans will not let them. I suspect that in 2012, this topic will surface early on, and Obama will, again, vote "present."

Meaning, he will stay above the fray on tax rates until it becomes clear which side will prevail. Then he'll issue a statement that he may hope sounds presidential but will a) be manifestly untrue, b) further alienate his lefty base, c) be meaningless blather. Or all three.

This year, Obama has the cover of not wishing to harm the suffering economy. In 2012, one may hope the economy has improved enough so that this excuse for income redistribution won't fly. It will be a tough time to be a lefty who is trying to pose as a centrist.

Couldn't happen to a nicer poseur.

Posted by: Jack43 | December 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Really, Jenn? you think that's the worst press conference like ever? were you asleep or dosing on Nyquil when W was president? Get serious. W is hands down the stupidest president to have bungled his way down the halls of the White House or stuttered or blanked out mid sentence in a press conference. As for President Obama, he's a wimp. "

100% correct! Excellent Post

Posted by: newagent99 | December 7, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin,
One thing you can NEVER legitimately attribute to the right (yourself included) is generosity, in victory, in defeat, or anywhere between.
As a long-decided Democrat, I am willing to wait and assess the President on his entire record, which, so far, I find to be a significant improvement over that of his predecessor.

Posted by: Lamentations | December 7, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse comes to the WaPo!!

Jennifer, I can't wait for you to tell us what Ted Nugent, Larry Gatlin, and Chuck Norris have to say about current events.

Posted by: danw1 | December 7, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

No, Obama still is not worse that Mr. Bush but he is getting competitive. Some have defended this as fair and balanced candy canes between left and right. Small consolation because it is not balanced between short term and long term.

The economy crashed because of excessive borrowing. Is the solution more borrowing? All of these measures financed via China and paid by our grandchildren AT BEST. Like Ross Perot's 1992 sucking sound of jobs going south I now hear a hissing sound from a financial fuse burning. And something is going to go boom.

Posted by: LHO39 | December 7, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Worse than Sarah Palin's Alaska governor resignation?

Posted by: danw1 | December 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Worst political opinion piece. Ever.
I was pretty angry about the deal, but I see where's he's coming from. The Republicans were willing to put everything on hold for the 2% of the country that's doing well. Hostage takers. If I understand what Obama was saying today, this wasn't the last rant you're going to hear. I hope it wasn't.

Posted by: Austex1 | December 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I didn't get to see the press conference. But the president must have been pretty effective to have evoked this rant.

Posted by: EddieRoth | December 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer, how 'bout calling you a paid sycophant for Mitch McConnell?

BTW, when is Mitch coming out of the closet?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 7, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

this is just too funny:
Ms. Rubin,
One thing you can NEVER legitimately attribute to the right (yourself included) is generosity, in victory, in defeat, or anywhere between.
As a long-decided Democrat, I am willing to wait and assess the President on his entire record, which, so far, I find to be a significant improvement over that of his predecessor.

Liberals all pride themselves on their generosity. What they never seem to mention, however is that all this philanthropy is funded with other people's money.

the tax issue is a perfect example. Liberal who comment on blogs here simply could not understand the concept of letting people keep the money they earned. Or of a limited government living within the means that the people chose to provide.

Oh no. The liberals desperately want more of everybody's money but they are at best disingenuous about it or at worst outright lying.

I will never forget the tantrum that Ruth Marcus threw right on this web site when Mr Steinbrenner had the unmitigated gall to die before the Democrats could re install their favorite death tax. She was livid, and her words let the cat out of the bag. Liberalism is nothing more than greed. But by whining about "generosity" they seek to deflect attention away from their true agenda.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 7, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama has the option to take triangulation much further than Clinton ever could because it is so unlikely he will ever face a primary challenge. However, as you point out, he's prone to screw up. He needs to take credit for the compromise not berate both the left and right for one reason or another for forcing this upon him.

I find this presumption that the wealth of the top 2% (or 5% or whatever) should be taxed away is odd and unAmerican. When did success become a crime with those charged guilty without trial?

