Two ways he could go with this. One: Something conciliatory designed to make it easier for Boehner to agree to an eleventh-hour face-saving compromise. Two: Tough talk designed to show Republicans he intends to use the bully pulpit every day during a shutdown to make sure they bear the brunt of public discontent. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but we can all guess where the emphasis will lie. Per Dave Weigel, odds of a “let me be clear” happening shortly: North of 95 percent.
Boehner told reporters within the past hour that there’ll be no clean CR tonight. Stand by for updates.
Update: Wouldn’t surprise me if O uses the bulk of his time to pitch the ObamaCare exchanges opening tomorrow. The shutdown has created an intense media spotlight for him today; he’d be a moron not to use it while people are paying attention to get young adults to log in and sign up in the a.m. That may end up being his core message contra the GOP, in fact — “I’m not going to defund a program that’s starting literally tomorrow.”
For what it’s worth, a new poll shows that only one-third of the public wants Congress to defund, delay, or repeal O-Care. In fact, those who say they want the law expanded outnumber those who want delay/defunding.
Update: You might hear O mention this convenient data tidbit too.
Update: I’m skeptical, but here you go. For what it’s worth:
House GOPers think they might get 8-12 Dems to vote for this version of Gov't funding bill with indv mandate delay and treat all Cong same
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 30, 2013
They’re going to pass it through the Senate when Boehner might not even be able to pass it through the House?
Update: The money line from O’s presser ended up being something about one faction of one party in one house of one branch of the government attempting to dictate terms after losing this fight in the last election. The rest of it was, as expected, a sales pitch for ObamaCare plus a reminder that the law can’t be defunded in the CR since spending for most of its core functions has already been appropriated. In other words, he said, the exchanges will open tomorrow, no matter what happens tonight.