So, it turns out that the cool cat billed as “No Drama Obama” by his sycophants is actually quite the drama queen. While the White House publicly pretends to ignore conservative detractors of his administration, Chief Touchy-Touchy seems to be personally consumed by our critiques. Yes, mine included.
On Wednesday, the president had himself a mini-“Toddlers and Tiaras”-style meltdown with Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer after landing in Phoenix for a post-State of the Union dog-and-pony show.
As Brewer told pool reporters on the scene, Obama took umbrage at Brewer’s recent memoir. She minced no words on the cover: “Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border.”
And she minced no words describing her impressions of Obama as they sparred over her state’s tough immigration enforcement law, which is now the subject of a Justice Department witch hunt. Brewer called Obama “patronizing” and “condescending.” I’d say she was excruciatingly polite.
According to Brewer, “He was a little disturbed about my book. … I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read [an] excerpt.”
In the shadow of Air Force One, Obama complained that Brewer hadn’t “treated him cordially” and then stalked off while she was responding midsentence. Photogs captured the fracas on film.
The civility police gasped at Brewer’s “disrespectful” finger-pointing. On cue, one progressive commentator insinuated the gesture was a “racist” jab tantamount to lynching.
The president was singing a more laid-back tune last summer. As debate on Capitol Hill over the debt ceiling and spending sizzled, Obama bragged to reporters:
“I’m not trying to poke at you guys. … I generally don’t watch what is said about me on cable. I generally don’t read what’s said about me even in the Hill [newspaper], so part of this job is having a thick skin and understanding that a lot of this stuff is not personal.”
Uh-huh. At least two other Republican governors — Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana – have recounted similar presidential snit fits on the tarmac. He sulked over a letter Jindal wrote to the administration about food stamps for Gulf oil spill victims; he bolted after a half-minute meeting with Perry at an Austin airport over border security issues.
You know those “petty grievances” of “Washington politics” that Obama has long condemned? Now it can be told: He knows whereof he squawks.
As New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor’s new book, “The Obamas,” reveals, the president and his inner circle spent even more time carping about conservative influence on public opinion.
“He wanted the media to be more of a referee; to put unfair Republican charges to rest,” Kantor discovered. “He could brush off the wildest, most baseless attacks themselves, he told [senior adviser and Chicago pal] Valerie Jarrett, along with [campaign finance bundler and treasurer] Marty Nesbitt and [bundler and finance mogul] John Rogers, at lunch in the little dining room next to the Oval Office.”
But what “galled him,” the book observed, “was when they gained mainstream credibility despite distortions of truth.”
Read more here.