POTUS Descends Into B-Movie Parody.

After years of press hand-wringing over President Obama not biting his lip like Bill Clinton, pounding his fist like Harry Truman, or blustering like George W. Bush, the president himself has finally surrendered:

"I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf," the president told Matt Lauer in a clip released this evening. "A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

One of the things I used to like about the president is that he always seemed indifferent to village demands that he acquiesce to whatever empty political gesture they wanted him to make. Americans are going to be happier about his handling of the oil spill when the oil gets cleaned up, safeguards are put in place to prevent this from ever happening again, and BP faces some real consequences. They're not going to be happier because the president has pulled out his Bruce Willis impression.

UPDATE: Steve Benen and Marc Ambinder write that Obama was responding to the context of Matt Lauer's question, rather than simply trying to sound tough.

-- A. Serwer

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