While Sanders Filibusters, Obama Shares Presidential Podium With Bill Clinton in Surprise Briefing on Tax Cuts

In a move that surely has political strategists throughout your nation's capital scratching their heads, President Barack Obama called a hastily arranged briefing for reporters in the White House press room at which he, according to the Associated Press, presented former President Bill Clinton to reporters to explain why Democrats should vote for the tax-cut deal Obama negotiated with Republican leaders. Clinton was trotted out as Sen. Bernie Sanders approached his sixth hour of his filibuster of the deal, which he's conducting the old-fashioned, Jimmy Stewart way -- non-stop speechifying. 

From the AP (via The Huffington Post):

"I don't believe there is a better deal out there," Clinton told reporters who'd been summoned at a moment's notice to see the former chief executive back the current one. Clinton and Obama had just finished a private meeting in the Oval Office.

But then, the AP tells us, Obama left Clinton at the podium to riff while Obama himself left the room to make his rounds at the White House holiday parties.

What you hear now is the sound of my hand smacking my own forehead.

Unlike many progressives, I took some heart in Obama's come-out-swinging press conference on this tax-cut deal -- yeah, the one in which he called us sanctimonious. Why? Because he seemed strong, resolute, and delivered a consistent message that his job was to keep the American people from being harmed by Republicans -- a job that allowed him no choice but to do what he must to ensure that taxes didn't go up for middle- and lower-income people, and to see that unemployment benefits did not run out for the long-term unemployed. A case made in terms that were directed outside the Beltway, to regular people.

But now, just days later, Obama symbolically gives up his authority by allowing the former riffmeister-in-chief yammer away at the press corps while he himself runs off to parties?

Sound of hands thrown up in air.

And Bernie Sanders droning stemwinding...

UDATE: 6:45

Did Sanders just ask, "What are they smoking?"

Indeed he did. But I think he was talking about Republicans.

AlterNet / By Adele M. Stan

Posted at December 10, 2010, 12:22pm

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