The well-sourced Ron Fournier of National Journal* reports that White House aides say they and the president were “stung by the coverage of the inaugural address.” They were evidently surprised that the feisty liberal speech was seen as a feisty liberal speech. And so, they say, Barack Obama is going to be less partisan in his State of the Union address Tuesday and will talk more about jobs and the economy than about gun control and immigration. Sounds like still another pivot to jobs, which we’ve been hearing about for nearly four years.
This apparent inability to anticipate how others would respond to his words fortifies my suspicion that Obama may be actually sincere in believing that every decent person with common sense would share his views. After all, just about everybody in the places he has chosen to live—Manhattan, Cambridge, the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago—does. Far from being an instinctive compromiser with respect for those with different views, he seems to be an angry non-compromiser with no idea how decent people could disagree with him.
*Disclosure: National Journal publishes The Almanac of American Politics, of which I am a co-author.