As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal likes to note, the Democratic Party has had many powerful orators over the years:
- Andrew Jackson is often attributed as saying, “One man with courage makes a majority.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt comforted the nation when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
- Harry Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.”
- John F. Kennedy reminded Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
- President Barack Obama, “They talk about me like a dog!”
Those following President Obama’s prepared remarks during a speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monday were thrown a bit of a curveball when it came to a description of his critics:”Some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time and they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That’s not in my prepared remarks, but it’s true,” he told a crowd largely consisting of union members.
The line was a rare departure from a president who normally sticks close to the text of his speech and may forecast a more aggressive tone on the part of Obama as the midterms approach.
The address is the first of two speeches this week in which Obama will try and frame his administration’s response to the recession, less than two months ahead of midterm elections where Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are on the ropes.
Because we all remember those polite critics and their minor disagreements regarding the policies of the preceding administration, consistently expressed in calm, nuanced and genteel tones.
Update: You’re the man now, dog.