Posted by: Otiose1 | December 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I wish I had caught that press conference!

The Mesiah has come home to roost!

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | December 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Schadenfreude galore. Obama's combination of hubris and ignorance provided an entertaining spectacle this afternoon. I wonder when it's going to become abundantly clear that Obama is constitutionally incapable of tacking to the center. And why should he when, according to him, the polls and the American public are on board with him and his ideas? It's laughable at this point to us on the right, but every time his mask drops like this he looks smaller, angrier, and more out-of-touch to the holy grail of American politics: the Independents. Oh well, la de da, la de da.

Posted by: RereadBurke | December 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

How about the 9 hour delay between the 9/11 attacks and Bush's finally showing up long enough to address the public.

Posted by: shadow27 | December 7, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

We elected a rabble rouser, so I'm not shocked that he acts like a rabble rouser.

I do wish he would remember more often that he is supposed to be president of the United States, not a Chicago ward chief.

If far lefties approve of that 'performance' today, that tells you how bad it was.

For all the bush haters, did you ever see him act in such a hostile fashion towards the opposite party? And in such anger at people who disagree with him? If I had seen Bush act in such fashion, I would have strongly condemned him.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Once again the GOP holds the entire country hostage just to make their rich benefactors happy.

The tone of this article is VERY Republican her and Krauthammer must be best friends.

The GOP has never compromised with anyone on anything! What they're trying to do is make the poorer class bigger and poorer than ever while the likes of the woman who wrote this article, Palin, Murdoch and all their rich friends smile all the way to the bank.

The GOP didn't compromise on the war in Iraq!

Jennifer Rubin is just another !@#$% GOP lackey and water-carrier! She probably has Palin tattooed on her posterior!!

So obviously the GOP really does not care about the debt we're leaving to future generations that's a lie they tell to shut their constituents up while they continue to run up the deficit.

They ignore anything of value that Obama has done including bringing us from the brink of depression that the GOP brought us to in the first place.

I agree that the GOP is a terrorist organization that should be chased down and solved with a "2nd Amendment Solution".

Posted by: davidbronx | December 7, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is a good and decent and extremely intelligent man who has been and continues to do what's right for our Nation. And yes, I voted for him. But no, I don't agree with everthing he has done. And I DO NOT agree with him on this issue. But the inescapable FACT is that the &()^&_ phony self-titled so-called 'fiscal conservatiove' Rs have been and ARE essentially holding the nation and nearly everything he has tried to do or is trying to do hostage.

Their lock-step brainless fillibuster requiring votes in the Senate to refuse ANY tax cuts unless and until the multi-millionaires and the billionaries were held at a MAX, repeat a MAXIMUM tax braket of 35% insted of a 38% speaks manifestly for itself!

It is akin to them willingly splitting the baby into two pieces for the saek of spite. It makes me sich to my stomach!

Posted by: michaelsmith21 | December 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

This column is sloppy and should not have been printed. Its main claim is overblown and has few facts to back it up. Not even a link to transcript of the conference. This piece is worthy of Fox but not WaPo.

Posted by: jwyzalek | December 7, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It seems the Death Eaters are incapable of grace, even in the face of capitulation by the President.

Posted by: BBear1 | December 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

if he's pissing off the right wing, I'd have to say he;s hitting things just about right, for a change.

Posted by: summicron1 | December 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt in my mind that GOPers are just bullies. My way or highway! Lord save this country.

Posted by: caringmale69 | December 7, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

This kind of rant by Ms Rubin typifies a now predictable, seemingly prepaid, self-serving, cacophony from the dim end of the right whenever the slightest opportunity presents itself. The level of analysis is an embarrassment. Stop whining and address the costs/benefits of a mutually unhappy compromise.

Posted by: AgingVet | December 7, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Ah a Republican - how can I tell? Well the lies for one thing. Yes the Republicans are against the middle class and working poor and solidly behind the 2% that pay themselves bonus after bonus. Trickle down has not worked in all the years the Republicans put it into effect. W, with a degree in business ruined the economy, no new jobs in 8 years of governing, 2 wars paid for with a credit card, tax cuts paid for with a credit card and never a word from the Republicans that they messed up.

