For those who have been watching closely, Barack Obama has had it up to here with Eric Cantor for a long time, starting at least a year and a half before the President’s disgusted walkout this week.
As far back as the White House Health Care Summit on February 25, 2010, the Leader of the Free World was lecturing the partisan pipsqueak on the difference between legislating and grandstanding. As Cantor parroted talking points behind a foot-high pile of papers, the President tartly dismissed “props like these” and told him, “These are the political things we do that prevent us from having a conversation.”
Cantor had been squeezing maximum personal exposure out of the Summit for weeks, at first refusing to go, then signing a drop-dead letter with Boehner before the meeting and finally showing up that day on “Good Morning America” to bloviate on why it would fail.
Labeled “Dr. No” back then, Cantor has followed the same game plan in the debt ceiling debate, stalking out of the Biden negotiations to make headlines and hectoring the President at meetings ever since.
The New York Times’ Caucus blog offers a Democratic version of the Presidential walkout the other day:
“Let’s stop the catering to our bases. Let’s start compromising and solving this problem for the American people, because the clock is ticking, Mr. Obama told those assembled around the table.
“Mr. Cantor interrupted--rudely, according to the Democratic aides.
“We should pursue short-term debt ceiling increases, Mr. Cantor said.
“Mr. Obama rejected the idea.
“It’s not an acceptable outcome to have an extension of the debt ceiling that doesn’t get into 2013, the president said.
“Mr. Cantor tried two more times, interrupting the president to advocate for a stop-gap measure.
“’Enough is enough,’” the president said...
“Aides described Mr. Obama as animated and passionate.
“We have to get this solved for the American people, the president said. We have to be willing to compromise. It shouldn’t be about positioning and politics.”
The President then left the meeting, clearly annoyed at the one-note ideologue and self-promoter who has been dogging his steps for years now.