The White House wants to hammer home this message of Obama as the adult in the room, the responsible leader. That might explain the delayed, yet calculated release of a new video posted to the White House blog on Friday. The clip was actually taken back in March, when Obama met with a bipartisan group of college kids in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
In the meeting, Obama cited Abraham Lincoln’s compromises on The Emancipation Proclamation as bi-product of tough leadership choices. He said, “you’ve got a wartime president who’s making a compromise around probably the greatest moral issue that the country ever faced because he understood that right now, my job is to win the war and to maintain the Union.” (Historical cheat-sheet: Lincoln did not have the authority to fully abolish slavery across the nation — only the states that seceded).
Perhaps in a nod to his base, the president explained his rationale for compromising with Republicans. He told students, “the nature of our democracy and the nature of our politics is to marry principle to a political process that means you don’t get 100% of what you want.”
Gee, could that be applied to the debt ceiling? Team Obama sat on this footage until now because it better fits their debt ceiling narrative to voters: Democrats are working to find a compromise, while the GOP continues to reject everything. New poll numbers suggest Obama is winning that argument.