They said no to ALL tax cuts unless the very richest got theirs first. Not pass the extension for 98% and once we get in power we'll get through the other 2%. Did you forget the Republicans crying that unemployment benefits HAD TO BE PAID FOR or the deficit would explode? That money had to be carved out somewhere or they would stomp their feet and go home taking all their toys. The tax cut for the 2% richest? That $700 BILLION? Oh, well the economy is bad, we'll just add that to the debt, no worries. So when you go on and on how Republicans are for everyone please be honest at least once in your life -- Republicans got us into this mess, Republicans are not interested in getting us out of this mess and they have gotten by simply by waving the flag and saying well we messed up last time and the time before that but this time? Well this time we'll do it right even though we're doing the same thing we were doing before.

Did I want my President to hang tough? Oh yes but I have a job, haven't had a raise in 4 years - unlike the management at my company who have had raises and mega bonuses but I have a job. Millions don't and unemployment is allowing them to tread water and put food on the table. I can live with the compromise as long as they get help but did you notice? Republicans pushed for and probably will get tax breaks for the wealthy for 2 YEARS ($700 billion x2). Unemployed? 13 months or maybe $70 billion worth - oh yeah, for sure Republicans care about the middle class -- and Fox is fair and balanced too. I have some swamp land to sell you, send your money now.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | December 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ms Rubin's posting is an embarassment to the journalistic standards of the Post. Why on Earth is the WP carrying the shrill diatribes of this deeply unpleasant woman? Does Ms Weymouth really believe that DC has a sizeable number of right wingers who are ready to switch their subscription from the Washington Times?

Posted by: ianstuart | December 7, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Problem with Republicans they only see things one way. Their only concern is to bash President Obama (Jen you are a clear example). There is no way that this was the worst conference you ever seen. You simply didn't like something you heard and went straight to President Obama Bashing as a defensive method. You hold no point. President Obama was defending the millions of Americans that were gonna lose their unemployment. Unemployment that REPUBLICANS were going to never pass unless the President passed Bush tax cuts. Why don't republicans grow up, stop worrying about beating President Obama in 2012 and do something to improve our country.

Posted by: NewPartyPlease | December 7, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The Emperor Has No Clothes.

Posted by: cautious | December 7, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Empty Suit in Chief!

Posted by: jjcrocket13 | December 7, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Some of you seem to be under the impression that Obama was forceful and resolute today, fighting back fiercely against his tormentors. Nothing could be further from the case. He was a petulant loser, acknowledging that his opponents have kicked his butt and retaliating by calling them names, such as "hostage takers". He also called his progressive friends, who are deserting him, "sanctimonious".

And to think he once bestrode this narrow world like a Colossus! Greek columns and all!

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Hostage-takers" is an accurate description of the GOP. This is, what, the third time in a year that they've held up unemployment benefits in order to get some concession? (or just to be a-holes).

They do this is then come around and vote almost without exception for preserving the benefits -- after at least ensuring that the unemployed see a disruption in their payments for a few days or weeks.

Hostage takers is absolutely correct.

The president's diagnosis is correct in this regard. His prescription of rewarding the behavior is not. If you're dealing with a hostage taker you don't promise a reward for the behavior, what you might do is to provide some indication that cooperation will factor into the sentencing once the crisis passes (e.g. it might lessen the punishment).

The converse might prove to be equally true for the billionaires and the U.S. Senators like Mitch McConnell who feel that some of their colleagues are holding their compensation packages "hostage".

I suspect most Americans though will feel a lot less sympathy for a person who is a crook like McConnell and might use the money to add a golden gilt covering to his toilet seat versus those who are on the edge of survival and who rely on unemployment benefits to help bridge them through a terrible time and potentially to provide a means back to gainful employment.

Posted by: JPRS | December 7, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I had hopes that Jennifer Rubin would be a thinking republican - but with this idiotic post she proves she is nothing but another right wing propaganda salesman.

