Obama Presser

Ya Think Susan Rice Is Happy Today?

11.14.12 7:31 PM ET

Did you watch the press conference? Wowzie, zowie, that was quite a throw-down at McCain and Graham. Of course they've had that coming for a long time in my view.

McCain thinks he was elected president. He is a bully, and he must be spoken to like a bully. Also, this nonsense of his about a "Watergate-style" committee on Benghazi is an outrage. As the journalist Michael Cohen just tweeted: "So did John McCain call for a Watergate-style commission after 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11?"

That language was as personal and direct and harsh as I've ever heard a president use about a couple of sitting senators. He is pissed. It'll be a bit of a letdown now if he doesn't nominate Rice to Foggy Bottom, which I'm still guessing he won't at the end of the day.

On the fiscal cliff front, Obama left a little room for compromise. He was asked, basically: Must the increase be all in going back to the Clinton-era rates on the top end? He said, basically: I'm open to new ideas, if they have any.

On Petraeus, Chuck Todd asked him if he felt he should have been informed sooner, to which he replied that if he had known, Todd probably would have asked whether that was appropriate, which he or someone surely would have. Immigration reform and climate change also came up, and he indicated those would be high priorities.

Overall tenor: Fair amount of swagger. Good that he opened by talking about jobs and growth instead of the #@&!^ deficit. I still don't understand how a deal will materialize. So assuming for the moment that I'm right, and that this will end up being about who does and doesn't get blamed when the New Year arrives deal-less, I'd say Obama probably did a pretty good job today of laying down his marker. Now he ought to take his show on the road, barnstorm the country in behalf of the tax hike, see what happens.