Previous post:

Next post:

White House Suddenly Shifts Strategy

by Keith Koffler on March 6, 2013, 3:48 pm

Maybe they’re not the geniuses in the West Wing that everyone thinks. Plouffe is gone, Axelrod is gone, Gibbs is gone – so maybe it’s not surprising that the White House is engaging in a rare message redo.

Buffeted by criticism that its sequester doomsday scenarios were apocalyptic fantasies and that it has been dithering while the ship of state grandly sinks, the White House has changed its tone while reaching out to Republicans to at least offer up the appearance that it is serious about governing the country.

Maybe you guys aren't so bad after all

Maybe you guys aren't so bad afterall

President Obama hasn’t hosted a sequester sob story event since he showed up in Newport News just over a week ago to proclaim that Republicans were marooning aircraft carriers in their docks at the Naval Station and assert that the sequester “could cost tens of thousands of jobs right here in Virginia.”

Meanwhile, his aides have been walking back various disaster scenarios outlined during the days before. In a piece published today, Politico’s Donovan Slack – at the risk of a severe tongue lashing from the press office, no doubt – listed several Obama sequester claims “shot down by fact checkers.”

Capitol janitors, it turns out, wont be reduced to penury and prosecutors aren’t going to empty the jails. And the White House overstated claims that seniors will go hungry, teachers are getting pink slips, and children won’t get a Head Start.

Meanwhile, a formerly diffident Obama is now ringing up Republicans and asking for dates.

He’ll have a cozy dinner tonight at Washington’s cozy Jefferson Hotel with a handful of Republicans he thinks he can woo on issues like immigration, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and John Hoeven of North Dakota, according to reports.

The White House backs off Republicans and decides to humiliate someone else for a change.

The White House backs off Republicans and decides to humiliate someone else for a change.

He’ll travel to Capitol Hill next week to meet with the Republican – as well as the Democratic – House and Senate caucuses, the White House announced this afternoon. “The President asked for the opportunity to speak to the caucuses about the priorities on his legislative agenda,” the White House said.

Last weekend, he found the Capitol Hill Bat Phone where he’d thrown it behind a couch in the Blue Room last year and began dialing up Republicans.

No doubt, some of this is for show. You can just hear Obama in six months saying, “I tried to reason with these lunatics, but it failed.”

But don’t underestimate the possibility that Obama, in league with Republicans petrified that Hispanics and soccer moms don’t love them, can get Congress to pass legislation centering on issues like immigration and gun control, and that he is not simply planning to bide his time until a Democratic takeover of the House in 2014.

Leave a Comment

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

{ 4 trackbacks }

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

DeniseVB March 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Where’s Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the guest list ? Is Obama afraid of the “tea party” wing of the Senate ?

I’m sure if I looked up those voting records I’ll see many of those who voted for BO’s pet projects and appointees :D

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Would it surprise you if establishment Republicans are in perfect agreement with Obama on shutting the Tea Party down?

Reply

DeniseVB March 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Yep. Nice that Obama scheduled their dinner when he did …. to keep them away from the Senate floor tonight ?

Rand Paul is approaching his 8th hour for the filibuster. Some Dems have helped him too.

Reply

Rod March 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I think you have it right. All this is intended to splinter the GOP (whether he’s already done so or not is up for debate). Count on the likes of Distain & Graham to sell conservative principles down the river at dinner so they can stand in front of the cameras (again) and claim their working in bipartisan fashion with Obama. From a gives / gets perspective, this is pretty clear – Obama promises that he’ll reign in the press on these guys and they get to hit the cameras first. These guys knock a few back and relish in punching conservatives in the teeth (again). All this is a move to paint conservatives as intolerant, racist, and unwilling to meet Obama 1/2 way (“see, THESE guys aren’t so bad – what’s wrong with the rest of you – must be racism”).

This is “Take Back the House 2014″ – nothing more, nothing less. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that ALL actions by BO directly benefit HIM – he’s not sharing anything with the GOP.

Reply

DeniseVB March 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I think we’re looking at a viable third party movement with Rand Paul’s very inspirational filibuster. I bet Obama’s never spoken this much in his entire presidency, including the perpetual campaign stops.

By virtue the GOP is not fighting back as hard as they should, this former Dem, now Independent, will support anyone who loves our country more than her/himself.

