O Meets the Press, Takes a Victory Lap
Appearing in his first post-victory news conference, the customarily cautious Obama spoke like a politician with nothing to lose after winning the last race of his life.
There was a confidence and ease in Obama's manner far removed from the listlessness of his first presidential debate in Denver six weeks ago. There also was a stridency that had been absent during key moments in his first term, much to the dismay of his supporters.
Displaying a rare flash of anger, Obama fiercely defended U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, a leading candidate to be the next secretary of state, from Republican attempts to "besmirch her reputation." He told GOP senators to "go after me" instead and, showing the potential risks of his approach, they soon did.
His self-assurance on display in the East Room, despite a looming fiscal crisis and a widening scandal involving former CIA director Petraeus, suggested he would take a far more combative approach with Congress than he did during his first term.
The event also reflected a sense that Obama understands the need for a fast start after a draining and negative campaign. Although his term will last another four years, a second-term president's power slips away sharply after about two. "Even less really, because the congressional elections will be taking away attention before that," said a presidential scholar. "This is when he has his authority and influence, and his political capital is right there to be spent. He doesn't need to wait until January."
He's got a MANDATE!
With that narrowing window in mind, Obama said Wednesday that he intends to be as ambitious as possible, while avoiding the second-term mistakes that have afflicted at least the past three two-term presidents. "I'm more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms," he said. "We are very cautious about that. On the other hand, I didn't get reelected just to bask in reelection."
There's still a lot more golf out there to be played.
"I think every voter out there understood that was an important debate, and the majority of voters agreed with me," Obama said.
There's still more narcissism at the link, on page two.
Posted by: Bobby 2012-11-15