Very sad. Looking for that Heritage Foundation paycheck already?

Posted by: rapchat1 | December 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Come January 2011 everything we buy will be more expensive.
Thanks to trade war with China everthing purchased at Walmart
will cost more. Thanks to farm bill, everything purchased at the
grocery store will be more expensive . Thanks to govt. approach
to energy - energy prices are rising. Thanks to financial bill all
financial services will be more expensive. Don't even get me started
on the rising cost of healthcare. A 2% deduction of ss taxes will
not close the gap. The vast majority of the American people earn
less than $200,000 a year. If you're worried about the middle class,
undo the liberal agenda- we can't afford it.

Posted by: rosiestokes | December 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm the only Dem who isn't in riot mode. Darn.

If you could disengage your lips from Mitch McConnell's backside just momentarily, you may want to acknowledge that if the so-called Bush Tax Cuts were so awesome for America, it would have cured cancer.

In fact, the rich grew richer and the poor grew poorer -- mostly at the expense of the formerly middle class. Boy, some economic stimulus that turned out to be.

Obama is right: brawling over the extension was not going to solve the immediate crisis, even with the American public's support. But if Republicans want to make believe they won this battle, they did so at the cost of their delusional "deficit hawking" virginity. Congrats.

Posted by: stivnik | December 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

This reporter is empty headed; I heard the press conference as did a number of other, much better reporters who had the same take I did. I thought he explained the situation very clearly. He opposes the tax cuts for the rich, yesterday, today and tomorrow, but he was not going to see the hardship inflicted on lower and middle class Americans by letting them expire. But he exacted a price from Republicans which would help America and help Americans. I am in the group that thinks the Republicans got rolled.

Posted by: withersb | December 7, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

People have such short memories. When Bush wanted to reduce taxes across the board for everyone, liberal Democrats were against it and tried to defeat it. Why because they have less money to spend and waste. Now they claim they want lower taxes for the middle class and the Republicans are only interested in the rich. How's that for a reach around.

Posted by: psurgeonchris1 | December 7, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse


How is anything President Obama said any worse than anything your friends are saying about him just as openly?

Mitch McConnell is on record saying the prime objective for his party over the next two years is assuring President Obama is not re-elected. That sure sounds like he is putting partisan concerns ahead of the health and well-being of the nation.

(By the way, did you stand up and decry this when he said it? No, didn't think so...)

Boehner gets his orange self on TV every night calling President Obama "far left" and a socialist. We both know this is a bald faced lie. President Obama is a moderate.

Eric Cantor, when he isn't whining about something or another is even more polemic. Wait, isn't he always whining? He is also always polemic...

What did you call what turned out to be the bulk of Health Care Reform when it was introduced by republican senators in '93? Except, their plan had the public option and several other things President Obama excluded from his plan.

Like most of the republicans running around DC these days, you have no real ideas. You just re-hash what ever the talking points you are handed are.

Pretty lame

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | December 7, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Strange not to accept that the Republicans have indeed been holding the country hostage for their beloved top .1% of the economic elite. That .1% seems to include quite a few Republican lawmakers themselves. The last I read each member of the elite .1% club gets about $335,000 from tax breaks per year.

And you will notice how dearly the Republicans want deficit reduction. They throw it out the window as soon as they collect their own wealth.

President Obama should not have caved in to them, but he did get a new stimulus package that might do some good.

Posted by: TomSimone | December 7, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If you think this is bad, wait for a press conference from President Palin.

Posted by: j762 | December 7, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Rubin is either an idiot, or too ignorant to consider Nixon, Carter and Bush II. Probably both.

Posted by: kermit5 | December 7, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Obama was kicking an screaming like a little girl last night."

