Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Obama's Crisis Now

By Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
from The DC Examiner

You might have missed it, but a key moment in Barack Obama's young presidency occurred Wednesday afternoon as he began his trip to California to become the first sitting president to appear on a late-night comedy show. Heading for his helicopter, Obama made a statement about the AIG bonuses, and he didn't use the word "inherited." As in "we inherited this crisis."

"Ultimately, I'm responsible, I'm the president of the United States," Obama told reporters. "The buck stops with me." That makes it official: Barack Obama didn't start the financial crisis, but he owns it now.

Before anyone gives the president an award for political courage, remember that provisions regarding the bonuses -- and who knows what else -- were buried deep inside the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Obama and his fellow Democrats rushed through Congress. Every single Republican in the House voted against it, and all but three GOP senators did the same. There's no way Obama can blame the stimulus, and its contents, on anyone other than himself.

"What's beginning to happen is his actions are starting to have consequences," a Republican pollster told me. "And this is one of those. He hurried everybody through that process, and it's now his actions that are causing things that people are unhappy about."
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