When President Barack Obama came on stage to discuss the state of the bi-partisan deal to avoid the Jan 1, 2013 fiscal cliff, I was extremely hopeful. There were reports early Dec 31 that a deal was at and I was prepared to hear the President discuss some of the details and commend Congress for their hard work on putting a deal together. It wouldn’t have necessarily been completely truthful – Congress and the White House should have skipped Christmas break to make this happen as our elected officials in the midst of a crisis – but it would have been the right thing to say as the leader of the free world.
What came out of his mouth was 10 minutes of the standard “I” and “me” that has become a trademark of his speeches over the years. He threw jabs at the Republicans. He gloated over their willingness to see it his way regarding raising taxes on wealthy Americans despite vowing to never do so just a month ago. In short, he took an opportunity to handle the situation with class and instead stuck his foot in his own mouth now that the deadline has come and gone.
This was an opportunity for the President to push the deal through. By commending rather than insulting Congress, the chances that a deal would have been signed before the deadline would have gone up tremendously. Instead, it was a distraction, a point of contention that sliced off any remnant hope that the two parties could come together and make it happen.
Here’s the video. Watch as the President of the most powerful country in the world botches a chance to close the deal.