Jeff Dobbs over at the excellent Voice in My Head blog makes a great catch. Here was Barack Obama on "60 Minutes" a full nine days ago:
KROFT: Why you? I mean, why do you think you would be a good president?
OBAMA: Well, I was going to get to that.
KROFT: Go ahead.
OBAMA: You know, I'm a, I'm a practical person. One of the things I'm good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction.
Now here he was yesterday, explaining why he eschewed playing a leadership role during the current crisis, and never considered sullying his hands with something as quotidian as "finding common ground" with Republicans on the Hill:
"I don't think me calling House Republican members would have been that helpful. I tend not to be that persuasive on that side of the aisle."
By this point in time, we've all come to understand that most Obama promises and pledges come with a built in expiration date. But eight days from being the guy who brings together violently disagreeing people to not being "persuasive" on the other side of the aisle? That's got to be a new record.
This transformation is rather sad. The post-partisan Obama that we saw many months ago in Iowa was an appealing guy. Obama 2.0, the one who relies on class warfare rhetoric and mouths silly rhetoric about the gulf dividing Wall Street and Main Street, is a considerably less attractive persona. And obviously a far less constructive one as well.