presidential presser

“….this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care.  This is the public option debate all over again.  So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get what would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that’s the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let’s face it, we will never get anything done.  People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people.  And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.

That can’t be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can’t be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. … that means because it’s a big, diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we’re going to compromise.  This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew.

Under the criteria that you just set out, each of those were betrayals of some abstract ideal. This country was founded on compromise.  I couldn’t go through the front door at this country’s founding. And if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn’t have a union.

So my job is to make sure that we have a North Star out there. What is helping the American people live out their lives?  What is giving them more opportunity?  What is growing the economy?  What is making us more competitive?  And at any given juncture, there are going to be times where my preferred option, what I am absolutely positive is right, I can’t get done.

And so then my question is, does it make sense for me to tack a little bit this way or tack a little bit that way, because I’m keeping my eye on the long term and the long fight — not my day-to-day news cycle, but where am I going over the long term?

And I don’t think there’s a single Democrat out there, who if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised.
Take a tally.  Look at what I promised during the campaign.  There’s not a single thing that I’ve said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do.  And if I haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m still trying to do it.

And so the — to my Democratic friends, what I’d suggest is, let’s make sure that we understand this is a long game.  This is not a short game.  And to my Republican friends, I would suggest — I think this is a good agreement, because I know that they’re swallowing some things that they don’t like as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years.”

Transcript of press conference here

47 Responses to “presidential presser”

  1. 1 Hachikō
    December 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    will be watching with bated breath to see which reporter will out-douchebag himself at this presser.

  2. 3 Jessica
    December 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t even know if I want to watch. I’m actually in a good mood and don’t want to ruin it.

  3. 4 theo67
    December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    We just know that the “weak” and “cave” meme will be brought up. The so-called base is really doing itself an injustice by screeching about the unimportant optics of deal (i.e. letting the Republicans win). First, the Republicans have lost a lot more than they’ve won, given that they swore complete opposition and spent the last two years talking about the radical plans of the man they just made a deal with. And second, the so-called liberal base has just shown that they are not liberal at all. They care nothing about the people who have just been helped with this deal. They would have let millions go hungry over the holidays, and many more millions suffer uncertain financial stability – just so they could beat the Republicans. And then they would have started screaming about President Obama having broken a campaign promise by letting taxes go up, and how horrible he was for letting the unemployed go without insurance over the holidays. They weren’t going to be happy either way, but their way was going to be more destructive. I even heard one Democratic Congressmen on the radio this morning screaming about how terrible this was, and how he was a definite “no” vote, but he couldn’t articulate just how he was going to handle the millions of starving families over the holidays. They have no morals, values or integrity. They failed to make it work. So the President had to step in and do it.

  4. 8 ari
    December 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    So the President had to step in and do it

    as always, because he is the only one doing any real work

  5. 9 Ladyhawke
    December 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Don’t get me started with the White House Press Corps. They are a total embarrassment. I am astonished at the stupid questions they ask every day. Their questions are usually dripping with sarcasm, snark, innuendo and gotcha. Ten different reporters will ask the same question over and over again with a different spin. I don’t know how they would be able to formulate a question if they didn’t have whatever the GOP was complaining about on any given day as input. There is one reporter who just asks questions based on whatever the half term governor has tweeted that day. Pathetic.

    I expect most of the questions today will be about PROCESS, feelings, reflections, regrets, who wins and who loses, who blinked first, how this impacts the 2012 elections. Most of the time they sound like gossip columnists.

    I can only hope that some questions will be on the real issue which is POLICY. If that happens, the WH Press Corps might accidently educate and inform the American people. Because the policy differences between President Obama/Democrats and the Republicans could not be more stark.

    Bottom line, the president was not willing to abandon the middle class and risk the progress we have made. But the Republican Party was perfectly willing to hold the middle class tax cuts and the economy hostage so that the wealthy could get an extra bonus tax cut. Now there;s a platform to run on. Let them explain to the American people why they should take control of the White House in 2012 with that twisted agenda. They are going to have a more difficult time explaining their position than President Obama and the Democrats.

  6. 10 Kelly
    December 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I am gonna watch this.

  7. 11 Sue in Minnesota
    December 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I suspect the President will suffer no fools, although we can count on the press to attempt to dramatize the inherent conflict. The tone of his announcement yesterday was spot on and I think reflected his formidable skills of handling the politics of the decision. President Obama has, as Joe Biden likes to say, “a spine of steel”.

  8. December 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Loving this, the President isn’t just ready for a fight, he’s willing his opponents – from the left and right – to bring it on.

  9. 13 Ladyhawke
    December 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Watching this press conference, the term “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” comes to mind. I have been out of my seat several times.

    I loved it when he said that John Boehner was going to have “govern” next year. Imagine that? No more standing on the sidelines being bomb throwers. This is the public option debate all over again. Calling out the purists. YES, thank yes Mr. President for making it plain. Democrats, remember this is a long game. Absolutely amazing press conference. A lot of people got schooled today. Big time.

