Posts Tagged ‘delegation

30
Jan
10

obama exterminates gop, politely.

President Obama’s Speech at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore

Full Q&A

Obama eats Republicans’ lunch

For an hour on live television, Obama danced around the Republicans, landing blows and coming out ahead on points.

When the Republicans invited President Obama to address their congressional House delegation in Baltimore today, they had no idea how badly it would turn out for them.

Presumably the Republicans thought they’d get a high-profile chance to grill the president on live television. But instead, Obama – following on from his state of the union address on Wednesday night – turned the tables by highlighting the Republicans who opposed his policies and refused to bend, yet were prepared to “turn up and cut ribbons” when their constituents reaped the rewards.

Obama also displayed a grasp of policy and legislation, wrong-footing his questioners to their face with some stern rebuttal and in some instances quoting their own positions back to them to highlight the contradictions. He mocked the GOP for presenting healthcare reforms as a “Bolshevik plot” – and got a laugh, even from the Republican audience – and suggested that their approach was counterproductive.

I think we can confidently predict this is the last time the Republicans invite the president to a similar format. Indeed, because the hall the Republicans are holding their event seemed to have just a single TV camera, Obama literally took the spotlight away. Republican questioners showed up as shadowy figures, and when caucus leader Mike Pence kicked off the Republican questions at first he couldn’t be heard at all.

At the end, shaking hands with the president, caucus leader Mike Pence’s face looked as if he’d sucked a lemon for an hour – and in a way he had.

A sign of how compelling the footage was: the US cable networks, always so trigger-happy and ready to move on if an event is looking boring, stuck with the live feed, although Fox did cut away first for analysis.

The net effect is that Obama looked serious, reasonable and intelligent. The Republicans got to sound like whiners, complaining about various pet peeves and chewing over their old laundry list of tax cuts and opposition.

CNN quickly compared it to weekly question time in the House of Commons – and Twitter is seeing an avalanche of comments calling for this to be a regular event. Not if the Republicans have any say in the matter – MSNBC’s Luke Russert tweets: “GOP aides telling me it was a mistake to allow cameras into Obama’s QA with GOP members. Allowed BO to refute GOP for 1.5 hours on TV”.

The Guardian (UK)





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