Obama in bunker mode after downgrade? Update: Statement coming at 1 pm ET

posted at 9:25 am on August 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

One might think that after a historic shock to the American economy in the first serious downgrade of our credit rating in decades, an American President would want to speak to a worried nation about the future and his plans to address the situation.  Instead of taking an opportunity to demonstrate leadership, Barack Obama instead spent the weekend away from public scrutiny at Camp David.  ABC News reports this morning that Obama won’t talk publicly today, either:

President Obama will spend today in closed-door meetings at the White House, no doubt tackling the fallout from Standard & Poor’s decision Friday to downgrade the nation’s credit.

After spending a low-key weekend at Camp David, the only item on the president’s schedule this morning is his daily briefing in the Oval Office.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  Obama will make two public appearances this evening, Mary Bruce notes … at two fundraisers.  With no cameras allowed.

Meanwhile, the White House sans its President plans to make war on S&P over the downgrade:

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have already revealed what their strategy toward Standard & Poor’s will be now that the agency has stripped the U.S. government of its AAA rating: to destroy S&P’s credibility.

They can make a pretty good case. It’s not just that S&P revealed its ratings process to be corrupt and deeply flawed during the subprime mortgage bubble, as it gave inflated AAA ratings to bad securities in order to satisfy its investment banking clients, according to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report. It’s also that the ratings agency appeared to go well beyond its ambit this time by taking it upon itself to assess, as it said in its report Friday, the “effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions.”

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., a leading voice on Capitol Hill for ratings agency reform, seconded the Obama administration’s approach in an interview with National Journal on Sunday. “They did this on the theory that Washington might deliberately refuse to pay its debt because of a political impasse. But I don’t know what makes them experts at this. They don’t have anybody over there who has ever sat on the floor of the House,” said Sherman. “S&P’s main job is rating private issuers, and they have some expertise in that, although obviously they got it pretty wrong in mortgage-backed securities. But in this case you need to be a political scientist and not an MBA. And I don’t know if they’ve got any political scientists over there.”

That runs into two problems, however.  National Journal’s Michael Hirsh notes one of them, which is that Egan Jones had already downgraded the US over its dept-to-GDP ratio and the prospects of rapidly increasing debt over the next several decades.  The second is the immediate spin from the White House and Democrats that tried to blame the entire thing on Tea Party intransigence.  Essentially, that spin corroborates S&P’s analysis; it just blames it on a minority of politicians in a party that only controls one chamber of Congress, a rather ridiculous notion.

The White House seems rudderless, responding in entirely contradictory ways to the embarrassment of the downgrade, without any sense of leadership from the man in charge.  This isn’t “leadership from behind,” it’s the political equivalent of an absentee landlord.

Addendum: I predict that Obama will change his schedule and make a public statement sometime today, only because I can’t imagine any White House allowing this much of a vacuum between a major event and some demonstration of leadership.

Update: Er … chamber of Congress, not chamber of Commerce.  Yeaow.  Time for more coffee. Thanks to Alex M for the correction.

Update II: Almost four days after the S&P downgrade, the White House announces that Obama will address the nation at 1 pm ET today in a statement — as I predicted.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

betsyz on August 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM

His whistling S’s grate on my nerves, annoys the $hit outta’ me…

OmahaConservative on August 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I’ll down a shot of Ouzo if he resigns today.

I hate Ouzo but it will cleanse the palate after this President.

ajacksonian on August 8, 2011 at 11:39 AM

If he resigns, I’m grabbing a bottle of Jim or Crown and will take a shot every time one of the MSNBC talking heads flips out.

I’ll be sure to leave next of kin information so that posters know where to send flowers.

teke184 on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

——–Barackolypse Now…

OmahaConservative on August 8, 2011 at 12:20 PM

You listening to El Rushbo? Hehe that was a good one. How about Barry as Debt Man Walking?

Did you hear his reference to the ending of The Planet of the Apes? That nailed it for me.

Geochelone on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

LMAO…love the visual.

They’ll need to bolt the door!

Tim_CA on August 8, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Jarret under the podium with a stun gun to his groin.

katy the mean old lady on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Obama is in such a box. He can’t call Congress back, he can’t offer real solutions because he can’t say there is a problem. The problem is with entitlements. That is the bread and butter of the democrat. The government must grow, and dependency on government must grow, or the democrats cease to exist. He’s screwed.

Rational Thought on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Working day and night

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Good One!

Tim_CA on August 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Pivot on jobs

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Open thread for the presser????

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Obama’s statement: The S&P acted stupidly.

Mutnodjmet on August 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Extreme Elements of the Republican Party
Tea Party
Revenues
Balanced Approach
We Inherited
The Previous Administration
Vision

Anybody??

Tim_CA on August 8, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Working day and night

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:23 PM

There are those who say…

Rational Thought on August 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Did you hear his reference to the ending of The Planet of the Apes? That nailed it for me.

