Shouldn’t he be busy recalibrating and consulting with Americans?

by Aaron Wherry

The President of the United States attends a meeting of congressional Republicans and takes questions. American observers are variously thrilled and astonished by the results.

Whether it was chutzpah, political savvy, or both, it certainly was refreshing. Reporters were thrilled with the British-parliament-type exchange between president and lawmaker. The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder asked that forums like these be held monthly. The Nation’s Chris Hayes suggested Obama next go before the progressive caucus. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post labeled it “the most compelling political television I’ve seen…maybe ever. NBC’s Chuck Todd added: “The president should hold Congressional ‘town halls’ more often. Public needs to see this if they’ll ever trust Washington again.”

The full transcript and video are here.




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Shouldn’t he be busy recalibrating and consulting with Americans?

  1. Now that is chutzpah!

    • As for doing the same thing with the Democrats – sounds to me like he's decided to do all on his own…and when he succeeds..he won't owe anyone any markers!

  2. It was impressive but I'm not sure it was particularly British. What it proved was just how much better things are when we can get the media filter out of the way.

    • Only if you have the content to back it up. We need to find more ways to push politicians past sound bites.

      • We can't blame the politicians for that. A sound bite is the short quote that the media take to represent the long speech the politician made. The media gave us that phenomenon and the video exposes that rather nicely.

        The best moment in it is when Obama is going back and fort with Paul Ryan and the look on Obama's face when it hits him that Ryan is much better informed on the subject than he is.

  3. Thrilling to the:

    NYT
    Andrew Sullivan, and
    Huffpost.

    The last vestiges of Obama worship. Even John Stewart is starting to climb off the bandwagen.

    • *yawn*

  4. Wow. It is interesting to see Obama working to lower destructive political rhetoric in the United States while Harper seeks to intensify it here in Canada.

    • Like saying "we won" in shutting out the RNC, like picking political scapegoats and attacking them relentlessly, like (for the first time in history) chastizing the Supreme Court sitting right in front of him in the state of the Union, like at every single turn pointing the political finger at the previous admin (again in historical terms a first).

      Obama has been the most overtly partisan President in the history of the U.S.

      By a long shot.

      You should actually follow the events rather than relying on the – also hyperpartisan – NYT for your information.

      • A hyperpartisan labelling others hyperpartisan…there must be a word for that somewhere?

        • There is, but if you use it on Macleans, your comment gets deleted.

        • If Biff is fib spelled backwards, what does the extra "F" signify?

          • "fu**ing"

          • lol
            ffib…that's just Biff's quirky personalized spelling style.

  5. Turns out that members of Congress are also American citizens.

    In Canada, of course, Parliamentarians are not citizens of Canada – they tend to be citizens of Ontario, Alberta, etc.

    Hence, the need for Harper's extra-parliamentary consultation.

    • I thought the whole point of Harper's philosophy of Canada is that he WANTS us to stop being citizens of Canada and start being citizens of Ontario, Alberta, etc…

      I even remember something about a "firewall" to reinforce the point…

      • Sounds good to me. I prefer politics to be primarily local myself. Where practical of course.

  6. Saw Harper at the Senators game. Recalibrating. Consulting. Pictures.

    And yes, the sweater's back!

    Watch out. Harper's playing the piano at the Winter Olympics. Count on it.

  7. God, what a beautiful thing this video was. I'm going to watch this over and over again. Next election Obama should buy an hour of prime-time and just play this video. The only thing that could have made it better was if Sarah Palin was there making an idiot of herself.

    • I really hope Palin runs against Obama…it''ll be like watching a tiger toying with a mouse.

      • You'd think so, however, I ran across this article today. It explores the concept of why turkeys vote for Christmas. There's an audio link on the page as well:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8474611.stm

        And since I've already mentioned poultry there is this to consider as well. Why did the chicken cross the road?

        Obama – The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

        Palin – BECAUSE, PRAISE JESUS, I WAS GONNA SHOOT HIS SORRY LIBERAL ASS OFF FOR BLOCKING MY VIEW OF RUSSIA!

  8. Whoops, my apologies. It seems Doug Rogers has already posted the link in the Runciman thread.

    • Great link James…scary! Are the people so mad that they're willing to pull the temple down cuz they don't like the priests?

  9. God, what a beautiful thing this video was. I'm going to watch this over and over again. Next election Obama should buy an hour of prime-time and just play this video. The only thing that could have made it better was if Sarah Palin was there making an idiot of herself.

  10. Couldn't agree more. Do something original instead of just puking up what we already know Wherry. Do you actually get paid to write?…you must given how ugly you are because your looks sure aren't going to get you anywhere.

  11. Christ you are boring, Wherry.

  12. I do not think that he republicans are going to make that mistake again.My man Obama mopped up the floor with their conceit and irrationality!

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