“I was pretty angry,” the president told Woodward about the breakdown in negotiations. “There’s no doubt I thought it was profoundly irresponsible, at that stage, not to call me back immediately and let me know what was going on.” – Bob Woodward Book: Debt Deal Collapse Led to ‘Pure Fury’ From President Obama
THE DEBT deal exposed human frailties that become impediments when ego rules.
“He was spewing coals,” Boehner told Woodward, in what is described as a borderline “presidential tirade.” “He was pissed…. He wasn’t going to get a damn dime more out of me. He knew how far out on a limb I was. But he was hot. It was clear to me that coming to an agreement with him was not going to happen, and that I had to go to Plan B.” [ABC News]
Obama phoned in to deliver a “high-minded message,” he writes. Obama went on so long that Pelosi “reached over and pressed the mute button on her phone,” so they could continue to work without the president hearing that they weren’t paying attention.
As debt negotiations progressed, Democrats complained of being out of the loop, not knowing where the White House stood on major points. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, is described as having a “growing feeling of incredulity” as negotiations meandered.
“The administration didn’t seem to have a strategy. It was unbelievable. There didn’t seem to be any core principles,” Woodward writes in describing Van Hollen’s thinking.
Ah, yes, “there didn’t seem to be any core principles.”
That’s because there weren’t, aren’t, so when you strip away the convention speeches to remember, it remains a core election year challenge for Obama. Far too many people think they can predict the future if Pres. Obama prevails, which many believe will be like the past. The selling’s been great these last two days, but this is the 21st century and people don’t pay attention to the two party pageants.
“John, I’ve got great confidence in my ability to sway the American people,” Boehner quotes the president as having told him.
This is where it always ends, which is exactly where it began.
I’ve posted this many times, but it’s once again important to remember…
“I think that I have the capacity to get people to recognize themselves in each other. I think that I have the ability to make people get beyond some of the divisions that plague our society and to focus on common sense and reason and that’s been in short supply over the last several years. I’m not an ideologue, never have been. Even during my younger days when I was tempted by, you know, sort of more radical or left wing politics, there was a part of me that always was a little bit conservative in that sense; that believes that you make progress by sitting down listening to people, recognizing everybody’s concerns, seeing other people’s points of views and then making decisions.” — Barack Obama, May 2007 (on ABC’s “This Week”)
It’s also why Bill Clinton was brought in to make the sale.
Other players in what’s been offered to tease the September 11th release include Joe Biden and Eric Cantor, the friction between Speaker Boehner and Cantor, and the general tone that lays a lot of the responsibility on what happened on Pres. Obama’s doorstep.
But let’s remember who’s analysis we’re relying on here. I’m sure the quotes are accurate, but even Ben Bradlee has acknowledged Woodward’s penchant to carve history with his own scalpel, as we learned recently he did with Deep Throat and the flag in the flower pot. Bob Woodward is also a card carrying member of the Beltway talking head class, whose had one too many meals at the table of the elites.