Geochelone on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Yup. El Ruhsbo is on a real roll today…

OmahaConservative on August 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

“Death is in Tehran…”

Seven Percent Solution on August 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Let me make this perfectly clear…

kingsjester on August 8, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I’m sure he had to wait for his focus group to tell him what to say.

grahsco on August 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Jarret under the podium with a stun gun to his groin.

katy the mean old lady on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

LMAO…..got as far as “Jarret under the podium” and threw-up a little.

Tim_CA on August 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Jarret under the podium with a stun gun to his groin.

katy the mean old lady on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Barry: Don’t tase me Ho!

Geochelone on August 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Drinking game??

One swallow:

Anybody??

Tim_CA on August 8, 2011 at 12:14 PM

“I”, “me” or “my”. Naaaah, it’s way to early to get THAT drunk.

tommyboy on August 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM

“Deep in the bowels</strong>—–and that’s what they are—–of the democrat party…”
Rush Limbaugh, August 8, 2011

OmahaConservative on August 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

DAX dropped five. So much for Merkle’s Greek soriee.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I’m sure he had to wait for his focus group to tell him what to say.

grahsco on August 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Yep. Then his teenage speech writers had to hustle to write something up. Then they have to fire up TOTUS. Then they have to make sure Zippy’s meds are working. Then the make up artists have to make him look ‘presidential’ or, at least alive……

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Jarret under the podium with a stun gun to his groin.

katy the mean old lady on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Soros has a “Barack app” on his iPhone

faraway on August 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM

New GOP ad I want to see:

“Hillary Clinton tried to warn us but we didn’t listen. Now Barack Obama got his 3:00 AM phone call but didn’t pick up the phone. Where is your plan President Obama?”

Camera shows nightstand with clock reading 3:00 AM and a ringing phone. Camera pans over to a messed up but empty bed, then slowly pans down under the bed and a hint of someone hiding there.

Work with that theme and be sure to add Hillary’s bitch-slap of Barry for maximum effect. We have a complete Failure in the White House and we need to pound that idea constantly.

Ogabe on August 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM

He’ll preface his attack on the tea party with “the careless spending of the last administration”.
I guarantee it.

tpitman on August 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I think that Barack is going to announce that he is driving the Credit rating from AA+ to a solid “0″

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Ed, you’re a good blogger and analyst, but please don’t help President Zero anymore by giving his team tips on how to be a President. I want to see him find his true self because I love watching him eff up so badly. He’s already eclipsed Carter. Let’s see just how low he can go, and by letting him find his natural level it will be harder for the lefties to spin Obama’s ‘legacy’ after he’s gone.

Thanks in advance,

JimP

JimP on August 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Jarret under the podium with a stun gun to his groin.

katy the mean old lady on August 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Barry: Don’t tase me Ho!

Geochelone on August 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Lolololol……. thanks for the laughs, guy. Unfortunately I can’t join the drinking game because I have to go to work at 3 pm.

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

tpitman on August 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

More landmines than the NORK/ROC dmz.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Speechifying again? Barf bags to the ready!

Doing nothing is not an option.
Some say…
Make no mistake…
Let me be clear…
Compromise

petefrt on August 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Unflipping REAL !

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023809/Did-George-Soros-win-10-1-return-S-Ps-US-credit-rating-downgrade.html?ITO=1490

A mystery investor or hedge fund reportedly made a bet of almost $1billion at odds of 10/1 last month that the U.S. would lose its AAA credit rating.

Now questions are being asked of whether the trader had inside information before placing the $850million bet in the futures market.

There are mounting rumours that investor George Soros, 80, famously known as ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’, could be involved

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

You know, when the stock market crashed back in 1929, FDR was on the TV that night to reassure the American people………..

/Hey, I waited for someone else to say it.

didymus on August 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The Puppet Master strikes again.

kingsjester on August 8, 2011 at 12:39 PM

His whistling S’s grate on my nerves, annoys the $hit outta’ me…

OmahaConservative on August 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

-
He’s doing it more all the time… I think Moochie has been smacking him in the mush more as this get worse… because she wanted the destruction of the US to be complete by now…
-

RalphyBoy on August 8, 2011 at 12:39 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

But what are the odds that Holder and Co would ever point a finger that direction? About 1-10, is my guess.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Soros has a “Barack app” on his iPhone

faraway on August 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Let’s send Spooky Dude a copy of Brad Thor’s Full Black, since he stars in it.

petefrt on August 8, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Hey everybody…!

… I have a GREAT idea.

Let us elect Barack Hussein Obowma as President of the United States…!

… Who’s with me?

Seven Percent Solution on August 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Idle worship.

VegasRick on August 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I think you mean, “Idol worship.”

On second thought, never mind.

didymus on August 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Come to think of it, where are the infamous race baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

iamsaved on August 8, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I don’t know about Jackson, but Al Sharpton was a guest at the big hip-hop barbeque birthday bash that was thrown the other day at the White House (probably at taxpayer expense) for Barry’s 50th B-day. So “Reverend” Al may still be sleeping off his hangover. (And isn’t it good to know that the honored guests at the White House these days are people with Al Sharpton’s type of integrity? I bet there was good reason why no media were allowed to take pictures at that shindig).

