Definite props are in order here for ABC’s Jon Karl, who has been absolutely fantastic lately in calling the White House to the carpet when necessary. With sinking poll numbers, Obama has clearly made the decision to engage in more exchanges with reporters. After all, weren’t you absolutely shocked to witness him taking a whopping TWO questions last week? It would appear that the president has gotten desperate enough to agree to finally field at least a few questions each week, and that means he’d better be prepared for great ones like this:
“Has Congress’ inability to do anything significant given you a green light to push the limits of executive power, even a duty to do so? Or, put another way, does it bother you more to be accused of being an imperial president pushing those limits, or to be accused of being a do-nothing president who couldn’t get anything done because he faced a dysfunctional congress?”
You see, that question is pretty much all flavors of awesome. There really was no great way for Obama to answer it, and yet, he tried anyway.
“I think that I never have a green light. I’m bound by the Constitution,” he replied. “I’m bound by separation of powers. There’s some things we can’t do.”
Yeah, well he could have fooled me. There may be “some things” he can’t do — actually, there are plenty of things that he CAN’T do, such as being an overall effective leader — but that doesn’t mean he won’t try and squeeze every bit of executive power out of his office and then some. “I promise you the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done,” Obama insisted. Strangely, there was no mention of the fact that the American people also don’t want to see him shooting pool and drinking beer during multiple crises.
Karl actually prefaced the great question by reminding Obama what he had said about then-President Bush while he was campaigning for Bush’s job: “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”
If you pause the above video right around 20 seconds, you can almost feel Barack’s seething anger, as it looks like his head is about to explode. But this is what happens when a president chooses not to play nice with the press until he’s in trouble politically.
Funny that these remarks came at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. I would have thought an event like that was reserved for actual “leaders.”
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