November 5, 2014

Get the transcript. What did Obama say about the elections of 2014?

Here's the transcript. (Video too if you've got the patience.) Man, it's long! I'm reading the whole thing, but what you see below are excerpts with my immediate reactions:
Obviously, Republicans had a good night. And they deserve credit for running good campaigns....
Obama is in his element in campaign mode, and so he understands what happened in terms of the capacity to campaign.
Beyond that, I’ll leave it to all of you and the professional pundits to pick through yesterday’s results. What stands out to me, though, is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment....
What job? Nothing is preferable to the wrong thing. Who believes that we want government to do something, anything?
... So, the fact is, I still believe in what I said when I was first elected six years ago last night. All the maps plastered across our TV screens today and for all the cynics who say otherwise, I continue to believe we are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States. 
Yeah, and then he said "I won" and rammed through his own party's agenda, without even the support of a majority of us voters.
We can and we will make progress if we do it together.
I'm uneasy at the word "progress." It assumes the existence of a road and knowledge of where it leads. I see no reason to believe in President Obama's idea of "progress." America rejected it yesterday.

Wait. I was wrong. I'm not reading the whole thing. The questions and answers go on forever, and I've got a life to live.

ADDED: Before the election, Obama said his policies were on the ballot. Which policies? And why won't he acknowledge that those policies were rejected? Because he was bullshitting when he said the polities were on the ballot? If his people had won, he'd have claimed we endorsed those policies, that he had a mandate. So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

87 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

“I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them,” Obama said in prepared remarks at Northwestern University.

Big Mike said...

What job? [Doing n]othing is preferable to [doing] the wrong thing. Who believes that we want government to do something, anything?

Ah, nearly every Democrat.

Bobber Fleck said...

They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do.

Of course, Obama was elected by the welfare crowd and the union guys leaning on their shovels.

Is anyone up for a round of golf?

traditionalguy said...

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

But McConnell is too smooth to let Obama create the next crisis for at least six months. But if Obama and McConnell wait to long, Cruz may fire the shot that starts it going.

But I predict McConnell out flanks both Obama and Cruz.

RecChief said...

when you run against the other party's policies and win, this is a signal to compromise?

RecChief said...

So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

Are you new to the Obama Administration?

RecChief said...

I especially liked Jim Acosta pointing out, pointedly, that Obama's party rejected him, and I liked Ed Henry asking him why he didn't take a page from Clinton's playbook (and move to the center).

rhhardin said...

Obama has a one-track mind. He has his talking point and no complication ever exists.

Epstein remarked on it as a sign of his incompetence.

Sam L. said...

"So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?"

Denial, denial, denial.

Michael K said...

" I predict McConnell out flanks both Obama and Cruz."

I agree and think Cruz might be a useful foil for McConnell. Just as General Marshall was always threatening the British with Admiral King when they balked at Normandy, McConnell can threaten to turn things over to Cruz.

Birkel said...

Althouse cannot still be fooled by Obama. Had a person seen all this coming in 2008 (as I and many others did) perhaps McCain would've been a mediocre one term president. Or perahps Hillary. Too bad the press was unable to see beyond partisanship. The press has been derelict in its duty.

26 and a half months to go.

DavidD said...

Oh, Ann. Now you're "uneasy at the word 'progress'?"

Isn't "progress" what you wanted 6 years ago when you voted for the guy?

furious_a said...

, I continue to believe we are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states.

Well, maybe a few more Red States after yesterday.

They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do.

President Three-Putt has been working hard on his backswing.

furious_a said...

Obama has a one-track mind.

He never forgets, and he never learns.

RecChief said...

And why won't he acknowledge that those policies were rejected?

His supporters aren't acknowledging it either

Irene said...

And the two-thirds of the electorate who didn't--or "couldn't" vote--still support Obama's policies, and he's working for them. A little shellacking by one-third of the eligible voters doesn't matter. He'll do what he wants to do anyway, because he's on the side of ... "the silent majority."

