“He’s at a point in his presidency where he’s not running for anything ever again and feels very free to speak his mind,” said Tommy Vietor, who served as a spokesman in the Obama White House and has been with the president since his Senate days.

“He seems to care less and less whether he breaks a little china and I think that’s great.”

“He’s never really made it a secret that he’s not a fan of this place,” concurred Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist. “I think he finds the pettiness of this place annoying. People are focused on tactics not results, and he sees himself as a more results-oriented guy. He’s more willing to do things with a longer lens of history.”

Obama’s distaste for Washington has always had a political element, of course. Way back during his first run for the White House, he often invoked Washington as a symbol of business-as-usual ineffectiveness and stasis. It was also a place to which, not coincidentally, he could tie his chief opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.