President Obama joked that he might have given House speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) the idea to file a lawsuit against his executive actions, but he didn’t think Boehner would follow through with it.
“I’m not sure which of the things I’ve done they find most offensive, but they’ve decided they’re going to sue me for doing my job,” Obama said Friday during his speech in Minneapolis. “I mean, I might have said in the heat of the moment during one of these debates, ‘I want to raise the minimum wage, so sue me when I do.’ But I didn’t think they were going to take it literally.”
The joke was one of the few lines in the speech that Americans haven’t heard before. The whole thing had the feeling of a reelection campaign, from explaining why he ran for president — “you’re the reason” — to encouraging people to fight cynicism — “hope is a better choice” — to the litany of Republican horribles. “Don’t boo, by the way,” he said. “I want you to vote.”
And the whole speech was apropos of a letter he received from a Minnesota woman who — whatever her eloquence — wasn’t the first person to write the president. It’s hard not to think that, after weeks of lurching from scandal to controversy to crisis and back to scandal, this was the best reason they could come up with to get President Obama some earned media in an environment he can control.
And, of course, the elections are coming. “I hope you’ll sign up to support Democrats who will have Barack’s back — when you do, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to meet him in person next month,” First Lady Michelle Obama wrote in a DNC e-mail that went out Saturday afternoon.