Bob Ellison said...

I watched/listened to the whole thing. He was like that girl in Clueless. Unaware of what just happened. Not likely to discover a new political direction.

damikesc said...

His immigration blackmail was a nice touch. Shows his bipartisanship and stuff.
You know, if he will not do his job, we could just cut the budget for the Executive Branch to zero.

Livermoron said...

Ms. Althouse, you are starting to make me think this Obama fellow is full of crap.

Alex said...

Finally the mask drops. Ann is a Republican.

Alex said...

Meade, congrats. Mission accomplished.

Hagar said...

The CBS Evning News crew seems to be fretting that Obama may cave and actually compromise on something.

Terry said...

"They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do"
Only a lawyer can consider spending all day jawing in an air-conditioned conference room to be 'hard work'. You know, like doing a tear-off of an asphalt roof or caring for an alzheimers patient.

Curious George said...

"RecChief said...
And why won't he acknowledge that those policies were rejected?

His supporters aren't acknowledging it either"

Of course not...they refuse the self-rejection.

Marty Keller said...

Between the President and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, at least the Dems can be counted on for perpetual comic relief.

Hagar said...

Just heard on the local news something I had not realized: New Mexico now has a Republican majority in the State House of Representatives for the first time in 62 years.

It is only a small majority of 4, and of course the State Senate is still Democrat and vows to reject anything proposed by the House, but it is still something to ponder.

sydney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sydney said...

Hmmmm. No "bullshit" tag?

Skeptical Voter said...

Alhouse you just don't get it. Bullshitting is Obama's default mode. He never got beyond being the bullshit baron of his sophomore dorm room.

Grackle said...

Republics do not last forever, and ours may not either. Obama is a queer brew of confidence and incompetence. It will be a fine thing to get through the next 26 months with a peaceful transition of the Oval Office at the end and no civil war in the meantime.

Paul Zrimsek said...

New Mexico now has a Republican majority in the State House of Representatives for the first time in 62 years.

Has the press started calling them the "Roundhouse right" yet?

gk1 said...

I saw the energy sector spiked up on wall street today. It looks like they are pretty stoked that the dems destructive energy policies are deader than a door nail. I look forward to seeing the EPA's budget cut in half until they start complying with congressional oversight and subpoenas.

David said...

Total bullshit. Normal, except that he seems to believe that he is spinning cotton candy.

Will said...

His speech was a textbook example of a narcissist on display.

MaxedOutMama said...

Matthews had a meltdown over this, and I think it was somewhat rational.

It's true that President Obama is always the narrative guy, but when your narrative veers this far from the voters' concerns, you are setting your own party up for failure.

This election is not just a continuation of the last several elections. It really isn't.

And by trying to claim that he has the "mandate", isn't he throwing Congressional Dems under the bus? He's setting up a vicious intraparty fight which just can't be good.

The immigration thing is huge in large swathes of this country, and when one looks at the House district map, the reality really socks you in the face.

You can't rationally talk about jobs and incomes when your own policies are forcing down jobs and incomes. This is class warfare, and it is being conducted by the supposed party of the people. Something's gonna break.

The vast majority of the voters support voter IDs. The vast majority of the voters want an end to unrestricted immigration. These issues must be confronted head on for the Dems to consolidate and fight back in the next election.

RecChief said...

this is the most lucid I have seen Chris Matthews in several years

RecChief said...

Bernie Sanders: People Voted For An Agenda "Very Different Than What They Want And Need"

iowan2 said...

A little off topic, but I've spent a couple of hours watching MSNBC. (You're welcome), and the anylisis is that Dems ran away from Obama, and lost.

The talking heads refuse to pay attention to the ad clips they used for their segments showing Dem candidates enumerating all of the POLICIES they disagree with Obama on.

The Dem candidates did not run from Obama, they emphatically disagreed with his positions and policies.

Just like Obama said...this election was a referendum on his (By default the Democrats) Policies.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Obama is a charismatic socio-path. He is malicious and purposely destructive. Think cornered rat.

