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Obama Prepares to Fight: Tells Lobbyists to Bring It On

Obama has cast himself "a populist crusader willing to do battle with special interests to expand health care, curb pollution and improve education."
 
 
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President Barack Obama made a pitch for his budget proposal in his weekly address and positioned himself nicely as "a threat to the status quo in Washington." The New York Times described the president as casting himself as "a populist crusader willing to do battle with special interests to expand health care, curb pollution and improve education," and that sounds about right.

After touting the virtues of his plan -- on taxes, energy, health care and education -- Obama acknowledged all of the many interests that aren't going to be pleased:

"I know that the insurance industry won't like the idea that they'll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that's how we'll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families.

"I know that banks and big student lenders won't like the idea that we're ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that's how we'll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable.

"I know that oil and gas companies won't like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that's how we'll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries."

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing the Carpetbagger Report and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect, the Huffington Post and the Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show" and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."