When Barack Obama went to the briefing room today he had to remind you a bit of mild-mannered Dr. Bruce Banner who you do not want to get angry. Asked a question about whether he was being soft on Iran, he snarked back "ask Osama Bin Laden." At first he hid behind Kathleen Sebelius's skirt on her decision to overrule the FDA on a key contraceptive ruling yesterday. He said that as the father of two daughters he didn't want the morning after pill sitting there at the drug store next to the "bubble gum and batteries." (The witty alliteration has the marks of something discussed at a meeting.)
Most of all he was pissy about Republicans--their using the filibuster to block his pick at the Consumer Finance Protection Agency and their trying to add riders to extending the payroll tax. He was all threats and the scariest words Washington could hear-- that we'd be enjoying a "white Christmas" in the Capitol if the GOP didn't get their act together. (The Beltway hates nothing more than a delayed holiday, rewritten airline tickets, canceled plans. Bah. Humbug.)
So are we seeing a madder, edgier Obama? Maybe so. He shed the Shepard Fairey kumbaya stuff along time ago but now he seems genuinely roiled. This raises the obvious question of whether being edgier will help politically. It also begs the question of how comfortable he is in this role. He's charmed his whole like from Punahou to Columbia to Harvard to Chicago to Washington. Is he ready to go from One America to OBAMA MAD. OBAMA HATE FILIBUSTER? We've seen his Dr. Banner. Seeing his Hulk is going to be interesting.
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