Hagar said...

What I hear from Obama is a slightly more diplomatically phrased, or at leat fuzzier, version of Pelosi's: "Certainly I am ready to listen to the Republicans' ideas - if they should ever have one!"

Hagar said...

62 years ago is when Eisenhower promised that, if elected, he would go to Korea [and put an end to the war there].

And this in a state where 40% of the electorate identifies as "Hispanic."

Quaestor said...

4,770 instances of the personal pronoun, including all cases.

There one thing worse than a purblind narcissist, and that's a longwinded purblind narcissist.

PB Reader said...

To Obama it's his way or the highway. His ideas are reasonable, everyone else's ideas aren't. It's time to nip this in the bud.

It's time for House and new Senate leadership to explain to the President that Congress will be sending him budgets (that don't require a super majority in the Senate) and he will sign them or else the shutdown will be his responsibility.

It's also time for House and new Senate leadership to explain to the President that he is to execute the laws faithfully and the spending defined in the budget, or there are going to be impeachment proceedings.

exhelodrvr1 said...

If only the extremely strong potential for this had been apparent in 2007/2008, and again in 2012.

mccullough said...

Let him take down his party with him

Quaestor said...

furious_a wrote: He never forgets, and he never learns.

Someone, maybe Talleyrand, said of the Bourbons, "Ils n'ont appris rien et n'ont oubliƩ rien."

We know what happened to them.

avwh said...

"Let him take down his party with him"

He already has: his party is down amost 70 seats in the House, down 10-12 seats in the Senate.

Conversely, this is the largest majority for Rs in the House since 1929.

Remember that ridculous magazine cover with Obama and an FDR pose with cigarette holder and all? Turns out, he's the anti-FDR when it comes to his impact on his party.

Owen said...

Not every day that you get to see such a hi-def presentation of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Here's a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

traditionalguy said...

Progress means to get things done. In late 1942 the Schutzstaffel was told to make progress on industrialized Jew extermination because after Stalingrad it looked like time might run out.

Obama has to make progress destroying the USA because time is running out.

Paul said...

Just keep your cool Republicans. By law if he issues a 'executive order' it has to be funded by CONGRESS. Just don't fund it. With both houses that ought to be easy!

And have a third party (State or individual) SUE him for that order in court. A judge then can give an injunction to halt the implementation of that order if unconstitutional (and immigration is the preview of Congress, not the President.)

Keep your cool Republicans and don't fall for the impeachment trap. You can frustrate the shit out of Obama and make the Democrats look bad when you pass a bill each week or two and force Obama, FOR ONCE, to take a stand. He can either Veto it or sign it.

Look for 2016 and taking the presidency along with both houses!

Achilles said...

Paul said...

"Look for 2016 and taking the presidency along with both houses!"

We have had Republican majorities in both houses and a republican president. We got bigger government and new entitlements.

Republicans winning isn't enough to save this country. They actually have to do what their voters want this time.

Brad said...

Come, now, Ann ....

Obama's playing the game he's always played ... "Heads, I win ... Tails, you lose."

elkh1 said...

They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do... at the golf links.

William said...

I saw a brief portion. He said that where it was on the ballot voters approved a raise in the minimum wage. He feels that validates his position. This election was all about raising the minimum wage, and he won.....Pot legalization also fared well in several ballot initiatives. He didn't mention those. The man is too modest, Pot is part of his legacy too. He may have lost the battle, but he has won the war.

Revenant said...

"I’m the guy who’s elected by everybody,"

Out of respect for Obama's newfound interest in people who don't vote, I would like to note that slightly under 21% of Americans cast a vote for him in 2012.

Jane the Actuary said...

"Let's work on things bipartisanly" -- like FREE PRESCHOOL! and MORE PORK SPENDING! and everything else that I support unreservedly and you're uninterested in."

