ADDED: "Please go." What a line!
AND: In defense of Obama, Clinton can be a windbag.
With Mr. Obama standing largely silently at his side, Mr. Clinton took over the lectern to lend his backing to the tax compromise the White House reached this week with Republicans. And then Mr. Clinton went on, for half an hour, answering questions and holding forth on topics from triangulation to Haiti to the mortgage crisis and the nuclear arms treaty with Russia.Why did Obama leave himself vulnerable to this grotesque upstaging, and why did Clinton do it? Was Clinton unaware of how this looked? Was Obama? Maybe Obama realized he'd made a mistake sharing the stage with Clinton without any ground rules, and walking out on Clinton was the best idea he had at that point. And maybe Clinton decided to deliberately show off the way a real President talks to the press because he actually wants to weaken Obama and create an opening for Hillary to challenge him in 2012.
Even after the 44th president excused himself and left the room, the 42nd went on. On cable TV, Mr. Clinton’s presence in front of the blue backdrop with the White House logo was familiar, as were the wagging finger and the occasional bitten lip.
Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama turned up suddenly after meeting privately together for almost 90 minutes in the Oval Office. With no warning to Mr. Obama’s aides, the two men wandered through the nearly deserted West Wing — most staff members were at a holiday party — and tried to get into the briefing room but found the door locked. Only after they finally encountered Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, were arrangements made to turn on the lights and microphone and assemble the press corps.