Obama’s debt ceiling flip earns him rarely awarded upside-down Pinocchio from the WaPo

Posted by: ST on January 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

You know it’s pretty bad for the administration when an Obama-friendly news source like the Washington Post calls his hypocrisy on the debt ceiling a “a major-league flip-flop” (hat tip):

“I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult, and budgets in this town are always difficult.”

— President Obama, news conference, Jan. 14, 2013

 “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

— Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

As the saying goes, “where you stand depends on where you sit.” This is certainly true of the votes to boost the national debt limit, where almost by tradition, the party not holding the presidency refused to support an increase in the debt limit. (One big exception, as we have noted, is in 1953 during the Eisenhower presidency.)

The president has acknowledged that his previous vote against the debt limit was “a political vote.” On Monday, at a news conference, he urged lawmakers to boost the debt limit without conditions: “We’re going to have to make sure that people are looking at this in a responsible way, rather than just through the lens of politics.”  (In other words, don’t do what I did back when I was a lawmaker.)


The young senator from Illinois presumably did not want to buck the rest of his party establishment in voting for increasing the debt limit — not when there were just enough Republicans willing to support a president from their own party. But Obama would be on much more solid ground today if he had given a speech back in 2006 that sounded more like his news conference in 2013.

For making an argument that the president now decries as politics, he earns the upside-down Pinocchio, signifying a major-league flip-flop. (We have rarely given this ruling, but are eager for other examples from readers.)

The Washington Free Beacon quips:

The president is now asking politicians to put aside the same questions he once asked as senator and instead vote for the debt increase without delay.

“This is why many Americans hate politics,” wrote Kessler. The Washington Free Beacon gives that statement zero Pinocchios.


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3 Responses to “Obama’s debt ceiling flip earns him rarely awarded upside-down Pinocchio from the WaPo”


  1. Dana says:

    The President might have some grounds on which to stand if he had done something really radical like tried to reduce spending. But he threw away a big tax increase on everybody (with the fiscal cliff deal) to get a tax increase only on the most productive Americans, along with the expiration of the payroll tax cut) and a significant spending cut. He could have said, sorry, but we have to do this, and gone over the cliff, taken the political heat for everybody (since he can’t run again), and then been in a position to say, we’ve done a lot, but we need the debt ceiling increase to keep things legitimate, and there’d be no problem.

  2. Great White Rat says:

    He could have said, sorry, but we have to do this, and gone over the cliff, taken the political heat for everybody

    Dana, you know that would be totally out of character for Obama. He’s a textbook case of NPD – everything that goes wrong is always, always, someone else’s fault. Obama will never ever accept responsibility for the job. He’s in it for the enjoyment of the perks and of power over the peasants.

    He’ll gladly take credit for anything that does work out well (the bin Laden raid, for example), but don’t expect him to own up to even one of his many failures.

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    Mark Twain was right. There is only one way to look at a politician and that is down.