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« Political tennis | Main | America's finest »

September 01, 2011



What can they possibly be thinking?


This post is the final evidence that PM has lost his nerve, and ability to provide the insightful analysis he used to. The second Obama speaks next Thursday no one is going to remember this. NO ONE. Stop looking at politics as a game of who wins and who loses. If you want to assign blame, lay it on the media who would make it impossible for Obama to "Ace" this.

And by the way, is blaming Republicans for their tactics out of fashion? This whole thing happens -- the greatest disrespect to a President ever -- and the left makes sure no one knows it. Incredible.

And if we want to talk about caving, what is worse? Accepting a different date because technically he can't just say when he is coming, but has to be invited, or taking your marching orders from a drug-addict, racist talk show host?


This comment from Fighting Bill from BooMan's post sums this whole thing up well:

Here we go again: post-mortems before anything has actually happened.

The fact that he agreed to Boehner's postponement almost immediately, before the news cycle had even swallowed the original "stepping on the debate" meme, should tell you something. The audience for a cable tv Republican debate, on MSNBC no less, was always going to be miniscule. This turn of events puts it a bit more in the spotlight, with a little extra pressure on Perry and Romney, as a wounded Bachmann hovers beside them, pressuring them into agreeing with her Tea Party flavored lunacy. Having to bitch about Obama without knowing the content of his speech, while savaging each other as they jockey for position, is going to be quite entertaining.

If, as I suspect, the speech precedes the NFL game, Obama will likely have a larger audience than he might otherwise have had. He's putting added pressure on himself by taking this route, indicating, I think, that he views this as a very big effing deal. Of course that won't stop the blogosphere, and apparently many even here, from pronouncing the whole thing an epic fail before it even happens.


I have no idea why they did this if they were going to walk it back.

But yeah, Daley needs to go and I guess Plouffe with him. They need new blood to fight this one out.



The President set the suckers up and they kindly obliged by demonstrating in no uncertain terms to the vast majority of Americans that Republicans do not care one twit about the majority of Americans.

That they are so blind by their arrogance that they did not see exactly what President Obama was doing to them is a blindness I assure you President Obama and his team comprehended and took full advantage.

When President Obama speaks to the Nation, in front of these clowns, and says - so are you ever going to put the people of this Nation before petty party politics - the People of this Nation already will know the answer - NO.

Arrogance is a deadly disease. President Obama has no intention of offering a cure. He's just going to bury the stinking carcass of the Republican Party on Election Day 2012.

Yes.We.Can. ... DO.More.Together!

Tom D

"...the principal strategy behind requesting the Sept 7th date could not have been the brief amusement to be derived from requesting it. Rather, it had to be the answer to the question, What will we do when Boehner rejects it?"

You're almost there, PM. The principle strategy wasn't to set up a *response* to Boehner's rejection, it was to give Boehner (representing his party) something specific to reject on an exclusively partisan basis.

And in fact, this wasn't even a strategy, just another tactic in the President's crystal clear Election 2012 strategic vision: drive home, every day in every way, the rabid, blinkered, selfish lunacy of the Republican Party and contrast it with his own Adult In The Room approach to governance.

This particular issue was, IMO, a more than usually *well executed* tactic, in that it provides expanded news coverage and viewership of the Republican clown fight on the 7th, and gives the POTUS a valuable lead-in audience for the NFL season opener. But these tactical skirmishes don't have to be big wins to be effective.


This. To both of superunknown's comments. This is what we've come to with the banality of the 24/7 chatterers er, pundits. Talk about fiddling while Rome is burning.

You Don't Say

What a distraction from what really matters. I've about had it with politics and the coverage of it.


Roger, Tom D!


Ergo, the principal strategy behind requesting the Sept 7th date could not have been the brief amusement to be derived from requesting it. Rather, it had to be the answer to the question, What will we do when Boehner rejects it?

You effing kidding me ? Any sane person can see the White House expected the date to simply be a date, and not any kind of political issue. It takes some real kool-aid to backfill the fact with the kind of fantasy that they gamed anything. They gamed shit, and when the GOP pounced, they played of the back foot as usual and fed the meme that he fights for NOTHING, not even when HE wants to speak.

"The second Obama speaks next Thursday no one is going to remember this" or "This whole thing happens -- the greatest disrespect to a President ever"

Which is it? People are turned into pretzels because they can't believe their eyes.

But like W, he will squeak in by a few % and feel 100% vindicated in his once every four year accountability moment.....


Well Hackjob,

If President Obama squeaks by a minimal fraction then it makes no difference to me. It just means that we have 4 more years to save America from complete destruction.


Romney with a dem congress would be about the same in terms of the destruction of America.

A totally weak President (like W's whole second term, will not be good for America....

