USA Today: President Obama says he’s older and wiser than he was during the heady 2008 campaign, and he has a more complicated message urging voters to stick with him as the country slowly digs out of “a very deep hole” on the economy.
So is the election less fun, the second time around?
“Well, I’ll tell you, it’s different,” he says with a slightly pained expression on his face, then offers: “But the plane is a lot nicer.”
At this moment, Obama is perched on the edge of a swivel chair in his office on that nicer plane, also known as Air Force One, his shirt sleeves rolled up. On the first leg of four days of travel that will take him to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, he talked with USA TODAY about his Thursday acceptance speech, his policy priorities for a second term and the lessons he’s learned about the need to take his case to the American people over the heads of a polarized Congress.
And thanks, too, for all the brilliant links and news in the comments today – crikey, you people are severely fired up ;-)
If you have any spare time at all, please consider volunteering for Obama/Biden 2012 – lots of people here have done so already, despite doubting their ability to contribute …. and they’ve loved every single minute of it. No regrets in November, hey? Sign up here
I’m only about a week behind on emails, so I’m very proud of myself :???: Will catch up soon … ish.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon in the Oval Office, Aug. 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: One of the more clear-cut triumphs of President Obama’s first three years has been the success of his auto-industry rescue. Republicans predicted it would fail miserably. They were wrong and the White House was right.
Bloomberg reported this week that auto plants are operating at a capacity unseen in a long while, adding shifts and creating jobs. The Detroit Free Press reported today that GM has reclaimed the crown of world’s largest automaker. And perhaps best of all, Michigan’s unemployment rate has also dropped to its lowest levels since September 2008, buoyed by the auto industry.
By a reader at The Atlantic: It’s pretty clear to me that Obama is the chessmaster. Stop looking at this politically – let’s look at policy. Obama has been a master of accomplishing things, even with the Tea Party Terrorists hell bent on shutting down the government and ruining the full faith and credit of the United States.
Look at this from liberal,conservative, and moderate perspectives.
Liberals: Obama will end two wars, ended DADT, created the CFPA, got $20b from BP in the face of strong opposition, saved Detroit, signed New START, and enacted universal healthcare – the defining goal of the liberal movement.
For conservatives: he finished the job successfully in two wars, sustainably entered Libya while ensuring our allies took the heavy burden, okayed two risky operations – one that killed pirates and the other killing Osama – and just did more to stabilize long term deficits than anyone since Ike.
Michael Tomasky: Maybe Mitt will win Saturday night, and the contest will be finished. But Newt is giving Romney a run for his money in South Carolina—and we all know the reason why.
…. Gingrich has re-re-returned, and this time it’s about simple racism. If he actually wins South Carolina, the nomination fight and the party are suddenly in turmoil. It may only be for a week, but even just for that week, it would reveal a primary electorate that is so consumed with its paranoias that it has turned politics completely away from the question of who might govern the country well to who can best embody our hatreds and revenge fantasies. Conservatism has been half that for 30 years anyway, but it is now on the cusp of dispensing with the artifice and becoming that entirely.
January 17, 2012. President Barack Obama unexpectedly runs into Michelle on her birthday in the basement of the White House
Though official duties filled much of the day, Tuesday was also Michelle Obama’s 48th birthday. As the president returned to the West Wing in the evening, he unexpectedly met the First Lady. “Obama gave her several kisses and wished her a happy birthday then walked off,” Morris says. “It was the highlight of the day for me—something you can’t plan for as a photographer. It was the most interesting photograph for me of the day by far.”