That's not true. All of the women I know have way more composure than that.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | December 7, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"We are the ones we've been waiting for" unless you fail to toe the lefty line. The left is angry because they believe they put Obama in power, and that they own him. Particularly, since he is an African American. What a traitor to make a deal with Republicans, they say? Obama, however, made a bad mistake getting angry and not championing the deal as a real leader would. Instead, he attacked Republicans as hostage takers and extortionists. He really played into the crazy left's hands, and they won't think twice of voting against the deal now that he claimed to have been a victim of Republican chicanery rather than a champion of a smart compromise. The Democrats in the House, particularly the 65 on their way out, could not care less if the people's taxes go up in January. Have you heard Grayson condemn Obama? People who know Grayson since he was a young nerd have always thought him to be a freakish oddball. That he is. But he finally found friends in the House and on MSNBC - MSNBC's Schultzee said Grayson is a hero to the left. My God, what has happened to the Democratic House under Pelosi?

Posted by: sightseer | December 7, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, right: Jennifer Rubin. I forgot she was the new pretend-intellectual from the Right. For a minute I thought I was reading a real columnist.

Posted by: i_go_pogo | December 7, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

IF you are a sado machoist..

Please do not take us down with you..

Posted by: monstermash | December 7, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It's the way community and union organizers do things. That's why it's so important for him to have his Teleprompter.

Posted by: JAH3 | December 7, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Another right-wing columnist for the Post's ever-increasing stable of same. They, like their counterparts among elected officials, seem to be in a contest to see if their followers will reject obviously absurd statements. Back to basics: Republicans claim to be concerned about the deficit but increase it by $700 billion over 10 years with tax cuts for the wealthy who don't need the money. And their claim that this helps create jobs is belied by the Bush years, CBO analyses and other reliable economists.

Posted by: ksc1 | December 7, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone on the left seriously think that if the tax rates were not extended for those earning over $250,000, the money collected by the Treasury would have been used to pay down the debt. Every knows that with increased revenues, Congress and the President would have found a way to spend and be in the same situation if not worse. I have yet to see a spending program that the liberals do not like.

Posted by: sales7 | December 7, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Those of you applauding Obama for comparing Republicans to "hostage-takers" need to think about what he said. He explained that he capitulated on the tax rates because otherwise the "hostages" would be harmed. Is that a message the commander-in-chief should be sending.

Hey, terrorists! Grab a bunch of hostages and weakling Obama will meet your demands. But he'll say some ugly things about you afterward.

It's ironic that Obama is smearing the Republicans while he's depending on them to pass his deal. Most House Dems will probably vote against it, most Republicans for it. It's also ironic that by forcing through pro-growth policies, Republicans might be helping Obama's re-election chances.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt in my mind that GOPers are just bullies. My way or highway! Lord save this country.

Posted by: caringmale69

That actually sounds like the Democrats. You just sound upset that Republican actually have a backbone and stand up for what they believe in. Democrats just refuse to listen to anyone. Just look at how they managed the healthcare debate. back room deals! Dems are in total denial. Everything is everyone else fault, it is never ours!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | December 7, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

You liberals are terrible at making up insults.
None on this thread have any originality, a single element of truth, and are absolutely devoid of humor.
You're as bad at heaping scorn as you are...well...everything else you people do.

And I really thought that if you people had a shot at showing some kind of skill at anything, it would be insulting a conservative woman.

You are an embarrassment, as usual

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely the stupidest comment on Pres Obama. Rubin is a millionaire, like the other leeches whose speculation on Wall Street caused this recession. Let her deny it. Her turn will come

Posted by: dudh | December 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely the stupidest comment on Pres Obama. Rubin is a millionaire, like the other leeches whose speculation on Wall Street caused this recession. Let her deny it. Her turn will come

Posted by: dudh | December 7, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Lotta nasty stuff here. Not sure how it helps solve problems. The whining about taxes is so fake: Americans don't pay much tax, and the Cheney Administration reduced it to the point that the nation's infrastructure cannot be sustained. The Bushies and their favored rich mob will be feeding their fat faces while the strengths of the country -- education, science, technology, equal opportunity, mostly viable environment -- erode. Glad I'll be dead by the time the full force of their destructive efforts takes hold, probably about 20 years, although lots will worsen long before then. The trend is clear.

Posted by: frodot | December 7, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The squealing of leftists over the betrayal of them by Obama is delighful to witness. The man should go to Berlin and make another triunfal speech. Achtung!

