That Press Conference

by Yuval Levin
You have to assume that the decision to have the president go out before the cameras this afternoon was made following some discussion at the White House, and intended to serve some strategic or tactical end. But what would that be? Is the idea to persuade Democrats to vote for the compromise by making clear how much the president hates it? Was it to get liberals to stop criticizing the president’s decision by telling them that their criticism is basically correct? Was it to set the table for an era of divided government by calling Republicans bomb throwing hostage takers? To lament out loud that the whole country doesn’t think like the New York Times editorial board? To broadcast weakness and frustration and announce that he has been forced to champion what he considers to be bad policy?
What, then?

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