Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

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THE REAL DEAL

February 2, 2010

(Please allow me to indulge in some fiction)

“Good morning, Mr. President.”

“Hi, Katie, how are you?”

“Fine. Thank you sir, and you?”

“Doin’ great. What can I do for you?”

“Sir, Representative Pence from Indiana has invited you to the House Republicans’ Retreat in Baltimore at the end of the month. Would you like to attend?”

“To do… what, exactly?”

“I believe he would like you to speak to the House members and then take a few questions.”

“Do we know what day this is… what time?”

“It’s the Friday after the State of the Union address, sir, 2:00pm.”

“So that’s the uh, the 29th. Am I available?”

“I checked and I believe we can make the necessary arrangements.”

“Okay. Put it on the calendar and if you could, please get Mike’s number for me. I’d like to call him.”

“Yes sir.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

“Good afternoon, Mike. President Obama.”

“Good afternoon Mr. President.”

“I understand you’ve invited me to your retreat in Baltimore.”

“Yes sir. We would like to have you join us for a casual Q and A.”

“I would be more than happy to attend, but I have one request.”

“Sir?”

“I would like it to be televised.”

“Uh… well… we don’t normally do that, sir.”

“I realize that, but I believe it would be benificial for everyone.”

“Well, if you insist, we’ll make the arrangements.”

“I insist. Thanks, Mike. See you then.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

“He’s coming.”

“Really? Good. It’s time he heard from us, one-on-one.”

“There’s just one thing.”

“What?”

“He wants cameras.”

“What? Son of a bitch! What did you tell him?”

“I said, ‘yes.’ What else could I say?”

“Great. That’s juuust great.”

“If I had said ‘no,’ he’d refuse to come and the press would be all over us – again – for not wanting to work with him.”

“Okay, but we’ve got work to do. No softball questions!”

“I understand.”

“No beatin’ around the bush. No bullshit questions about birth certificates, for God’s sake! Make sure you review every question!”

“Absolutely.”

“We have to hit him hard – damn hard – and push for answers on some of our stuff. Pigeon-hole him on across-the-board tax cuts, get him to back off this regulation crap and that piece-of-shit healthcare bill – all of it. We can’t afford to have him succeed on any of it. We gotta keep poundin’ away at him.”

“He won’t know what hit him.”

“Make sure of it!”

“Do you have any questions for him?”

“No!”

(End of fiction)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Republicans thought if they could get our President, unscripted, in a room full of only their own firing questions, cameras or not, they would “nail him.”

What were they thinking?

Did they really believe the former Harvard Law Review President, Constitutional Scholar/Educator and Civil Rights litigator who headed the most impressive presidential campaign in modern history, couldn’t handle their questions or wouldn’t fire back?

Are you kidding me?

Does this man look intimidated to you?

Why does the opposition continue to underestimate him? Time and time again during the campaign, when it seemed he was losing ground, and pundits started questioning his moves on one thing or another, he would end up silencing nearly every critic. Did they really think now, as President, Obama would suddenly crumble?

When the news hit that the event was going to be televised, TV and radio commentators spewed their gibberish about how it was Obama’s ego that wanted cameras, so people could see him in the proverbial “Lion’s Den.” I think he wanted people to see Republicans asking scripted questions of a President who is much more than a good orator with well-written teleprompter speeches. He wanted people to see a candid Q and A, unfiltered, unscripted (on his part) with no mediation. He said he was going to “call them out” in last year’s address to the joint session of congress, and that’s exactly why he wanted cameras rolling. The Republicans, not prepared for the push-back, were caught flat-footed.

These events are not uncommon among politicians. But never before has one been recorded live. President Obama deserves kudos for attending and the Republicans deserve kudos for allowing us to observe. Everyone wins with this type of exchange. Unfortunately, it will probably not happen again (with Republicans) anytime soon. Off the record, some attending Republicans said it was a mistake to allow cameras.

What we witnessed is politics the way it should be: politicians going nose-to-nose, directly asking and answering questions from each other, thereby giving us the “real deal” on the issues. No hype, no mediators, no pundits.

The event was covered by CNN and MSNBC in its entirety, but for some reason, FOX News cut away 20 minutes before its conclusion. Apparently, their commentators are more important than our President engaged in an open forum Q and A on the critical issues facing the American people. Or maybe, it was because President Obama was not only answering the questions with amazing detail and correcting the misinformation that’s been permiating the dialogue for the last few months, but he was also very honest about some of the short-comings of his first year in office, making the Republicans look foolish for asking silly “gotcha” questions.

Those who doubt our President’s desire to change things in Washington D.C. need only to watch this series of videos. Even if you did not vote for him, watch with an open mind and heart. You will not see an ideologue, but instead, a man who wants the best for this country.

NOTE: Rep. Pence’s microphone was not turned up at the beginning of this exchange

Even at the risk of alienating many in his own party, our President continues to extend the “olive branch” to his opposition. He knows if he can bring Democrats and Republicans together on enough issues, it will reduce the influence of specials interests, and Americans will start seeing collaboration instead of confrontation.

I remain hopeful.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com