Posted by: mhr614 | December 7, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Please tell us again why the Post hired you. It certainly is not because of insightfulness or humor.

Posted by: wstickney1 | December 7, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see Miss Demeaner is also on the thread. Nothing to say that has value, as usual. He/She sitting back in a condo, martini in hand, sneering at the Americans who do the work.

Posted by: dudh | December 7, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

lightweight analysis

Posted by: BertinDC | December 7, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I do sneer well, I must say.

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 7, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

First time in 2 years the president exercises his "post-partisianship" and he calls Republicans "hostige-takers."


Does he believe that Republicans are his fellow countrymen with a different view? Or does he think less of them than terrorists?

I think the latter.

He's one messed up man.

Posted by: Cdgaman | December 7, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is unhappy with him.

Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: nana4 | December 7, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

lightweight analysis

Posted by: BertinDC

The analysis effort is directly proportional to the subject matter. This guy is about as deep as my daughter's kiddie pool!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | December 7, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that, the party that 'still' has the absolute majority (meaning, doesn't need a single vote from the opposition), couldn't pass legislation at their pleasure and mood? That's simply because they realise the folly of 'misinterpreting' their mandate and overreaching in their power, without at least one vote from the opposition, to claim a bi-partisan solution.

Why is it that, in their demand for a bi-partisan compromise, the hard-liners forget that demand and damn any concessions as 'caving in' to the opposition and going on the war path?

Nevermind that the original theme of this battle was not 'tax cuts', as the media would have you believe. It was the retention of current tax rates. If the rates had expired, EVERYONE would be paying MORE taxes. This was NEVER about 'tax cuts'.

Those of you who think you have the right to someone else's money, for whatever reason, have never learned responsibility for yourselves. Taking forcefully from others is stealing. "Thou shall not steal" and "Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's" should come to mind.

Posted by: caotisch | December 7, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ms. Rubin, if you think the Republicans are put upon, you should be a progressive -- that is to say... sanctimonious Democrat today.

That said, and wrapped in robes of purest santimony, I take you to task for this: "Saying Republicans opposed middle class tax cuts. Not true -- they wanted no tax increases for anyone." Dear lady, opposing tax cuts for 98% of the country suggests the Republicans were, indeed, "holding out tax cuts for the rich as the 'Holy grail'." No amount of equivocation will prove otherwise -- simply take the hundreds of billions added to the deficit and be happy.

Posted by: Lemeritus | December 7, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"Worst press conference -- ever" is pure hyperbole.

I expect more intellectual honesty from J-Ru, not groupthink with John Podhoretz..

I am not an Obama fan, but I watched a repeat of the press conference on C-Span, after reading Pod's live blogging, and thought Obama did ok without a teleprompter.

The GOP is making a huge mistake in being so stubborn on extending the irresponsible
Bush43 tax cuts that were temporary for a very good reason: just in case those forecasted surpluses disappeared, which they did.

Voters did not go GOP to preserve or extend these tax cuts. It was about the bad priorities of the Dems, putting health insurance reform first while making it a mess, and the looming deficit crisis.

Does everyone have to drink the Kool-Aid flavor of the day?

Posted by: K2K2 | December 7, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

ms rubin , it was not the worst press conference, Obama was strong and positive, it is shameful that the Washington Post has you as a columnist,and I regret that I will see your name when I read some of the distinguished columnists ( on both sides of the aisle ) that I read in your paper .You are a disgrace to this newspaper and to your profession

Posted by: gwbc | December 7, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

ms rubin , it was not the worst press conference, Obama was strong and positive, it is shameful that the Washington Post has you as a columnist,and I regret that I will see your name when I read some of the distinguished columnists ( on both sides of the aisle ) that I read in your paper .You are a disgrace to this newspaper and to your profession

Posted by: gwbc


Positive? Calling Republicans hostage takers is positive? LOL!! Silly liberal. Your denial to see reality is why we are in the mess we are in today.

