Yahoo News - During an oddly jokey statement at the White House as the fiscal deadline bore down Monday afternoon, said, "I'm going to be president for the next four years. I hope." He was warning Republicans that, yes, they'd have to deal with him for a while. But it was, to be sure, a strange moment. Could he actually have been joking about assassination? About impeachment? The apocalypse? Or has everyone just had enough of these negotiations?
Maybe Obama just let all those comparisons to Lincoln get to him. During the fiscal cliff talks, pundits have occasionally compared the negotiations to Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, in which Abraham Lincoln uses all kinds of tricks and bribes to get Congress to pass the 13th Amendment. On Meet the Press Sunday, for example, Obama said, "People have been asking me a lot about the — the film Lincoln and, you know..." Host David Gregory responded, "Is this your Lincoln moment?" Obama made it clear he'd been thinking about it:
Well, no. Look, A) I never compare myself to Lincoln and, B) obviously the magnitude of the issues are quite different from the Civil War and slavery. The point, though is, is democracy's always been messy. And, you know, we're a big, diverse country that is-- is constantly sort of arguing about all kinds of stuff but eventually we do the right thing.
Of course, after the House of Representatives did the right thing — abolish slavery — Lincoln's presidency was cut short by assassination. We're all for dark humor, but it sounded a little scary coming from the president himself.
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Yesterday, President Obama delivered a bizarre statement to the press at the White House. Flanked by ordinary Americans – whom he uses as a backdrop to his highly-partisan politics on a regular basis nowadays – Obama dropped this doozy: “I’m going to be president for the next four years. I hope.”
The media immediately went into paroxysms of anxiety. Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantichand-wrung: “it was, to be sure, a strange moment. Could he actually have been joking about assassination? …. Maybe Obama just let all those comparisons to Lincoln get to him.”
The media can calm down. It was a weak joke laced with arrogance – Obama’s staple these days. But look for the media to continue to paint Obama as a victim of an enraged right wing as his second term commences. After all, they’re not going to report the President using Americans as props and abusing his bully pulpit.