I’m not sure why this is news again; I first saw it months ago. But people are buzzing about the claim that President Obama’s blistering attack on Paul Ryan — with Ryan in the audience — was just a big mistake. The story goes that Ryan was invited to the speech by accident, and when they noticed that he was there it was just too late to change the tone.
Don’t you believe it. First of all, the story makes no sense. They saw Ryan there before the president appeared at the podium, but it was too late to change the speech? Nonsense. They just didn’t want to. Even if Obama was unwilling to go off teleprompter, they could have taken a few minutes to soften the speech. It might be hard, but this is a professional communication operation. Come on.
Moreover, Obama is from Chicago and he likes to do that sort of thing. This is the in-your-face president. Remember him gloating over his election victory at the 2009 stimulus meeting, and at the 2010 health care summit? And those meetings were (ostensibly) for the purpose of forging bipartisan agreement! Remember when — in a direct parallel — he used the 2010 State of the Union address to attack the Supreme Court justices to their faces?
No, Obama said what he meant to say in the manner he wanted to say it. In your face. That’s what he does. It’s the Chicago Way.