I have to tell you there were so many time where I have screamed "what the fuck", why doesn't the campaign do XYZ when the Obama campaign was in so many predicaments but at every turn they did something that proved my strategy wrong. I had wanted the Obama campaign to aggressively attack and attack when Hillary was screaming her lungs out "shame on you Barack Obama" among many campaign drama the media was just eating up. Emotions were high but at every stage of the campaign there was only on person who was ALWAYS calm and collected. It was Barack Obama. I learned after many second guessing of the then Senator Obama's strategies (which by the way were on point at very corner), to calm the fuck down and be patient and stop pretending I know more than a collective of many experienced intelligent minds who were are around this man shape his campaign message.
It took me a while to get a feeling that Obama and his people knew exactly what they are doing and day by day I became comfortable to stop second guessing them because at the right time, at the right moment, when everyone thought Obama was under water, he always came through swinging hard and hitting the ball out of the park.
It is like deja vu all over again today and if you have not heard the President's news conference on the abrupt Boehner no where to be found disappearance from deficit reduction talks, well here is the video worth listening to with some important selective quotes from the transcript below:
Partial Transcript in quotes below:
I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that we’ve been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package.The president went to explaining what was offered to the Republicans and what was partially agreed up on by the gang of six, which were "over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense" plus a "$650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs and a "$1.2 trillion in additional revenues" which was less than what the Gang of Six signed off on, without tax hikes that could be accomplished by "eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process".
So what did the White House offered:
So let me reiterate what we were offering. We were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the Gang of Six. We were calling for taxes that were less than what the Gang of Six had proposed. And we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue.Here is the President, the politician, the smooth operator, chewing Boehner into piece and spitting him out for fucking with him after a long hard bipartisan effort the White House negotiations team put to solve this ceiling problem:
But in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, I was willing to take a lot of heat from my party -- and I spoke to Democratic leaders yesterday, and although they didn’t sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations, despite a lot of heat from a lot of interest groups around the country, in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem.
It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. And, frankly, if you look at commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. In fact, there are a lot of Republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. Because the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the American people believe we should have a balanced approach.The President drilling the Republicans for their no Tax revenue initiative but only cut entitlement programs:
Now, if you do not have any revenues, as the most recent Republican plan that’s been put forward both in the House and the Senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is more of a burden on seniors, more drastic cuts to education, more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on services that are going to middle-class families all across the country. And it essentially asks nothing of corporate jet owners, it asks nothing of oil and gas companies, it asks nothing from folks like me who’ve done extremely well and can afford to do a little bit more.
Exposing the party of NO to the American People:
And I think that one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is can they say yes to anything? Can they say yes to anything? I mean, keep in mind it’s the Republican Party that has said that the single most important thing facing our country is deficits and debts. We’ve now put forward a package that would significantly cut deficits and debt. It would be the biggest debt reduction package that we’ve seen in a very long time.Now if that is not bipartisanship, I don't know what it is. The President is showing to the American people that he is serious about solving debt ceiling problem in a serious ways while understanding the Republican pledge trying to find a different way to execute a plan without them breaking their pledge. I must say I love how this is playing out.
And it’s accomplished without raising individual tax rates. It’s accomplished in a way that’s compatible with the “no tax” pledge that a whole bunch of these folks signed on to -- because we were mindful that they had boxed themselves in and we tried to find a way for them to generate revenues in a way that did not put them in a bad spot.
More drilling deeper and unmasking the republicans:
And so the question is, what can you say yes to? Now, if their only answer is what they’ve presented, which is a package that would effectively require massive cuts to Social Security, to Medicare, to domestic spending, with no revenues whatsoever, not asking anything from the wealthiest in this country or corporations that have been making record profits -- if that’s their only answer, then it’s going to be pretty difficult for us to figure out where to go. Because the fact of the matter is that’s what the American people are looking for, is some compromise, some willingness to put partisanship aside, some willingness to ignore talk radio or ignore activists in our respective bases, and do the right thing.The President has invited the House and Senate leaders to a 11am meeting today and he want ACTION:
The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.On the Social Security Checks and more:
And the reason for it is we’ve now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. The economy is already weakened. And the notion that five or six or eight months from now we’ll be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense.
In addition, if we can’t come up with a serious plan for actual deficit and debt reduction, and all we’re doing is extending the debt ceiling for another six, seven, eight months, then the probabilities of downgrading U.S. credit are increased, and that will be an additional cloud over the economy and make it more difficult for us and more difficult for businesses to create jobs that the American people so desperately need.
when it comes to all the checks, not just Social Security -- veterans, people with disabilities -- about 70 million checks are sent out each month -- if we default then we’re going to have to make adjustments. And I’m already consulting with Secretary Geithner in terms of what the consequences would be.Explaining away how nuts the Republican Party has become regarding why the WH deal was more generous than the Gang of Six:
We should not even be in that kind of scenario. And if Congress -- and in particular, the House Republicans -- are not willing to make sure that we avoid default, then I think it’s fair to say that they would have to take responsibility for whatever problems arise in those payments. Because, let me repeat, I’m not interested in finger-pointing and I’m not interested in blame, but I just want the facts to speak for themselves.
