The president’s press conference was a huge mistake, not because he made a partisan case for his massive spending plan. Nothing else could be expected.
But when he distorted the GOP opposition as wanting to do nothing he lost the game. The American people are tuned into this debate and know very well that the GOP is committed to a large but balanced stimulus plan that puts tax relief and immediate infrastructure spending to work to immediately surge the economy. They have listened closely to the arguments made on the Senate floor and know that the president’s bald mischaracterization of those positions is just false.
Combine that bit of theater with the deeply disturbing answer on Iran –looking for Iran to reach out to us after two weeks of “diplomacy”– and his incoherent explanatuion of the origins of the financial crisis, and the president left millions cold and worried tonight. He may get his porkapalooza, but the campaign rhetoric tonight is not up to the job, and voters know it.
UPDATE: The New York Times reports White House officials are pleased that the president made no obvious blunders. Right.