And the Washington Post is eating it up (emphasis mine):
At the top of the priority list: a promise to forge a bipartisan compromise that reduces rampant government borrowing and makes long-postponed decisions about taxes and spending. In the interview, Obama called a budget deal “one of the best things we can do for the economy.”
“We’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business,” Obama said. “It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in [taxes], and work to reduce the costs of our health-care programs.”
Obama offered no details of how he would approach negotiations with congressional Republicans. But with Washington facing a January deadline to undo more than $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts next year, Obama said, “There’s going to be a forcing mechanism to deal with what is the central ideological argument in Washington right now, and that is: How much government do we have, and how do we pay for it?”
Wow. Who knew that after 3.5 years of uncompromising narcissism, voters are now in for four years of open, mature dialogue tackling difficult issues?! It's like a whooooole new Obama!
Seriously -- what in the last four years would ever make the Washington Post (or anyone else, for that matter) think that President Obama is ready to get serious about a budget deal. The guy hasn't even passed a single budget, let alone make a budget deal with congressional Republicans.
What was it Obama said about working with Republicans? Ah, yes:
The top congressional leaders from both parties gathered at the White House for a working discussion over the shape and size of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. The meeting was designed to promote bipartisanship.
But Obama showed that in an ideological debate, he’s not averse to using a jab.
Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.”
"I won"? Yes, that just screams, "Let's work together on a compromise!"
Oh, and then there were the sage words of his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel:
Republican congressman Eric Cantor threatened that the president’s first piece of proposed legislation (H.R. 1), the controversial $800 billion stimulus bill, would garner “not a single Republican vote.” Cantor complained that it read, Woodward writes, “like a Democratic spending wish list.” Rahm thought Cantor was “delusional,” and is quoted by Woodward as advising Cantor to keep his “no” Republican votes to himself: “Eric, don’t embarrass yourself.” [...]
The bill was pretty much free of Republican input. Rahm, writes Woodward, responded to such Republican complaints with, “We have the votes. F*** ’em.”
Wake up, folks. If Obama wasn't willing to negotiate during his first term, why on earth would he suddenly be willing to adjust his staunchly liberal agenda during a second -- a time when he never has to face the voters again? This notion, in the words of our dear vice president, is MALARKEY.