Obama Claims He Never Sought Media Spotlight, Unlike Cruz

Note: The management of Ed Driscoll.com and PJ Media.com advise its readers to please put down all carbonated beverages before reading the following quote. We are not responsible for the damage a Danny Thomas-style spit take will cause your monitor after reading the following quote from Breitbart TV, where video of the following hallucinatory moment may also be witnessed:

When asked if he had set a precedent during his time in the Senate that Ted Cruz is now following, President Obama answered:

“If you recall, when I came into the Senate my attitude was, I should just keep a pretty low profile in the Senate and just do the work... I didn’t go around courting the media, and I certainly didn’t go around trying to shut down the government.”

“And so I recognize that in today’s media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base–whether it’s left or right–is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention or raise money. But it’s not good for government. It’s not good for the people we’re supposed to be serving.”

With characteristic understatement, the Wall Street Journal notes, "A hallmark of this political era is the disconnect between how President Obama sees himself and how he behaves," which applies both to the above quote, and to Obama's behavior during the rest of his disastrous week:

A classic example occurred Wednesday when he told CNBC's John Harwood that, "I think it's fair to say that during the course of my Presidency I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party, and have purposely kept my rhetoric down. I think I'm pretty well known for being a calm guy. Sometimes people think I'm too calm."

How could anyone get any other idea? Well, perhaps they were in Rockville, Maryland on Thursday, when Mr. Obama told a rally that the "single-greatest threat to our economy" is "the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to stop refighting a settled election."

He went on to taunt "the Speaker of the House, John Boehner," who he said is acting as he is only because "he doesn't want to anger the extremists in his party. That's all. That's what this whole thing is about." Well, not all. It's also about "the Republican obsession" with "denying affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. That's all this has become about. That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party these days."

Aficionados of the President's "calm" may also recall his comments in 2011 about Paul Ryan's House budget. With Mr. Ryan in the front row by White House invitation, Mr. Obama said that "Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America" and telling Americans including "children with autism or Down's syndrome" to "fend for themselves."

More healing rhetoric came Tuesday when Mr. Obama told NPR he's open to dealing with Mr. Boehner—but only on his terms. "From the start what I have said is I am happy to talk to Republicans about any issue," before responding to host Steve Inskeep's next question that the Affordable Care Act "is not something that we're going to be discussing." Mr. Inskeep then asked Mr. Obama "What can you offer?" to Republican leaders to break the deadlock. He replied: "And, if, if we—Steve, when you say, 'What can I offer?'—I shouldn't have to offer anything."

Mr. Obama "behaves as if the realities of a divided government are beneath him, and his first resort is to question motives and mock as insincere any differences of principle. One reason the shutdown debate is so inflamed is because Mr. Obama's politics of division and obloquy is being repaid in kind," the Journal concludes.

Or to put it another way, as Glenn Reynolds Insta-blogs:

John Boehner will demand concessions from Obama before raising debt ceiling.

After all, as Senator Obama said:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.

Yep. And now Obama’s the leadership.

Heh, indeed.™