AZCoyote on August 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

/Hey, I waited for someone else to say it.

didymus on August 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM

-
+1 (and anything from the top shelf!)
-

RalphyBoy on August 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Now questions are being asked of whether the trader had inside information before placing the $850million bet in the futures market.

S&P told the White House at 1:30pm, and the public announcement was made at 5:30pm. Maybe this was the Friends and Family plan?

faraway on August 8, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Al and Jesse are too busy coordinating with Dallas’ own Price to say he knew nothing of his 5X retail purchase of those city communication systems.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:42 PM

There are mounting rumours that investor George Soros, 80, famously known as ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’, could be involved

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Whoaaa!

petefrt on August 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

New GOP ad I want to see:

“Hillary Clinton tried to warn us but we didn’t listen. Now Barack Obama got his 3:00 AM phone call but didn’t pick up the phone. Where is your plan President Obama?”

Camera shows nightstand with clock reading 3:00 AM and a ringing phone. Camera pans over to a messed up but empty bed, then slowly pans down under the bed and a hint of someone hiding there.

Work with that theme and be sure to add Hillary’s bitsh-slap of Barry for maximum effect. We have a complete Failure in the White House and we need to pound that idea constantly.

Ogabe on August 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

No surprises here. He could do it in one of his funds/companies outside of the US and avoid any investigation or consequences…. not that Holder or anyone would dare go after him since he owns the Democrats, Clintons included.

Cody1991 on August 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Soros has a much chance of scrunity as Eric Holder.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Obama statement: I redistributed the 3rd “A” to another country to be fair.

Mutnodjmet on August 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Scrunity? Good one. Almost as good as refudiate.

petefrt on August 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

All I can say is Oh Great! Another speech! Keep ‘em coming!

Heh.

Drained Brain on August 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Hey kids…

… I have a meeting in about ten minutes and won’t be able to partake in any drinking games during Obowma’s reading of a prepared statement three days after the fact.

Can the rest of you take notes for me…?

… I would appreciate it and will drink when I get home.

Thanks in advance…

Seven Percent Solution on August 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Ogabe on August 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Flippin brilliant!!

glennbo on August 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Denial, Blame, Deflection and finger pointing won’t do any good but I expect that is all we will hear in the 1:00 statement.

It is amazing how Tea Party members who just took their seats in January are now responsible for a 14.3 trillion 1.5 trillion deficits and a predicted growth of spending curve that reaches over 40% in GDP if no change is made. Per the progressive left, none of that was a problem before they arrived so now it is all their fault.

KW64 on August 8, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Great! More fodder for both OOTD and OOTW! #WINNING!

Mutnodjmet on August 8, 2011 at 12:58 PM

See folks, just string some of the TOTUS best phrase together with the boogey man of de jour and you can make up you own Obama speech:

Let me be clear, this is not my fault. The damage from the Failed policies of the past won’t be cured overnight. The decision to make the rich pay their fair share and corporate jet owners get more tax breaks is a False choice.

Make no mistake, This isn’t about me this is about how the Tea Party caused the downgrade.

This Teachable moment, where I reached out to the other side of the aisle, nut the Tea Party didn’t want to have a balanced approach at boning the economy..
Whoops, got a little off course there.

Chip on August 8, 2011 at 12:59 PM

If he gets out there and says the same thing he’s been saying for the last few weeks, forget the shots, wall street will close near 10,000 today – if we’re lucky that high. Spooking wall street with more blame-game and threatened taxes would be bad. So, I’ll predict he won’t say anything remotely like that.

I think it’ll be “unprecedented actions” “come together” “time to end partisan bickering” and “asking congress to come back to deal with this”

WashingtonsWake on August 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Purple lips is late as usual – not sure I can go thru with this

Ris4victory on August 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Maybe he’ll offer a shout out to someone b-4 addressing the tragedy of losing 31 American soldiers… he is cool like that

Ris4victory on August 8, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Obumbler remarks delayed until 1:30 ET per Maha Rushie.

eyesky on August 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Obumbler remarks delayed until 1:30 ET per Maha Rushie.

eyesky on August 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

‘Nuther teleprompter malfunction…

OnlyOrange on August 8, 2011 at 1:16 PM

If Obama says “Tea Party Downgrade,” can we impeach him?

29Victor on August 8, 2011 at 1:28 PM

They must be dragging him in from the golf course. 1:42 and he’s still not on the air.

JimP on August 8, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I think I need to urgently wash my socks. I guess I’ll just have to miss Obama’s statement. Darn!

hachiban on August 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

A mystery investor or hedge fund reportedly made a bet of almost $1billion at odds of 10/1 last month that the U.S. would lose its AAA credit rating.

Now questions are being asked of whether the trader had inside information before placing the $850million bet in the futures market.

There are mounting rumours that investor George Soros, 80, famously known as ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’, could be involved

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Probably, but like in those Three Stooges scenes where the guy is already knocked but still standing, all it takes is a puff of air to make ‘im fall.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 8, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4