Wait, what was that yesterday? Did we just see some actual LEADERSHIP from President Obama on a tough issue?
Clearly someone was feeling himself a bit more after coming back from a nine day tour in Asia because President Obama looked “large and in charge” (R.I.P Heavy D) yesterday during his 5:45 p.m. press conference discussing the all too expected failure of the Super-Duper-Debt-Reducer-Committee.
In a speech that was surprisingly partisan, Obama made it clear that Republicans were at fault for the committee not being able to come to a decision. He insisted that they were more concerned with protecting rich people and ideological rigidity than actually doing something for the nation.
What was particularly surprising about this speech, though, was that Obama made it clear that he was not going to budge. He insisted that he would not sign any bill that sought to get the Congress out from under the draconian across the board cuts that would start in 2013 because it was important to keep the pressure on both sides to actually negotiate.
This is certainly not as masterful as coming in and taking over the process as former White House insider Lanny Davis suggested. However, it is still a refreshing and all too rare example of Obama actually using the Congress and then controlling them rather than things working the other way around.
The only question now is how much work is anyone really going to put into this process? I sincerely doubt that any member of the committee is interested in hashing this process out past Christmas. And I don’t think it would be politically advantageous for either side to haggle over this issue in the fall of next year’s election. I suspect that the Super-Committee will be talked about a lot, but nothing more will likely be done until the final vote is counted next November.
Dr. Jason Johnson, Politic365 Chief Political Correspondent, is a professor of Political Science at Hiram College in Ohio and author of the book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell. You can read more at www.drjasonjohnson.com or follow him on Twitter @Drjasonjohnson