Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Mission Impossible: Humanizing Eric Cantor

No matter who faces him for the White House, Barack Obama starts 2012 with one advantage against the GOP—-the poster boy for intransigence, Eric Cantor, who proves again on 60 Minutes that there is no way to “humanize” him.

In an interview, the usually genial Lesley Stahl starts by saying flatly, “President Obama's nemesis throughout the year was 48-year-old Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader of the House, who played a major role in the Republican strategy.

“The White House blames Eric Cantor, more than anyone else, for disrupting the president's first term. Especially for scuttling one set of deficit reduction talks after another...the president's keying on him has taken its toll. He's been picketed and heckled.

“He has fallen in the polls and so has his party as, according to a CBS News poll, the public blames them more for the gridlock in Washington.”

Stahl presses the indictment: “Eric Cantor was the one who went out in 2010 and recruited most of the freshmen who are conservative and backed by the Tea Party.

“He meets with them regularly, and several of them told us Cantor is their inspirational leader and father figure. But Eric Cantor does not want to be seen as unreasonable.”

To that end, Cantor’s people obviously sought the 60 Minutes interview, inviting cameras into his home to meet his family. There Stahl found one point of agreement with Obama: Cantor’s mother-in-law lives with them as does the President’s. But his wife, a former Democrat, is pro-choice and for gay marriage.

As Cantor continues to “charm” Stahl, an aide is moved to yell out “That’s not true” off camera when she notes that his idol Ronald Reagan “raised taxes.” Mischievously, 60 Minutes inserts a clip of the Great Communicator doing just that.

Cantor concludes the séance by denying “personal animosity” between himself and the President, who recently told a crowd, “I'm going to keep on talking to Eric Cantor. Some day sooner or later he's going to say, 'Boy, Obama had a good idea.'”

But not before next November.


Harley King said...

Thanks for writing your blog during the last year. I enjoyed it.

Tim Riley said...

I would agree, there's no way Cantor will admit Obama did anything right in 2012. Hopefully, Obama will win and Cantor will have 4 more years to find some common ground with the President.