Little remembered, if only a few hours ago, is a “private meeting” of President Obama with the nation’s governors. A lot is happening every day now; it’s hard to mark all these things as they go by. This meeting occurred on Monday.
The mainstream media put out conventional reports, faithfully propagating Obama’s themes and offering no meaningful characterization of the atmosphere among the arriving governors. To hear the media tell it, the governors’ interests were represented by Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado, chairman of the governors’ association, who promised to be constructive. Obama, we are told, also “struck an optimistic tone.”
So when Bobby Jindal (R-LA) stood outside the White House and bluntly criticized Obama, well, you know he was peeing in everybody’s cornflakes. The New York Times put it a tad more demurely:
Moments after leaving a private meeting with Mr. Obama and his fellow governors, Mr. Jindal interrupted a happy-talk news conference with a partisan attack.
“The Obama economy is now the minimum-wage economy,” Mr. Jindal said when it was his time at the microphone. As his colleagues stood, appearing surprised, Mr. Jindal ripped into the president, saying he should approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline and take other steps to improve the economy.
He accused Mr. Obama of “waving the white flag of surrender.”
The exciting moment ramped up, with powerful pushback from a Democrat:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Democrat of Connecticut, erupted, accusing Mr. Jindal of being overtly partisan.
“That’s the most insane statement I’ve ever heard,” Mr. Malloy said, prompting some immediate partisan arguing from the dozen or so governors assembled just steps from the Oval Office.
Of course, none of this had anything to do with the guy in the White House. He struck an optimistic tone, we are assured.
So the brief summary posted to Facebook by Nikki Haley (R-SC) forms an interesting counterpoint with the carefully straight-faced narrative urged on us by the MSM.
Clearly, Obama was in transmit mode, and has no intention of actually “working with” the governors. The comment that he wants to deal with them because they “get things done” is telling in itself. The message here is not one of patience with policy disagreement. It’s basically the precise opposite. No surprise there, of course. But as context for Jindal’s trenchant statement, it’s informative.
The real question is whether the governors, or the Congressional Republicans, or really anyone in elected office can get ahead of the Obama transformation freight train. Right now, everyone is playing catch-up.