I base my assertion on an essay I read in the Washington Post:
Obama’s trash-talking presserObama wants to play hardball, it seems.
By Dana Milbank,
Published: June 29
The best answer President Obama gave at his news conference was to a question nobody asked.
An hour into his unusually feisty performance in the East Room, the president was responding to CNN’s Jessica Yellin, who had pressed him on the deadline for raising the debt limit, when he decided to make a larger point.
“I’ve got to say, I’m very amused when I start hearing comments about, ‘Well, the president needs to show more leadership on this,’” Obama said, referring to the complaint made by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) when he walked out of budget talks. “Well, hey, lemme tell you something,” he said with a smile, chopping the lectern with an open hand.
“This thing,” he said after reciting the instances of his involvement in the talks, “is just not on the level.” To the Republicans, he said, “they need to do their jobs. . . You need to be here. I’ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis.”
Obama gave a case-closed shrug. “All right,” he said. “I think you know my feelings about that.”
This was Obama as he ought to be. He often seems passive in public, giving friend and foe alike the impression that his presidency is adrift on matters from Libya to gay marriage to the debt talks. But on Wednesday, in his first full news conference in three months, he was uncharacteristically assertive...
“Call me naive, but my expectation is that leaders are going to lead,” Obama admonished the opposition. He likened the Republicans to kids who procrastinate on their homework, and to deadbeats: “They took the vacation. They bought the car. And now they’re saying, ‘Maybe we don’t have to pay’ . . . We’re the greatest nation on Earth and we can’t act that way.”
Populism, pugilism and American exceptionalism: From a stoic president, this was a refreshing blend.
GOP, you had better get into the game with a hardball offensive of your own. Act the wimp, and the Oval Office will again belong to Obama.
Mark my words: the strong man (or woman) will be the victor in November 2012.