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | December 7, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama has had it very easy -- until now he has not really had to deal with the disapproval of the press or his base. But with his terrible decision to cave into Republicans tax policy, all that has changed. Now we will see how focused he can be when he is not receiving adulation from the Democrats and/or the press.

His little temper tantrum of a press conference seems like it was more for his emotional needs than it was designed to achieve a political goal.

His numerous verbal mistakes shows us that he can easily fumble when upset. For instance:
"This country was founded on compromise," said Obama.
Oh really? How did we compromise with the British, although we did compromise when it came to slavery.

Posted by: JamesCaroll | December 7, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

To Jen Rubin--Get a different job than being a reporter--obviously you must be Republican to make such ridiculous statements. Bush was ' Stupid" and to even suggest O'Bama isn't smart is low for even someone like you--a lightweight in the field of journalism !!!

Posted by: dnlallar | December 7, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Superlatives usually fail their test, and that's why it's best to use them very sparingly. Worst press conference ever? Not by a long shot. One the worst I can recall was the 1973 Richard Nixon "I'm not a crook'' press conference. Now there was a press conference, complete with a president being hounded out of office. Give me ten minutes, and I could probably name ten more. Obama's a jerk, but there have been bigger jerks in the White House.

Posted by: dparks2 | December 7, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Worst press conference ever goes to Reagan, when asked if he traded arms for hostages. "No," Reagan said.
Pres Obama STUCK UP

Posted by: dudh | December 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a very good adult press conference. I learnt about the process that the President underwent here, and that he was unhappy with this but did this because some of the things in the deal were super important to him and the people.

I am OK with that and there is nothing here that is less than excellent.

For the record, I hate the super-rich tax breaks, but I certainly am glad that Obama is in charge.

Posted by: rocky | December 7, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama has mental issues and the coming meltdown is going to be a sight to behold.

Tried to warn all you know-everything leftists. How are you fools going to explain away voting for America's first nutcase President?

Posted by: LogicalSC | December 7, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse


You're beautiful.

American the Beautiful.

God bless Jen.

God bless America.

God Bless President and Laura Bush.

God Bless all of us!

And now that I know my take-home paycheck won't shrink on 1/1/2011 by a precipitous 10 or 12 percent, I can continue giving to the needy in the new year, as conservatives and Republicans are particularly inclined.

Posted by: johnnyramone | December 7, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

It is an absolute joy to watch the collective melt-down now occurring among the left, the press, and the White House.
You can't make a silk purse of a sows ear, and no amount of spin can make Obama into a competent president.
He is an abject failure, and exhibits all the worst traits of a failure-blaming others, being whining and mean spirited. Note the responses here on this forum-the left is having a collective breakdown.
Oh, and that old tired canard of Bush being stupid etc etc, is clearly NOT resonaiting with the American People. Bush's rating are climbing, and people miss him-more so in view of the bumbling stupidly and petulance that is being fed to us by the current president.

Posted by: jiminhaiku | December 7, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Well Ms. Rubin you likely believe the best press conference ever was 14 April 2004 when Bush blathered on and on about making no mistakes following 9/11. Yea, that one was a gem along with most of his others. You and Ms. Palin seem to follow the same snarky game plan.

Posted by: gfoster56 | December 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

For all those hurling insults above I present a trick question:

If a bill is passed which reduces tax rates for all taxpayers, how in the world can it be demonized - for nine long years - as merely "a tax cut for the rich"?

Trick Answer: It can't, truthfully.

So, when congressional Democrat Leaders finally came to their senses last Thursday (in the House) and Saturday (in the Senate) by advocating for a "Middle Class Tax Cut" that merely extended the current Bush Tax Rate Cuts and introduced no new ones, Democrat leadership was implicitly admitted to the "Big Lie."

And no amount of hurling insults at our beloved columnist - or republicans in general - will change those facts.

You guys have been hoisted on your own petard ... once again.