What a joke. Do you think the Dems were at least embarrassed by this?

eric said...

traditionalguy and Michael K,


I think you're focus on Cruz is misplaced. While he is a trailblazer and therefore perceived as a leader (And a possible foil), we just had a big election with several more Cruz's elected.

Which means Cruz just got allies in the Senate. Ernst, Gardner, Cotton, Daines, Tillis, Rounds and Capito.

Do you think these will be bench warmers? These new Senators aren't going to be like Perdue, Cochran, or Roberts. They aren't a bunch of old boys club types who will sit around and follow Mitch McConnell's orders.

Maybe a few of them are, but I suspect several of them are more ideological, like Cruz, than political, like McConnell.

This election grew Cruz's strength in the Senate. Which I think is a good thing. I'd rather have more Rand Pauls, Ted Cruz's and Marco Rubio's, than McConnell's and McCains and their sort.

Even though I disagree with them, now is not the time for drink and cigars in a back room to work out deals. Now is the time for strong vision and a backbone and everything done in the light of day.

Let the American people decide. And if it means we lose, at least that was the choice and we can learn from it. How do we learn from the ones like Charlie Crist who stand for whatever the moment calls for in order to gain power?

Let's have more of those who speak clearly, rather than those who speak like a politician.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Althouse -- what you, a purported Con Law professor---need to do is express your ..rigorous mortification..that YOU voted for this anti-Constitutional TYRANT.

Until you admit that you got moist, swooned and went week-kneed, in a sexual way over this sociopathic clown---JUST AS EVERY WOMAN IN PRE-NAZI GERMANY DID-- you are no different from them.

Admit it. You love "the strong hand", the strong horse". Just like Catherine the Great.

It's a sexual thing...right?

Constitutional law bullbleep will never trump that--right?

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Starting to feel sorry for Althouse being continually assailed for her vote in 2008. Come off it, commenters. It's time for reconciliation, for forgiveness. She has explained her reasons for that vote many times since, she voted for Romney in 2012, and she certainly doesn't support what the Obama administration has done since taking office- Leave Althouse alone! (Spoken through a flood of empathetic tears)... Now, her tacit approval of Hillary, on the other hand...

Owen said...

Paul: "Keep your cool Republicans and don't fall for the impeachment trap. You can frustrate the shit out of Obama and make the Democrats look bad when you pass a bill each week or two and force Obama, FOR ONCE, to take a stand. He can either Veto it or sign it."

Exactly. Impeachment would be exactly what he wants. Clinton showed that it is survivable. Obama would show it to be positively enjoyable. For a narcissist, this is the ultimate selfie: center stage, bloody but unbowed, the victim of evil and ignorant persecutors. It would also fix him forever in the national "narrative" of Racial Injustice as a kind of martyred messiah, akin to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. It would become his legacy, replacing --erasing-- Obamacare, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS, ISIS, Iran. "Remember when they impeached Obama and the cities burned?"

Impeachment is political "death ground." It promises the country only loss and distraction and abiding rancor, even as (and commensurately) it feeds his hunger for attention and forms the consummation of his personal psychodrama.

It would dwarf his election and re-election as the biggest mistakes ever made.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Whatever it was that happened during Obama's upbringing has left him, as a adult with, near zero self-esteem. And that is a devastating state to be in.

That's why he surrounds himself with sycophants and that's why he can't dare admit a mistaken view on anything and that's why he distracts himself with fundraisers, golf and celebrity parties.

If he did face facts for once in his life, the whole Potemkin village would be revealed, and that thought terrifies and paralyzes him.

He needs psychological help. Badly. It's actually kind of sad.

When I look at him, I just see the empty posturing of what is essentially a scared little boy.

Clyde said...

Obama is obviously from the school of "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit." He figured, rightly, that if he just kept blathering, people would get bored and go away and leave him alone so he could go play golf. Priorities, people, priorities! The man has a handicap to maintain (and no, I'm not talking about his narcissism).

