By Chris Matthews
President Obama held his much anticipated press conference Tuesday and delivered his most pronounced message since taking office. He wants to be a president who does more than muddle through. He wants to be a transformative president on the model of Roosevelt and Reagan. He wants to do big things.
Tuesday’s press conference showed he that he’s president for celebrity or popularity. He was saying “I’m not going to be Bill Clinton and do school uniforms and family home leave, I’m going to do big stuff. Dick Morris is not advising me. I’m here to do business like the big guys, like Reagan and Roosevelt and maybe Lincoln. I’m going to be an important president or I’m not going to be a good one.”
The president stressed the urgency of getting Congress to pass his budget. I found it odd that no one asked the big question: How is he going to do it? Will President Obama will use that special budget procedure that allows him to win his budget through the Congress on just 50 votes plus that of the vice president?
There are only two ways to pass bills: You get them through the budget procedure that allows you to do it with 50 votes or you wait around and try to get 60 which he‘ll never get. Wasn’t that a good question that never got asked?
I think President Obama has a very coherent plan: He is going to force the United States Senate to vote up or down on his budget. He’s not going to let them walk away and do it piecemeal. He’s going to wrap up energy, health care and education into one big casino style vote for Congress to take or leave. It looks to me like he is to insist that they take it up as a reconciliation matter where they only require 50 votes to do it. I think he’s going to jam it. I think what we’re seeing here day after day is this push.
I think last night’s speech was about President Obama saying, “I’m not here just to get by. I’m not just here to get through the business cycle. I’m going to change the American economy to compete in the future.”