Posted by: mobileruss | December 7, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

With crimes like these no wonder there is a huge demand for Criminal Justice professionals get a degree from "United Forensic College"

Posted by: sveinyael | December 8, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Bail outs and subsistence living. They put the circuit breakers on the markets instead of the cables. The real operation is to destroy the energy of government and accommodate failure and mediocrity. Now the worse it gets the more you can get out of it. The power to tax is the power to destroy or hand over assets to some failed corporation that destroyed its own operation. No investors, no problem. They'll send you pallets of 100 dollar bills, you do the sorting or the math.

Posted by: jobandon | December 8, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Great News Conference for the President; however, I believe all tax cuts should end.

Republicans paid for them with loans from China.

Democrats need to end the Bush tax cuts, and when the economy gets better, make tax cuts the country can afford.

Posted by: SCVoter | December 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Reading the lefty comments here, I can only marvel at the extent of the Freudian projection on display.

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I actually think it was the best Presidential Press Conference I've ever seen. I've never seen President Obama so combative before, and I like it. Normally, he is very conciliatory toward left and right in his press conferences, trying to portray an understanding that he knows that each side has legitimate reasons to believe what they believe.

Here, he finally called a spade a spade by mocking the Republicans as they should be mocked and by reminding the angry left (of which I am somewhat a member) that he has responsibilities to the whole nation as President. He doesn't just "dance with the one that brung ya" as George W. Bush did. President Obama intends on being President of the whole country, not just the people who voted for him, and I am glad that he showed anger at those, left and right, who only represent parochial ideological purity, which ultimately gets us nowhere. I am sorry, but I have to disagree with the author of this column. I saw a statesman at that press conference yesterday, and I finally saw someone who realized that the Republicans are out to destroy him, even if it means destroying America in the process. Kudos, Mr. President.

Posted by: W-Cubed | December 8, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama was brilliant!! While I don't like that he had to cave in on the tax breaks for the wealthy, he did get more for the middle and lower classes than ever dreamed possible by most economists (and most say this 'deal' will help the recovery). He also PROVED that the GOP is more concerned with paying off the very rich than the platform on which they took control of the House... note how much deficit didn't matter so long as they got the tax break for the wealthy. Meanwhile, for Ms Rubin to say that Obama was wrong for not being gracious in defeat is just a perfect example of the lady doth protest too much. He just called it for what it is. Ms Rubin knows darn well the GOP was holding middle class American hostage... she just hates that Obama was honest with the American people about why he 'compromised'.

If you take off your MY TEAM t-shirt, you will see that Obama PROVED he is more concerned about the PEOPLE than he is about proving how tough he can be. And the GOP toadies are so proud of themselves for getting their prize, they don't even realize he won. Congratulations Mr President!

Posted by: SRS311 | December 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I can just feel the generosity, good spirit and love that the liberal posters on this site carry in their hearts. Of course, their hearts seem about as large as sesame seed, but still.

Posted by: fbinahoy | December 8, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is calling yesterday's performance the "Dirty Diaper Press Conference". Waah! Waah!

Posted by: eoniii | December 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

WOW - I thought the press conference was about right.

When you say something is "not true" and "wrong" it's professional to say why the statements are "not true" and "wrong".

Pundits and reporters say Pres. Obama may be having a "meltdown". Please are these the same pundits who haven't gotten anything right for the past two years.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 8, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well ... the Tonight Show has gotten on board and if SNL starts bashing him you can officially consider him burnt toast ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | December 8, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

There is a terrible dilemma in engaging with leftists over these questions, because if they think that Obama's press conference was a great victory, there is no better approach than to let them continue to live in their own fantasy world, which will lead them to many more such victories. Obama enacted his own critique of the left--he claimed that their objections to his compromise simply preserved for them a fantasy of their own purity, but his own virulent attacks on Republicans does exactly that. The dilemma is that one wants to talk, to argue, to debate, especially here at a WaPo blog written by a conservative but with a substantial leftist readership; but, from the standpoint of political self-interest, it's better not to let reality puncture their fantasies. I suppose the dilemma is resolved once one considers that they don't listen to anything outside of their own closed box anyway.

Posted by: adam62 | December 8, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Flaming duck president. Somebody stamp out the fire, please.

Posted by: pburich | December 9, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

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