Reply

cincycinco March 7, 2013 at 8:20 am

“Where’s Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the guest list ?” – DeniseVB

Oh, they’re on his list. The drone strike one…

Reply

Sadie March 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Dinner? I doubt it. He’s going to force them to fill out the “brackets” in his March Madness scheme and/or…..he’s madder than a March hare and hares have long been thought to behave excitedly in March, which is their mating season.

Reply

Anne Lieberman March 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I’m riveted to the floor of the Senate. I’m so thrilled that the Republicans have hijacked the news cycle away from His Omnipresence. Watch live: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

Reply

Susan March 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I’ve been fascinated too. They are discussing the things we conservatives have been begging the Republicans to talk about – unconstitutional acts and all. Then Harry Reid arrogantly told everybody to go home, like he’s the ruler of the Senate. Also was so proud that Texas’ Senator Cruz read the William Barret Travis letter on the floor of the Senate on this day, the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.
http://www.travisletter.com/the-letter.html

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Susan, I think you were the one who liked ‘Pontius Porcus’. My husband came up with another: Judas I-Hop.

Reply

Susan March 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Yes, it was me, Julie. Passed Pontius Porcus on to the family and they all got a good laugh. Judas I-Hop fits him perfectly. Rather than thirty pieces of silver, he sold us out for all-you-can-eat pancakes at I-Hop.

Reply

gracepmc March 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Lots of support for Rand Paul — this is about the constitution and our rights. Ted Cruz handed over tweets to Rand Paul (or perhaps he read them himself) and they will be in the CR. Additionally — Code Pink and ACLU standing with Paul — acknowledging that he is a Republican and a Conservative but standing firm. Plus people are learning a lot from this and what Paul and others have said.

This is all very interesting. Krauthammer I think called it ridiculous on Brett Baier which I thought was short sighted and I am a big CK fan.

Maybe it’s just a moment of unfettered time of free speech that has me so taken aback. We rarely have that these days. But history is full of moments that change its course.

Anyway, kudos to Rand Paul and all who supported him and good luck with that dictator thing Barack. AIn’t happening today.

Reply

DeniseVB March 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Yes, this is definitely crack for political junkies, I can’t keep my eyes off it. :D

Reply

Anna March 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

It’s about time he asked for dates. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to see a realistic immigration policy in exchange for a Keystone Pipeline.

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

The Republicans are petrified over the Hispanic vote. They’d better get their act together and not let everything else go to hell.

Reply

srdem65 March 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Yeahhh, like the President is going to stand before them, hat in hand, head bowed and beg for a crumb. Not going to happen. It’s not in his DNA to admit that he is wrong, or that he needs their help.
All the Repubs want done is some tweaking of way the sequestration affects the military. They’re not going to raise taxes or close loopholes in the tax code.

MrObama’s temper tantrum and spiteful actions don’t sit well with the professionals in the Senate. Closing the public tours at the WhiteHouse and releasing criminal illegal aliens are bad enough, but the beating of war drums to force the Repubs to keep the money headed to the Pentagon is “madness”.

OT: is that a pink bow sitting on Bo’s (the dog) head?
We know that dogs will allow small children to adorn them with hats and ribbons with the utmost patience, but Bo (the dog) is within his God-given animal rights to pee on the leg of whoever put that pink bow on his head.

Reply

Star March 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Woof. Bo is a boy. WTF? Where is PETA when you need them?

Reply

Langley Spook March 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Bo the dog is just an occasional prop for the Obamas. You never see Bo with the Dear Leader, the spoiled (bratty?) daughters or the FLOTUS

Reply

Otis Driftwood March 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm

oh goodness no.. the kids be responsible for Bo?? (the original reason he was bought for – the kids). Now that would be a photo op – the girls picking up after the dog has done his “official duty” ;-)

MO has a standing order that Bo is not allowed near her esp when it’s story time, a official photo or video op, or when she is entertaining. (and I am talking about the dog, however I heard there is a similar order out for BO also).

Reply

Susan March 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Let’s show a little compassion for poor BO. Chances are BO is gender confused, and it’s highly insensitive of you to make light of his/her/its handicap. Off to USDA sponsored diversity training for you, srdem! /sarc

Reply

Bubba March 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I believe those are Easter Bunny ears!

