Archive for January, 2010

Tour de Force

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Inspired by President Obama’s meeting yesterday with the House Republican Caucus, as reported in Obama Takes Questions From House GOP (Huffington Post 1/29/10), Obama goes to GOP’s house for a wide open exchange (Washington Post 1/30/10) and In riveting political theater, a first act of trust? (Washington Post 1/31/10). I think it’s fair to say that President Obama performed extremely well  (the more partisan among us might even say that he tore them a new one… but in a very nice, friendly way). After about a twenty minute introductory statement, the President took questions from caucus members, which he answered eloquently and without notes or prompts from aides. Independents and Dems will watch this and say “This is why I voted for Obama.” Even some Republicans might come to the conclusion that he’s not the extremist fascio-socialist reverse racist out to destroy America that Fox News tells them he is.

“The main benefit is that greater interaction builds a measure of trust between the president and congressional Republicans,” John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute said. “Trust opens up possibilities for collaboration on some future issue with a more bipartisan character. It also builds trust, which might come in handy if there is a different future political dynamic, like narrower Democratic majorities after the midterm election, or even possibly GOP control of one house.” – John Fortier, American Enterprise Institute

 “It was not a gesture. Our intention was not us-win-them-lose. I think he showed sincerity in going there.” –White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (Quotes from Washington Post)

      President Obama met with House Republicans Friday

And answered their questions for a good chunk of the day.

Even arch-conservative AEI had good things to say

(Albeit based on GOP Congressional majority after next election day).

     After a 20” intro, Obama answered questions for an hour,

With humor, good cheer, and eloquent power.

He spoke without notes and gave fact-filled replies

That questioners for ignoring reality did (gently) chastise.

     Republicans tried to trap or bait Obama,

But he didn’t stoop to cheap political drama.

Obama didn’t get flustered – he stayed collected and cool,

And bested his opponents in that 140-to-1 duel.

     The President’s performance was a tour de force

(I wouldn’t have expected anything less, of course).

Republicans, on the other hand, realized they were toast

(For more on that, read my next post).


Here’s video of the meeting.

Here’s Keith Olbermann reporting on the meeting.

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Here are Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews on Keith Olbermann commenting on Obama’s performance.

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