  10. 14 Sue in Minnesota
    December 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Mr. President you rocked it. Underestimating this President is a fool’s folly.

  11. 15 CarolineAnna
    December 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    He was great. Although he kind of showed his anger at the end. But that’s what I adore about him, he doesn’t loose track, he’s got the big ideas and isn’t looking for some short term profit. And on top of it, he’s sooooo cute.

    • 16 Kelly
      December 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      That bit of anger was perfect. Exactly what was needed to reiterate how fail the progressives in the party are. Everything he said was truth. Agree he is fine as hell, especially when perturbed and so cool. 🙂

  12. 17 Kelly
    December 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    What a epic presser. I loved how the MSM had to simma their ridiculous notions. Their argument was nulled by our amazing President. Jesus I don’t think I have seen a presser where he was so strong in his argument. He really cares about the American people so much. And when he basically bitch slapped the fake progressives, of course in his classy historical way, I was like O: get em potus. Loved the ending.

    • 18 Hachikō
      December 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      You saw strong and the media saw: “combative” and “defensive.” Yes, that’s how they’re spinning it.

      • 19 Kelly
        December 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

        lol MSM they never fail to fail.

        • 20 Sue in Minnesota
          December 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm

          I missed the “anger”, I witnessed a clear, intelligent articulation of reality. Thin skinned individuals, whether, Republican, Democrat or members of the press are creating false memes.

    • 21 theo67
      December 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

      Yes, this was indeed his best press conference yet. Even President Obama gets frustrated with the tantrums from the left, and he really took them to the woodshed. We’ll have another evening of poutrage tonight.

      • 22 Hachikō
        December 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

        a multitude of headlines like “Obama Attacks His Base!” Oy!

        • 23 ari
          December 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm

          they are so predictable

        • December 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm

          His ‘base’?? The last poll show 80%+ of liberal Democrats supported the President.

          By ‘base’ do they mean the Professional Left PUMAs who didn’t vote for him any way in 2008? You know, the ones who have infested the Interwebs with their hate ever since he was elected, and, today, are incensed because the tax deal wasn’t as awful as they predicted.

          Hmm, a strange definition of ‘base’.

          • 25 dotster
            December 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

            That’s exactly who I see stirring up the majority of the outrage also. Forever bitter, unhealed, still dreaming.

        • December 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm

          blogger’s views too much. I would rather not read about the tantrums of anonymous people on the whatever side who want. why do people even read these blogs?i still read newspapers because at least they can be held accountable.

          please try not to post the comments of bloggers here ‘cos they are anonymous, and meant to infuriate and annoy.

    • 27 CarolineAnna
      December 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      So true, Kelly.

    • 28 Lou
      December 7, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      He really was time enough for them. They always seem to forget that he is the ultimate chess player while they are playing checkers. He is just too smart for all them! YOU GO POTUS!!!

  13. 29 Jessica
    December 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I’m glad he made it clear the Repubs was holding the American middle and underclass and unemployed hostage. Literally hostage, like with a gun.

  14. December 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm


  15. 33 Tracy
    December 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    He is the president I voted for. Just talked to a patient who is working but has been loaning friends money to help them save their houses, many would have lost their benefits. No way would the next congress have made a deal. I wonder about the real motivations of the left teabaggers. Fame? Money? Or just the adrenaline rush of being angry. No doubt dome unconscious racism as well.
    We should write the WH, our representatives, and local media.

  16. 34 DreamChaser57
    December 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I unsubscribed to Move On today and I told them that I wholeheartedly support the president and that he cannot unilaterally shape public policy. I will have my voice heard!

  17. 38 zizi
    December 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    There you have it; the difference between an adult and whiny well-fed children who have no concept whatsoever about the slow grind that is progress. He schooled them alright about the comprise that birthed this nation, that he could not have walked through the front door of the White House. Let those who have ears hear. ;o)

  18. December 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I thought President Obama handled that press conference with grace.

    Clearly he was “the only adult in the room.”

  19. 42 Sonjia Duncan
    December 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    You’ve been permanently unsubscribed from the MoveOn list — if you take no more action, this’ll be the last email you get from us.
    But please don’t go!
    Gone, I support the president!!

  20. 45 BIGFan
    December 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Best press conference ever. Our President showed his intelligence in spades in every response. I love my new FEISTY President!

  21. 46 Sankofa
    December 7, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I left a message for the president on wh.gov to offer him my support and thanks for putting americans out of harm’s way while he fought battles with others, right and left. How so-called progressives insist on blaming President Obama instead of obstructionist rethugs and progressive purity dems is beyond me. Me, I’m going to keep supporting him because he has a bigger picture of issues than I do and if he did do things the way I wanted it, we would all be hanging up on each other and not speaking to each other…..=0)

  22. 47 collegekay
    December 8, 2010 at 6:54 am

    THIS is the Barack Obama I fell in love with in 2008! YES YES YES. He handled this presser with eloquence and grace.

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