Larry J said...

l Fitzgerald said...
Starting to feel sorry for Althouse being continually assailed for her vote in 2008. Come off it, commenters. It's time for reconciliation, for forgiveness. She has explained her reasons for that vote many times since, she voted for Romney in 2012, and she certainly doesn't support what the Obama administration has done since taking office- Leave Althouse alone! (Spoken through a flood of empathetic tears)... Now, her tacit approval of Hillary, on the other hand...


Shows that she may have a limited ability to learn from past mistakes. Sorry, but anyone stupid enough to vote for Obama deserves the ridicule they receive. How anyone could fail to see who and what Obama really is is hard to comprehend. Tens of millions of us plainly saw it. Why couldn't they? Was it because they were too educated to make intelligent observations?

Brennan said...

When I look at him, I just see the empty posturing of what is essentially a scared little boy.

No Mom. No Dad. No direction. No identity. Mucks it up with the choom gang.

His legacy is a lifetime of emptiness. The tragedy is how many mentors in his life were immediate enablers of this.

Brennan said...

When I look at him, I just see the empty posturing of what is essentially a scared little boy.

No Mom. No Dad. No direction. No identity. Mucks it up with the choom gang.

His legacy is a lifetime of emptiness. The tragedy is how many mentors in his life were immediate enablers of this.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Early on, I made the prediction that Obama would be the greatest thing for the conservative movement since William F. Buckley Jr. I have proclaimed it about twice a year since 2009. I stand by it.

McConnell came off very well in his presser. Then he and Boehner put out the WSJ piece laying out their plan. Good times.

Brando said...

It didn't have to turn out this way. When he first took office, Obama was a blank slate--one thing he had over Hillary was that he didn't already have half the country hating him. Sure, there was an opposition party to deal with, but that's true for every president.

He could have started out by doing what he'd promised to do--work with the other side. That doesn't mean taking Boehner golfing--it's more about offering things that the GOP could please their constituents with in exchange for their support in what he needed. You know, actually pushing for something bipartisan. It may even have meant a few "Sister Souljah" moments with his own party leadership--triangulating and Bill Clinton did successfully.

The problem was he thought he'd be the next FDR, because the economy was in free-fall when he took office. It wasn't just the optics of the "I won" arrogance--it was the practice of leaving the GOP on the outside and putting things in the hands of partisans, like Pelosi and Reid. He thought, we control Congress, why even bother with the losers? The problem was the Democrats' majority depended not just on the Left, but many in the middle, who could bolt if they felt things were going too far adrift.

So when the GOP had big gains in 2010, Obama and Co. told themselves whatever they could to avoid acknowledging mistakes--blame it on racist rich white males who were all going to die soon anyway. Belittle the opposition, which was made easier by high profile idiot candidates who could personify the crazies. Anything but consider that their own agenda was highly partisan, and would backfire if it didn't quickly prove brilliant, which of course it didn't.

Hopefully the next president, whoever s/he is, will have learned the lesson and recognize that half the country can't be blown off.

Big Mike said...

I agree with Larry J. Nearly all of the faults Obama has displayed since November 2008 were there to be seen in October of 2008 with only mild digging. It wasn't hard to find reasons why McCain would be less than perfect (make that "a lot less than perfect") but the wise voter looks closely at both candidates.

And after watching alleged Constitutional scholars Joseph Biden and Barack Obama in action, and reading what they have to say about the rule of law, for the past 6 years, I have to admit that there's a lot of tarnish on the position of Constitutional law professor.

Unknown said...

Paul, there's something wrong with your observation, "Just keep your cool Republicans. By law if he issues a 'executive order' it has to be funded by CONGRESS."

Who says Obama has to obey the law? Certainly not him.

Delayna said...

"Nothing is preferable to the wrong thing. Who believes that we want government to do something, anything?"

Welcome to the Tea Party, Althouse.

pm317 said...

