George Bush was constantly derided as a moron and compared to Hitler, but he never turned in a press conference that was as weird and un-presidential as Barack Obama did yesterday. (Hotair has videos.)
If President Obama thinks comparing Republicans to hostage takers and claiming that lower taxes for the rich is their “holy grail”-with all that this caricature implies-is going to usher in a new age of comity in Washington, he is even more cocooned and isolate than one thought.
But it seemed that yesterday’s press conference wasn’t about the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts-it was about how the president doesn’t like to be criticized, by the right or left. He was lashing out.
Washington Post’s “Right Turn” blogger Jennifer Rubin called it “The Worst Press Conference-Ever:”
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.
“Get that Man a Teleprompter” urges Rich Lowry:
Surely, if President Obama had been scripted this afternoon he wouldn’t have let loose with such a self-revelatory rant at the end of his presser. To this point, the hallmark of Obama has been his bloodlessness and lack of emotion, in almost any circumstance. North Korea could nuke Seoul and he’d come out and coolly pronounce it a regrettable event that proves we need to ratify New START. We’ve learned today that what really gets under his skin and makes him boil is criticism, and especially criticism from progressives. Only a man of the left could care so much about attacks from the left wing.
Jim Cramer is a wild and crazy guy who’s fun to read and watch on the stock market. He had an intriguing commentary on why the market, having initially welcomed news of President Obama’s tax deal with Republicans, fell after the president’s presser:
Judging by the selloff after his press conference, those who believed joined those who didn’t as we watched a president who doesn’t have the juice to get this deal done, at least not within the time frame the market demands right now. Certainly not within the time frame needed to offset worries about further Chinese tightening — something we better get used to, because it is going to happen fairly often until China recreates a soft-landing scenario.
That’s why the big machinery companies didn’t maintain their rally. That’s why the banks couldn’t hold. It’s because hour by hour, people figured out that the “compromise” wasn’t really a compromise but some sort of messy framework that will leave us in limbo and therefore send us down, not up, as long as the limbo lasts.
The presser was like an accident on the highway-you can’t stop looking, even though it is bad. The irony is that the president did the right thing (not everybody, even some conservatives, agrees)-he also recognized reality. The Republicans could probably get something they like even more by waiting until next year. But letting the cuts expire, even if they are re-instituted next year, adds to uncertainty and would mean taking a bigger chunk out of paychecks early in the year. He had something to sell-he just wasn’t adult enough to make the pitch.