President Obama met with Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday afternoon for an update on Capitol Hill debt negotiations, a White House official said. The meeting ended at 5:05 p.m.
Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post): …. I want to dispute Peggy Noonan’s assertion that “nobody loves Obama” …. she didn’t talk to my ex, Giuseppe, an Italian who came to this country to pursue the American Dream and fell head over heels for Barack Obama in 2007 …. Giuseppe has become my Obama barometer. If the president loses Giuseppe, he’s sunk.
Giuseppe remains firmly in the president’s corner. I asked him to read Noonan’s op-ed and to send me his reaction. Read it for yourself.
Don’t believe her! I LOVE the guy, and I LOVE the family. Instinctively. I connect to him like I have never connected with any politician EVER before . . . here or in Italy. The man could be my friend. He speaks my language, he is smart, he is funny. I could hang out with him any time. I feel I would talk to him or share my life with him like he was you, or Marques, or Willie, or Maurice or ada! I guess Noonan doesn’t know nobody like us! Or more simply she is just practicing the most popular sport among conservatives. . . . which is ganging up on him . . . cause he is too smart, real and genuine in a way that they could never be .. . .because they live in another reality, one that is shrinking up around them. It’s time for these people to start realizing that this country and this world do not revolve around them and that they DEFINITELY are NOT the future of this country! And what they believe in and want will matter less and less, it’s just a matter of time.
Giuseppe watched Obama slog through politically debilitating events such as health care, the gulf oil spill, the battle to end “don’t ask don’t tell” – and now this debt-ceiling fight that has the United States staring at default or downgrade or both for the first time in history. And his faith in the man has not wavered one bit.
All presidents should have such “grim support” or be so loved.
Here’s another excellent piece from Capehart this week:
The headline of Jackie Calmes’s “White House Memo” today in the New York Times is a source of great consternation and agitation for me. “President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling” reflects the Beltway meme that President Obama is invisible in this epic fight over raising the debt ceiling. That he was pushed off the stage by Congress to get this done. As the chatter in the echo chamber reinforced itself, folks glossed over or forgot that the president ordered Congress to come up with a plan.
At a dramatic, post-market-close news conference at the White House Friday, Obama announced that the grand bargain he and Speaker John Boehner had been working on for weeks had collapsed. Clearly exasperated, the president issued a command to Congress…..
…. Obama can’t win, it seems. Calmes writes today, “Mr. Obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency.” Yet, last week Peggy Noonan declared, “It is time for the president to get out of the way.” Obama is not perfect. Watching how he goes about governing is akin to riding in the front seat of a roller coaster without a lap bar. But at no point do I ever think he’s disengaged or been invisible.
As we saw with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and even the secret talks between Obama and Boehner over a big deal on the debt ceiling, this president by and large eschews theatrics for getting stuff done. And this drives people crazy.
For better or worse, we have a president who firmly believes that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Just as the Founders envisioned….
If by Tuesday, Aug. 2, Congress has not passed a bill or if it has put forth one the president can’t sign, it will be incumbent upon him to take control to save the nation’s economy, assuming lasting damage hasn’t already been done. And if or when he does, there better not be a complaint from anyone.