Quoted by Maureen Dowd, who, naturally, wisecracks that he must now wish he had.
It's not really very funny. On the other hand, why does anyone step up to be President? It's some evidence of Obama's normality, which was one thing I always found appealing. You'd think it would only be really weird folk who'd decide they should be President and can actually handle the impossible job of dealing with all of the problems in the world and putting up with being the biggest punching bag in the world. And here was someone seemingly normal willing to do it... and perhaps as able to do the impossible as anyone else (and more able than John McCain).
More Dowd (boldface by me):
Obama’s re-election chances depend on painting the Republicans as disrespectful. So why would the White House act disrespectful by scheduling a speech to a joint session of Congress at the exact time when the Republicans already had a debate planned?...Re-re-re-spect-spect-spect-spect. (I'm supplying the pop culture reference that I expected to pop out of Dowd, given her usual style and how clearly set up that one seems. Is it a reach to suggest that she wanted to reference the famous Aretha Franklin recording, and she or her editor fretted that it would seem racial?)
Obama is still suffering from the Speech Illusion, the idea that he can come down from the mountain, read from a Teleprompter, cast a magic spell with his words and climb back up the mountain, while we scurry around and do what he proclaimed.
The days of spinning illusions in a Greek temple in a football stadium are done. The One is dancing on the edge of one term.
The White House team is flailing — reacting, regrouping, retrenching. It’s repugnant.