Yesterday on MSNBC, host Melissa Harris-Perry explained that President Obama is “channeling” the movie, ‘The Godfather,’ during his negotiations with Republicans over the fiscal cliff.
“Watching the D.C. drama this week convinced those of us in nerd land that President Obama must be a fan of the Francis Ford-Coppola masterpiece because he seems to be channeling the Godfather,” she said with a straight face.
Displaying a photo of the famous severed horse head scene, Harris-Perry clarified that she was “not suggesting that Speaker Boehner is about to wake up next to a severed horse’s head,” but, “remove the lethal components and there are valuable negotiating lessons that the President seems to be picking up on.”
So what makes those in Harris-Perry’s “nerd land” so convinced? She went on to play a series of famous clips from the movie, comparing them to Obama’s negotiating tactics. (The full 10+ minute clip is here, I’ve trimmed it down above for brevity’s sake)
1) Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer
Perry pointed out that Obama had Mitt Romney over for lunch at the White House and met with wealthy businessmen who supported Romney’s campaign. Harris-Perry added that Obama had “of course, meeting, after meeting, after meeting” with Speaker Boehner. (The president has only met with him once since the negotiations began.)
2) Keeping the family together
Harris-Perry is firmly convinced that Obama is keeping all of the Democrats together as well as the entire country to remind them what is at stake. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner she added, is “kinda like the Don’s consigliere Tom Hagen.”
3) Don’t pull a Fredo
“You just know that Leader Pelosi is letting the House Democrats know that they better not pull a Fredo,” Harris-Perry said.
4) “My offer is this: Nothing.”
Obama’s deal, Harris-Perry notes, is higher tax cuts and spending. “Oh yeah, no debt ceiling fights, as he’s just going to take that off of Congress’s plate forever,” she continued.”Once these details were made public, it is clear, that the president is indeed a student of the Don.”
5) An offer he can’t refuse.
“Apparently the president thinks that he is making Republicans an offer that they can’t refuse,” Harris-Perry concludes.