Reply

srdem65 March 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Bunny ears! That’s even worse than the pink bow.
Bunnies are meant for chasing and no self-respecting dog would allow a bunny to sit on his head.

Reply

Otis Driftwood March 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Their just tweaking up Bo and his Easter Ears for the 300K per person meet and have your pic taken with event to support OFA / WH initiatives. The republicans going to BO’s meeting better watch out also, even if a group picture is taken he will charge 500K a piece for anyone connected with the picture. Maybe they might cut a group rate.

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm

You can be sure it was not one of the Obamas who put those bunny ears on him. I’d like to know if the girls ever help take care of him or even visit/play with him.

Reply

Lizzy March 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I’m going with never unless there’s a camera. Poor dog:-(

Reply

SnarkEsq. March 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

This is all for show, as far as I’m concerned. Also, why does it have to be at a restaurant? The White House isn’t good enough? It sure as hell would be easier and cheaper to have it at the WH, rather than sending staffers and Secret Service to a restaurant prior to the dinner and for the dinner. They’ll also have to close the street, but, hey Obummer just loves to inconvenience people as much as possible just to remind them he’s king.

Speaking of restaurants, did you all see this RIDICULOUSNESS? The Obummers’ 14 year old daughter is already taking after Moochelle, having to have “girls’ night out” at trendy NYC restaurants. How much did her weekend in NY cost the taxpayers?!

http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/malia_and_pals_hit_chelsea_jBKV5Ho6DlKSmNuCsso6NO

Malia Obama and pals hit Chelsea

The sight of First Daughter Malia Obama at a dinner this weekend with her friends prompted one spy to describe the meal as a “young girl’s social power club gathering.” On Saturday night, President Obama’s elder daughter, 14, was spotted at giant Chelsea restaurant Buddakan with eight of her friends, including a daughter of New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch. According to witnesses, the girls were chaperoned by four parents and five security guards who dined at the table directly next to them. “She was in the middle of a gaggle of young girls,” one source told us, while Secret Service remained a comfortable distance behind them — and deterred other customers from bothering them. The presidential teenager was dressed “very casual, jeans and ponytail.” Malia and her friends were overheard saying, “This place is so hip” while they dined on rock shrimp, edamame dumplings, short ribs, lobster fried rice and noodles. An Obama rep didn’t get back to us.

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I can just imagine that school with the ‘power group’, Alpha girls, whatever you want to call them. How many girls are sick that she didn’t pick them? How many parents are jumping down their daughters’ throats asking, “Why aren’t you in the clique?”

Reply

Langley Spook March 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

(we had another name for those type of spoiled rich girls in high school. The name started with the next letter of the alphabet… -lol)

Reply

Lizzy March 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Oh yes I remember them well I have a feeling they are just like dear
old Mommie Dearest. Nice example for Michelle’s underfed ‘fat kids’
to weak to move. They will likely never see a restaurant like that the
best they get is Golden Arches $1 menu.

Reply

Boo March 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

SE – maybe the WH kitchen is closed due to the sequester. That’s why the dinner is at a hotel and the girls had to eat in NYC. Nah, Mooch wouldn’t let that happen.

Reply

veritaseequitas March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Can we hope the Repubs kick sand in his face and then laugh at him when he starts crying?

Reply

Julie Brueckheimer March 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Not the Republicans listed.

Reply

mo1 March 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

N0tice that he does not have the courtesy to invite them to dinner at the White House. Is that because it is closed for tours? Of course, having the President stay and eat at the White House would cost a lot less for security. Possibly enough to pay for 50 tours for the electorate.

Reply

Lizzy March 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm

First call a needy person and give that poor dog to someone who needs a companion like a disabled child. All these goings on in DC is the worst theatre
I’ve ever seen. And that includes old fashioned melodrama’s in Colorado
where you got fake mustaches and hats and were incouraged to boo and hiss!

