This week’s President is conciliator – in stark contrast to last week’s Obama, the combatant.
In a June 29 press conference the Republicans were a bunch of children, the President said, refusing to get timely work done on the debt limit debate – more irresponsible than his young daughters, who finish their homework in advance.
Despite no firm signs of Republicans relenting, this week Obama is touting “progress” in the budget talks, dropping last week’s fiery broadsides at the GOP for defending tax breaks for the wealthy and “corporate jet owners.”
Sure, some of this is the predictable good-guy-bad-guy routine designed to force foes to the negotiating table.
But was Obama also serving up the hot rhetoric to mollify supporters who sometimes grumble at his compromising ways? It did stir hopes on the left that he was finally standing up to Republicans.
It might even be true that his angry words were primarily meant to soften his base for compromises to come – like $200 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. If so, add this to a string of examples spotlighting Obama’s governing style: Talk Left, Walk Right.