Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Obama press conference: Taking a shellacking

This afternoon Obama held a press conference on the subject of how it’s all the economy’s fault.

THOSE WHO HAD BOTH WON AND LOST? HOW VERY ZEN: “Last night I had a chance to speak to the leaders of the House and the Senate and reached out to those who had both won and lost in both parties.”

LIKE WHEN BIDEN GETS INTO THE BOURBON: “I can tell you that some election nights are more fun than others.”

MOSTLY THEY SAID “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY BACKYARD?” “Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country and meet people where they live and where they work, from backyards to factory floors. I did some talking, but mostly I did a lot of listening.” Obama is renowned for his listening skills.

What Obama has learned during the course of all this listening, is that “People are frustrated -- they’re deeply frustrated -- with the pace of our economic recovery and the opportunities that they hope for their children and their grandchildren.” See, they’re not frustrated with him, it’s with the economy. And not even the trend of the economy, but the pace of that trend. So it’s all good.

WAIT, THERE’S A REASON? “There’s a reason we have two parties in this country, and both Democrats and Republicans have certain beliefs and certain principles that each feels cannot be compromised.” Funny, I’m pretty sure we have more than two parties. I mean, I voted for candidates from three parties yesterday.

ALTHOUGH ONE SEEMS TO HAVE A MONOPOLY ON TRI-CORNER HATS: “As I’ve said before, no person, no party, has a monopoly on wisdom.”

WHAT HE DO BELIEVE: “I do believe there is hope for civility.”

IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE HE’S TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE ECONOMIC SITUATION HERE: “And that’s because I believe in the resiliency of a nation that’s bounced back from much worse than what we’re going through right now -- a nation that’s overcome war and depression”. So get bouncing, America.

AP’s Ben Feller asks if “who do you think speaks to the true voice of the American people right now: you or John Boehner?” Oddly, Obama never addressed that important question, although I guess if we hear the true voice of the American people and it’s either unsettlingly robotic or choking back tears, we’ll have the answer.

If you were waiting for a big admission of his shortcomings, here it is: “And we were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done. And I think that frustrated people.”

WHAT HE’S NOT GOING TO ANTICIPATE THAT THEY’RE NOT GOING TO, WAIT, WHAT? “Well, what is absolutely true is, is that without any Republican support on anything, then it’s going to be hard to get things done. But I’m not going to anticipate that they’re not going to support anything.”

Jake Tapper asks the big question: “what does it feel like?” Obama: “It feels bad.”

WHAT THE SMARTEST THING FOR US TO DO IS: “I think the smartest thing for us to do is to see if we can get Democrats and Republicans in a room who are serious about energy independence and are serious about keeping our air clean and our water clean and dealing with the issue of greenhouse gases”. So, not a very large room. Which saves on the cost of heating it. See, where’re half-way there?

POSSIBLY THE MOST DISTURBING-SOUNDING SENTENCE OBAMA HAS EVER UTTERED: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way.”

He says eliminating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

WHAT HE DOESN’T THINK ANYBODY DENIES: “So I don’t think anybody denies they think we’re in a ditch. I just don’t think they feel like we’ve gotten all the way out of the ditch yet. And to move the analogy forward that I used in the campaign, I think what they want right now is the Democrats and the Republicans both pushing some more to get the car on level ground. And we haven’t done that.” In this analogy is the Auto Club China?

Hans Nichols of Bloomberg asks “if you’re going to have John Boehner over for a Slurpee”. Obama: “they’re delicious drinks.” Boehner would get an orange Slurpee, of course.

WHAT THERE IS A INHERENT DANGER IN: “There is a inherent danger in being in the White House and being in the bubble. I mean, folks didn’t have any complaints about my leadership style when I was running around Iowa for a year.” So maybe you should be doing that, then. Also, you didn’t have a leadership style per se because you weren’t actually a, you know, leader yet.

WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO: “And they got a pretty good look at me up close and personal, and they were able to lift the hood and kick the tires”. They did what you to you now? Show us on this Tonka truck where the Iowans touched you.

WHAT ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE’VE GOT TO THINK ABOUT IS: “And one of the challenges that we’ve got to think about is how do I meet my responsibilities here in the White House, which require a lot of hours and a lot of work, but still have that opportunity to engage with the American people on a day-to-day basis, and know -- give them confidence that I’m listening to them. Those letters that I read every night, some of them just break my heart. Some of them provide me encouragement and inspiration. But nobody is filming me reading those letters.” Well, they should probably get right on that.

“But, I mean, I think it’s important to point out as well that a couple of great communicators, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, were standing at this podium two years into their presidency getting very similar questions because the economy wasn’t working the way it needed to be and there were a whole range of factors that made people concerned that maybe the party in power wasn’t listening to them.” Well, to be fair, Clinton had someone behind the podium giving him a blow job, and Reagan was staring off into space waiting for the director to tell him to get on a horse.

So evidently, presidential popularity is entirely a function of the economy and nothing to do with his policies. He could be Reagan or Clinton or Millard Fucking Fillmore. I’m pretty sure this is exactly the message the American people were hoping for from him.

WHAT HE’S NOT RECOMMENDING: “now, I’m not recommending for every future President that they take a shellacking...”

Although about the time President Palin takes office, Bristol should be giving birth to little baby Shellac.

NOW HE’S JUST TALKING ABOUT EVOLUTION TO PISS THE REPUBLICANS OFF: “But I do think that this is a growth process and an evolution.”

WELL, THE SEX JUST IS’NT THAT GOOD ANYMORE: “And the relationship that I’ve had with the American people is one that built slowly, peaked at this incredible high, and then during the course of the last two years, as we’ve, together, gone through some very difficult times, has gotten rockier and tougher.”

WHAT MAKES HIM COME AWAY FEELING SO MUCH MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS COUNTRY: “because when I travel around the country, even in the toughest of these debates -- in the midst of health care last year during the summer when there were protesters about, and when I’m meeting families who’ve lost loved ones in Afghanistan or Iraq -- I always come away from those interactions just feeling so much more optimistic about this country.” Well that makes it all okay.

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