Reply

Guillermo Grande March 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Now I’m ticked. Driving home tonight I was looking forward to reading this recent post from Keith. Tuned into National People’s Radio and in less that 6 minutes there were two peices on how bad sequestration is. What does Aboutme have to do with support like this. Anyway, heard this about parks and rec: “Do we close a visitor center for the entire season, or do we just cut back hours?” says Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman. “Do we trim ranger-led programs so there’s less programs here in Yosemite Valley, or do we keep the same amount and either have less or none at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias?” Full text and audio here: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/06/173532285/sequestered-spring-means-fewer-rangers-services-at-national-parks
Really? Do we start to act like managers or people who don’t think money grows on trees? Must be tough to actuallly think about both sides of the money conversation instead of just spending. Maybe it’s just me but the whole story made my blood boil.
Even worse, I fully except RINO’s to cave in waves of giddiness once Aboutme stops by to visit.

Reply

Not Nabob March 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm

A skunk will always be a skunk even if it acts like a pussycat.
Pepe Le Pew lives.

Reply

Girly1 March 7, 2013 at 1:54 am

Is it just me, or did the Messiah create another optical illlusion tonight? Party of 13? The Last Supper? Couldn’t help but burst into gales of laughter as FOX played clips of the Messiah leading the parade of 12 black limos departing the Supper! Ironically, our own RINO version of Judas Iscariot was in attendance tonight – St. John McNasty – referring to his traitorous performance in the ’08 election, of course.

Reply

SnarkEsq. March 7, 2013 at 2:20 am

I noticed it too when watching Greta tonight and she showed pics of everyone at the dinner. They flashed on the screen two rows with little pics of the twelve senators, and then Obummer’s pic was above them all. I immediately said, “What is this, the Last Supper?”

Reply

Island Girl March 7, 2013 at 2:56 am

Evil live on TV? Ewww
And he should grow his hair out some so we don’t have to wonder what that strange scar is on his grey matter. ..mater?? Yuck

Reply

OldmanRick March 7, 2013 at 3:38 am

The divisive, whiney, sniveling brat only associates with old boy club, go along to get along rinos. These Rinos are neither repugnuts nor conservatives. Rather they are dims disguised as repugnuts.

Reply

cincycinco March 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

“Buffeted by criticism that its sequester doomsday scenarios were apocalyptic fantasies and that it has been dithering while the ship of state grandly sinks…” – Keith Koffler

Obama IS the Captain of the Ship of State. Kind of like This Guy;

Costa Concordia

““The passengers were crowding the decks, storming the boats,” Capt. Francesco Schettino told a closed-door inquest, according to La Repubblica newspaper.

“I didn’t even have a life jacket because I gave it to one of the passengers. I was trying to get them into the boats in orderly fashion. Suddenly, because the ship was tilted 60-70 degrees, I stumbled and ended up in one of the lifeboats. That’s why I was there,” he said.

The newspaper called it a “curious explanation,” noting Schettino was in a lifeboat with his computer — and two second mates. “Did they trip too?” La Repubblica wondered”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/search-efforts-suspended-costa-concordia-shipwreck-article-1.1008000

Or, like This Guy;

Oceanos

“EAST LONDON, South Africa — Everyone on board the cruise ship Oceanos was safe and accounted for Monday, but survivors angrily accused the captain of taking one of the first rescue helicopters to safety and leaving them on board the sinking liner.

“We had to take over the ship,” said Terry Lester, who worked as a comedian on the ship. “If it hadn’t been for the entertainers, a lot of people would have drowned.”

The ship’s entertainers said they guided rescue vessels by radio after Greek Capt. Yiannis Avranas abandoned the bridge, leaving passengers–including women, children, aged and the infirm–to their fate in a rough sea.

The 571 people aboard the ship were rescued in a dramatic operation Sunday that was completed only 90 minutes before the ship sank a mile from South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast near the village of Coffee Bay.

Passengers praised rescue efforts by the South African military and tour company officials aboard the ship but expressed outrage over the behavior of captain and the crew.

“It was disgusting,” said Julian Russell, 29, a Briton working on the ship as a magician. “The captain, safety officer and other senior crew got off as quickly as they could, so there was nobody to show us what to do during the rescue.”

Crew members took the ship’s only two motorized lifeboats, passengers said, leaving tourists to try to launch regular lifeboats. Also, many complained that no announcements were made during the 12-hour ordeal.”

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-08-06/news/mn-471_1_captain-accused

Yep, Obama’s a Captain indeed. Just like THESE guys.

Stay near the lifeboats, my freinds, and don’t listen when they try to take your “assault” paddle and lock you in your hugely devalued cabin. The Government will save itself LONG before they’ll worry about you – if they ever do.

Reply