The liberal New Republic, which is periodically described as the in-flight magazine on Air Force One for Democratic presidents, has just released the transcript of an interview with Barack Obama as he looks ahead to the next four years. The New Republic piece is a compelling read, and is aptly headlined: “Barack Obama is not pleased.” It paints a portrait of a president, in his own words, who appears deeply partisan, sneeringly dismissive of his political opponents, bitterly angry at his adversaries for standing in the way on issues such as the budget, and completely lacking in any humility. If this is Obama at the start of his second term, one can only imagine what he’ll be like three years from now.
A key section of Obama’s interview is where he talks about the superiority of his own party, and why there must be “a real price to pay” for the Republicans for opposing his policies:
Ever sensitive to press criticism, Obama could not resist taking a shot at the conservative media, while ludicrously suggesting that the liberal-dominated mainstream media is more supportive of political compromise, which must be a revelation to the editors of The New York Times:
There is nothing in this interview that suggests the president is in any way serious about reining in federal spending, introducing entitlement reform, or rolling back the frontiers of the government. For a country with more than $16 trillion of debt, this is a catastrophic approach. It is very clear from this interview that President Obama sees his re-election as a mandate to continue the very policies that will eventually bankrupt the country unless they are reversed, regardless of huge opposition on Capitol Hill. It chimes closely with the president’s second inaugural address last week, which offered absolutely no olive branches to the nearly 61 million Americans who voted for his opponent in November.
Significantly, a major Gallup poll released on Inauguration Day showed that most Americans don’t feel positive about the direction their country is taking:
And just like the emperor that Obama sees himself as, rest assured he has plans to go it alone…
President Obama said he would prefer to accomplish his ambitious second-term agenda with the help of Congress but will employ “a judicious use of executive power” where necessary to reach policy goals.
Obama’s remarks, made during an interview with the New Republic, come as many in Washington expect the president’s administration to push forward aggressively with a host of regulations in the coming months and years.
Gird your loins, America.
More criticism for The New Republic’s interview of Obama … from his own side:
But I also wish Times reporter Christine Haughney had explored a conflict of interest in TNR’s relaunch: the participation of new owner Chris Hughes in a major interview with President Obama.
But Hughes, the 29-year-old co-founder of Facebook, is also the “former online campaign adviser” to the president, as Haughney puts it — and by all accounts the key person in building Obama’s 2008 online presence. In April 2009, Fast Company ran a long profile headlined “How Chris Hughes Helped Launch Facebook and the Barack Obama Campaign.”
Nevertheless, given Hughes’ background, I found myself asking if he might have been tougher if he were interviewing a president he hadn’t worked for…