Time's Mark Halperin: Obama Has Been Brilliant On 2011 Budget

Although Barack Obama never proposed a 2011 budget, the folks on MSNBC think he's done an absolutely marvelous job in this regard.

After "Hardball's" Chris Matthews began a Friday segment about the looming shutdown saying, "[Obama's] the adult in the room and this is sort of a Washington fight among the Washington types," Time magazine's Mark Halperin put the cherry on top adding, "The White House has been brilliant and the President has been disciplined" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: What -- well, we’re back to HARDBALL. And it’s a crazy night.

President Obama has made numerous appearances this week. He’s been all over the place, some unscheduled, some planned, to push for an agreement on this budget deal to avoid a government shutdown. Although he’s been visible in the fight this week, he has made it clear that it’s -- he’s the adult in the room and this is sort of a Washington fight among the Washington types.

Let’s watch him do it.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think what they’re looking from me is the same thing that they’re looking from Speaker Boehner and Harry Reid and everybody else, and that is, is that we act like grownups.

You want everybody to act like adults, quit playing games, realize that it’s not just "my way or the highway." How many folks are married here? When was the last time you just got your way?


OBAMA: That’s not how it works.

And we’re going to keep on pounding away at this thing, because I’m absolutely convinced that we can get this done.

We have been working very hard over the last two years to get this economy back on its feet. For us to go backwards because Washington couldn’t get its act together is unacceptable.


MATTHEWS: Well, how is President Obama weathering this test of leadership? And it is a big one.

Mark Halperin is an MSNBC political analyst and he’s "TIME" magazine editor at large, in fact. Eugene Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the great "Washington Post" and an MSNBC political analyst.

I want to go to Mark on this in terms of the numbers and the polling. The polling does seem to show that among -- among independents, suburbanites, if you will, as they find them in the polling, that they do want a compromiser here. They want the president to be the guy going to the center, if you will, on the numbers.

MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The White House has been brilliant and the President has been disciplined on message on two points, one, the one you just made, that the people want a compromise. They want Washington to get this done and move on to other problems, like jobs.

The other thing that he’s done brilliantly is to be outside Washington, anti-Washington. All incumbent presidents have this as their challenge, not just for reelection, but for governing. He’s cast himself as the person who is as sick as the country is of all this Washington stuff. He just wants them to get it done.

He’s been really disciplined, really effective, day after day in filling that space.

"He’s been really disciplined, really effective, day after day."

Really, Mark?

How about all last year when he and his Party that controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House abdicated their responsibility to create a budget?

They had nine months before the fiscal year began on October 1 and several weeks during the lame duck session to do what the Constitution requires them to do, and they instead chose to not even propose a budget that would have totally prevented the current situation.

The United States might have to shut its government down in a few hours, and the sole reason is because Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) opted exclusively for political reasons to not do their job.

Is this what a Time magazine editor thinks is "really disciplined" and "really effective?"

It's certainly no surprise that Matthews, who feels it's his responsibility to make this presidency successful, believes Obama has played this issue brilliantly despite the obvious hypocrisy given the President's negligence.

But for Halperin to go along with it on the eve of a shutdown demonstrates just how far these folks in the media are ready to go to get this man reelected.

2012 Presidential Budget MSNBC Hardball Time
Noel Sheppard's picture