Byron York thinks that if Democrats suffer major losses in two weeks, the president and his team in the White House will start pointing fingers:
Assume the polls are correct and Republicans win control of the House, and perhaps even the Senate, in next month’s elections. What lessons will the White House learn? Will Barack Obama interpret the vote as a repudiation of much of his agenda, or will he conclude that he made a few tactical errors but was still right on the big issues?
Bet on the latter. All indications coming out of the White House suggest that if Democrats suffer major losses, the president and his top aides will resolutely refuse to reconsider the policies — national health care, stimulus, runaway spending — that led to their defeat. Instead, they will point fingers in virtually every direction other than their own. Come November, it’s likely the D-for-Democrat that the president refers to so often will actually stand for “denial.”
While I normally agree with Byron York, I think he’s wrong here. Obama’s not going to point fingers; it’s not his style. Recall what he told Jay Leno at the dawn of his presidency:
And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. . . . I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.
He’ll look at those election results and understand they’re not a reflection on him, but on the snake oil he’s been selling. Soon, he’ll be sitting down with Speaker Boehner and singing kumbaya, seeking compromise. He’s going to stay focused on his job. I mean that’s what he said. And he told us that words matter.