We have put forward a plan that is more generous to Republican concerns than a bipartisan plan that was supported by a number of Republican senators, including at least one that is in Republican leadership in the Senate. Now, I’ll leave it up to the American people to make a determination as to how fair that is. And if the leadership cannot come to an agreement in terms of how we move forward, then I think they will hold all of us accountable.
Because what had become apparent was that Speaker Boehner had some difficulty in his caucus. There are a group of his caucus that actually think default would be okay and have said that they would not vote for increasing the debt ceiling under any circumstances.
And so I understand how they get themselves stirred up and the sharp ideological lines that they’ve drawn. And ultimately, my responsibility is to make sure that we avoid extraordinary difficulties to American people and American businesses.
And so, unfortunately, when you’re in these negotiations you don’t get 100 percent of what you want. You may not even get 60 or 70 percent of what you want. But I was willing to try to persuade Democratic leadership as well as Democratic members of Congress that even a deal that is not as balanced as I think it should be is better than no deal at all. And I was willing to persuade Democrats that getting a handle on debt and deficit reduction is important to Democrats just as much as it’s important to Republicans -- and, frankly, a lot of Democrats are persuaded by that.
Here is a little lecture to you brainless journalists and write this:
Last point I’ll make here. I mean, I’ve gone out of my way to say that both parties have to make compromises. I think this whole episode has indicated the degree to which at least a Democratic President has been willing to make some tough compromises. So when you guys go out there and write your stories, this is not a situation where somehow this was the usual food fight between Democrats and Republicans. A lot of Democrats stepped up in ways that were not advantageous politically. So we’ve shown ourselves willing to do the tough stuff on an issue that Republicans ran on.
Here is a little dose of what it means to be a leader and folks, WE GOT BARACK OBAMA with the punch line:
The hard part is actually dealing with the underlying debt and deficits, and doing it in a way that’s fair. That’s all the American people are looking for -- some fairness. I can’t tell you how many letters and emails I get, including from Republican voters, who say, look, we know that neither party is blameless when it comes to how this deft and deficit developed -- there’s been a lot of blame to spread around -- but we sure hope you don’t just balance the budget on the backs of seniors. We sure hope that we’re not slashing our commitment to make sure kids can go to college. We sure hope that we’re not suddenly throwing a bunch of poor kids off the Medicaid rolls so they can’t get basic preventative services that keep them out of the emergency room. That’s all they’re looking for, is some fairness.
Now, what you’re going to hear, I suspect, is, well, if you -- if the Senate is prepared to pass the cap, cut and balance bill, the Republican plan, then somehow we can solve this problem -- that’s serious debt reduction. It turns out, actually, that the plan that Speaker Boehner and I were talking about was comparable in terms of deficit reduction. The difference was that we didn’t put all the burden on the people who are least able to protect themselves, who don’t have lobbyists in this town, who don’t have lawyers working on the tax code for them -- working stiffs out there, ordinary folks who are struggling every day. And they know they’re getting a raw deal, and they’re mad at everybody about it. They’re mad at Democrats and they’re mad at Republicans, because they know somehow, no matter how hard they work, they don’t seem to be able to keep up. And what they’re looking for is somebody who’s willing to look out for them. That’s all they’re looking for.
And for us not to be keeping those folks in mind every single day when we’re up here, for us to be more worried about what some funder says, or some talk radio show host says, or what some columnist says, or what pledge we signed back when we were trying to run, or worrying about having a primary fight -- for us to be thinking in those terms instead of thinking about those folks is inexcusable.
I mean, the American people are just desperate for folks who are willing to put aside politics just for a minute and try to get some stuff done.
So when Norah asked or somebody else asked why was I willing to go along with a deal that wasn’t optimal from my perspective, it was because even if I didn’t think the deal was perfect, at least it would show that this place is serious, that we’re willing to take on our responsibilities even when it’s tough, that we’re willing to step up even when the folks who helped get us elected may disagree.
And at some point, I think if you want to be a leader, then you got to lead.
How about that?
Now, I am going to chant that OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, chant and I hope you are chanting with me.
We got a serious man doing a serious job to solve serious problems and I would like to say thank you Mr. President.
Pictures courtesy of public domain (AP and Reuters Pictures)
President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. , Friday, July 22, 2011.