@Brando, I will add to your comment that many who were staunchly in Hillary's camp in the primary (they were actually the majority if you count the individual votes -- she won the popular votes in primary '08 -- and not the coerced delegates), held their nose and went with Obama and they had no reason to stick with him if he didn't perform. They gave him a chance but he didn't rise to the occasion. All that is being reflected in how the electorate is thinking now. DailyKos wailing comment about Van Hollen's district being 97% Obamabots but him being within a 2% margin with his opponent tells the story.

Delayna said...

"It will be a fine thing to get through the next 26 months with a peaceful transition of the Oval Office at the end and no civil war in the meantime."

Something that nags at the back of my mind:

Reagan: Augustus
Bush I: Tiberius
Clinton: Caligula (hmmm...)
Bush II: Claudius (the stammerer...)
Obama: Nero (narcissist!)

Followed by The Year of the Four Emperors...

pm317 said...

Hillary Democrats who gave Obama a chance in 2008 were not the far left but right in the middle, coal country and other working class, but they gave Obama a chance and he blew it.

betamax3000 said...

Obama: the one-night-stand who never went away.

MayBee said...

I love the idea that this election is a message from the voters that the Congress and Obama need to work together.

That is obviously a narrative they came up with as a backup plan before the elections took place, and they are sticking to it.

Delayna said...

"And after watching alleged Constitutional scholars Joseph Biden and Barack Obama in action, and reading what they have to say about the rule of law, for the past 6 years, I have to admit that there's a lot of tarnish on the position of Constitutional law professor."

I'm really wishing my 8th-grade civics teacher was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

RecChief said...

Does he think turnout in 2012 was universal? Only about 57% voted and that was down from 2008. And about half of us voted against him anyway.

RecChief said...

By the way, GOP voters in San Diego (I think) elected an openly gay man as their House rep. Just sayin'

Paul said...

Achilles said...

"Republicans winning isn't enough to save this country. They actually have to do what their voters want this time."

True Achilles, but baby steps! Gotta win the whole enchilada before they can do anything (just pray the Republicans don't have a diz like Pelosi to lead the charge.)

Peter said...

"What job? Nothing is preferable to the wrong thing. Who believes that we want government to do something, anything?"

After kindergarten, one mostly gets rewarded for the results of what one does, not merely for effort.

But if Pres. Obama wants to do something, how about approving the Keystone XL Pipeline already?

Boltforge said...

Peter said...
"After kindergarten, one mostly gets rewarded for the results of what one does, not merely for effort."

What country are you talking about? Not America, that is for certain. We only give grades for participation. Never for results.

Drago said...

RecChief said...
By the way, GOP voters in San Diego (I think) elected an openly gay man as their House rep.

Since Crack is on Althouse-Sabbatical, Titus will be along shortly to explain why the San Diego GOP-gay House Rep is not an "authentic" gay man.

MayBee said...

What we saw with this election is the backlash against the politics of trying to make mainstream ideas seem repugnant, shameful, and unworthy of debate.

You can shut people up by doing that, but you can't make them stop having their ideas and voting on them.

That's why talking heads were so blindsided. They have basically done what they could to shut out people's voices, so they no longer had the benefit of hearing their ideas. They made their own ostrich-holes.

dbp said...

ADDED: Before the election, Obama said his policies were on the ballot. Which policies? And why won't he acknowledge that those policies were rejected? Because he was bullshitting when he said the polities were on the ballot? If his people had won, he'd have claimed we endorsed those policies, that he had a mandate. So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

If he was a Republican, the press would have him eating his words for the next two years.

Drago said...

BTW, who else is enjoying obama taking credit for expanded oil/gas production and reduced gas prices at the pump?

It's as rich as Clinton/Gore taking credit for the .com boom....but not the bust.

Drago said...

dbp: "If he was a Republican, the press would have him eating his words for the next two years."

If he was a republican, he would never have made it out of the primaries in 2008.

Larry J said...

@Drago

"If he was a republican, he would never have made it out of the primaries in 2008."

If he was a Republican, he would've never been elected to the Illinois state legislature, much less to the Senate or beyond.