The White House put word out yesterday that President Obama had cancelled two Monday fundraisers in order to focus on the deficit discussions.
The question is, why? He’s out of the conversation, and his East Room remarks amounted to a campaign pitch to a massive prime time audience.
Obama’s own words made it evident last night how for removed he is from the discussions.
How embarrassing for him, after weeks of talks, to have to meekly get behind a bill by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and go before the American people without any new ideas or any plan of action of his own.
I’ve told leaders of both parties that they must come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass both houses of Congress -– and a compromise that I can sign.
So he’s commanded them to do something they’re doing anyway. How emasculating.
While posing as the adult in the room, the fact is that actual adults on Capitol Hill – the same ones who could never count on him to be around when he was in the Senate – are trying to save the day, having cut Obama out of the process.
The White House screwed itself last week by trying to back away from commitments it had made during negotiations, and Speaker Boehner finally decided he’d had enough, as did Reid. It was a grand failure of leadership on Obama’s part.
Meanwhile, the president – as Ed Henry smartly noted on Fox last night – offered up poll tested bromides designed to appeal to the independents he desperately needs to be reelected.
He said “balanced” seven times; “compromise” six times; “fed up” three times; “fair” four times, “share” three times, and “fairly shared” once.
What could appeal more to an independent’s sensibilities than this?
History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember. We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.
Put aside party. Could it be any more clear who he’s talking to?
History is also scattered with the stories of leaders who failed to lead. Obama has started campaigning too early. It will consign him to one term presidency if he doesn’t change his approach fast.