Like Nick, I did not catch all of President Obama’s appearance at the Univsion Town Hall yesterday, caught only snippets while doing my cardio, but did not how quick he was to blame Republicans for his failures.
When moderator Jorge Ramos asked the president about his failure to keep his promise to have an immigration bill in his first year, the president blathered on a bit before blaming Republicans:
And what I confess I did not expect — and so I’m happy to take responsibility for being naive here — is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform — my opponent in 2008, who had been a champion of it and who attended these meetings — suddenly would walk away. That’s what I did not anticipate.
And as you know, Jorge, even though we controlled the House of Representatives, even though we had a majority in the Senate, the way the Senate operates was if you couldn’t get 60 votes you couldn’t get something moving. So we initiated the meetings, had a series of meetings. And what we could not get was a single Republican, including the 20 who had previously voted for comprehensive immigration reform, to step up and say, we will work with you to make this happen
(Unlike most reporters interviewing the president, Ramos followed up, ” It was a promise, Mr. President. . . . You promised that. And a promise is a promise. And with all due respect, you didn’t keep that promise.” And this isn’t the only promise he hasn’t kept.)
Note how Obama only takes responsibility for being naive as if that excuses him from keeping his promise. He devotes the better part of his answer to blaming Republicans.
So, he had a series of “meetings”, but did he try to reach out personally to any of those Republicans (who had once voted for comprehensive immigration reform)? Since his party in the Senate, controlled 58, then 59 seats for the first six months of the session, later 60 seats for another six months, he only needed one or two Republican votes to break a filibuster.
Instead of working with Republicans in impersonal meetings, why then didn’t he focus on the three or four Republicans most likely to bend and reach out to them, you know, invite them up to the White House one at a time and press them on the issue? Or have them join him for a round of golf.
As we learned via Bob Woodward’s new book, The Price of Politics, that’s not Obama’s way.
Obama did promise to change Washington and that, through his supposedly first-class temperament, he could bridge the partisan divide and bring people together and he failed. And instead of acknowledging his failures, he takes responsibility for being naive, but not for failing to deliver on that promise.
We now have another report this week detailing Obama’s failures in office. And this one actually seems to be getting some attention in the legacy media. What began as a bad week for Mitt Romney is ending as a bad one for Barack Obama.
(And I haven’t even mentioned that even CNN is noting the contradiction between Obama administration officials’ statements on the embassy attacks in Libya and the latest reports indicating that they were indeed planed in advance.)
ADDENDUM: Just a reminder: “On March 19, 2009, after spending fewer than two full months in the White House, President Obama told Jay Leno that ‘one of the things’ he was ‘trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.‘”