If the only measure is re-election, everyone can probably rest easy.

Robert Lipscomb

Why do people insist that Obama folded? He asked if you could visit someone. He cannot demand to be there, any more than I can insist that say P.M. allow me to come to his house and spek to his frinds and family.

But that beggars P.M.'s point. Why would Obama put him in the position of being publicly rejected? He had to know it was coming.

Last night, Richard Wolfe reported that the White House thought they had a verbal agreement with Boehner for that date.

I suspect there is a whole backstory we have not heard.

Susan SC

I agree this is petty, trivial, and ridiculous. However, it does add another heaping teaspoon onto the "Obama is a wimp" theme that is implanting itself into the general public's very brief and shallow attention span. I worry too, PM...and pray Obama quickly gets some dynamic, energetic, creative, aggressive, active as opposed to re-active advisors to want to go out there and fight for him, for us....Please!


I'm thinking ahead to the election in 2012. Voters are deciding if Obama is strong enough to be President. Despite taking out Bin Laden, probably one of the five biggest boogeymen in US history; taking out Qadaffi, who Reagan couldn't get, despite getting heaping praise for long-time military people; despite being the first black president who lives with death threats every day.

Despite all that, voters will remember he folded on the date of his job speech, and decide he isn't tough enough. That's how I see it playing out.

Tom D

Susan SC - there are plenty of themes being presented to the general public; the Wimpy Obama construct is just one of them. The others include No Drama Obama and The Only Adult in the Room, both of which seem to me to be far more important to Obama personally and strategically than the Wimp projection. And while the wimp / sellout / precapitulater theme is provably false, to forestall it he'd have to do so in most instances at the cost of undercutting the others.

In a sane and rational political climate, he wouldn't have to prove his toughness to his own "team"; the record speaks for itself, and his opponents keep finding it out. But we've never had a sane political climate in the US, nor a rational one, so Obama sets his strategic course based on fidelity to his own nature and on what wins over the larger American base.

You can argue that politic appearance is as important / more important than results, and you may even be right, but I'd say that being seen to do your job without ego and arrogance is pretty effective strategy.


PM you must either be busy today or allowing this whole trivial thing to get to you. I say this because you haven't posted anything else since this morning.

Susan SC

Tom D,

My analytical, detached, evolved self knows all this, and agrees with you absolutely. However, my emotionally and hormonally controlled lizard brain is craving some ass-kicking by Obama.

I have been defending Obama's Zen master tactics for months; I know he is politically wiser than this move would indicate. I know he is way craftier than any of his handlers, any of the Republicans. I just want his people to not allow Obama to be put in these no-win positions. It is an unnecessary distraction from the real message. They need to take care of him, take care of the message...what they are doing does not appear to be working in the PR department. Somebody fix it!!!


I suspect Independent voters like to see results and like someone who looks like a winner. Obama isn't getting results and doesn't look like a winner. Boehner gets results--apparently 98% of what he wants. I also suspect Obama is getting his wish of looking like the Only Adult in the Room. Unfortunately for him, to many voters he's the adult who just stands there when the bullies are beating up your kid.

Sadly for true Democrats, his behavior reinforces the stereotype of ineffectual liberals. That's ironic since he's actually a moderate Republican.

You Don't Say

No one is above blame, but the Republicans are getting exactly what they want when erstwhile Obama supporters blame the president's mild manner rather the Republicans total obstructionism and corrupt policies for the government's ineffectiveness.

Tom D

@ wtf: "Boehner gets results-- apparently 98% of what he wants." And we can be assured that this is so, because Boehner himself told us so. QED.


Seriously, you think Rahm could make this better? Republicans hated him. He wanted Obama to skip over HCR and then grind it down to bits when we lost the Senate seat in Mass. Oh wait, didn't we lose the Mass seat while Rahm was in office? I remember people blamed the stimulus on him too and pretty much everything under the sun. Now you want him back? This is the Chief of Staff version of WWHD (what would Hillary do?) Knock it off.


Please understand that as a black man, Obama has faced these kinds of petty, racist and vindictive put- downs his whole life. Over and over again. They are nothing new to him or any black person living in America today. And the white folks always thought they had put him in his place. HA! He ended up as President of the United States. This is an incredibly strong man with all the life skills needed to keep winning at this game. Why anyone doubts this is beyond me.


What freaking difference does any of this make? We all know that whatever this man proposes will immediately be shot down by this Congress and the corporate-owned media. So what are we going to do? Set at home and suck our thumbs and stay home on election day (again)...if so, we deserve a Pres. Perry..god help us!

steve duncan

President Boehner's response to Obama's speech should be interesting.


Perfectly stated, ronaida!


@Ronalda: EXACTLY!

@Steve Duncan: Interesting? no. Predictable? yes.

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