27 February 2012

White House revises history again - but why?

Today's New York Times contains an interesting account of Obama's budget speech at George Washington University last spring. Here's the opening (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — President Obama was backstage at an auditorium at George Washington University last April preparing to give a major speech, when William M. Daley, then his chief of staff, spied an unexpected guest in the audience: Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, whose budget plan Mr. Obama was about to shred.

“Try to tell the president!” Mr. Daley directed an aide.

It was too late to deliver a warning. Mr. Obama went on stage and outlined his proposal to reduce deficits — but not before he flayed the Ryan plan, saying its deep tax cuts and deeper spending reductions would harm students, seniors, the disabled and the nation.

Poor Obama! He only meant to attack Ryan behind his back! It was just a mix-up!

Except, according to reports at the time, Ryan was invited to attend by the White House. Today's article, though, is trying to retrospectively pretend that Obama gave a visionary, conciliatory address on his plan to reduce the deficit and national debt.

Baloney. The co-chairman of Obama's commission, former Senator Alan Simpson, was “concerned about the partisan nature of the event and how unnecessary and unproductive and unhelpful it would be.”

Obama made a choice last spring, and it was not leadership, it was partisan attack.  It's what he does.

And when you really think about today's revisionist version, let's assume Daley's account is true. What did he expect the President to do? Ad lib?!

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