Richard Stevenson of the Ministry of Truth explains that Obama has evolved in office; he offers two examples from this week, but one is utterly unconvincing.
But as his handling of two controversial decisions this week showed, there is little doubt that he is different, changed by three years in the White House in ways that speak to fundamental questions about him among both his supporters and his critics.
If Mr. Obama was naïve back when he began his presidential run five years ago Friday, as many Republicans asserted during the 2008 campaign, he is a lot less so now. If he aspired to post-partisanship when he took the oath of office, as many of his admirers hoped, he is much more openly combative and political now. If he thought then that he could change how Washington works – a proposition viewed skeptically, to say the least, by many experienced people in both parties — he has opted, for now, to play by its existing rules.
And the first example:
The most recent manifestations of Mr. Obama’s more prosaic approach came this week with his shift in course on a crucial element of his campaign fund-raising and his handling of the backlash against his policy on insurance coverage for contraception.
In the first case, he abandoned his long-held position against steering his campaign contributors to friendly “super PACs,” the outside groups whose vast expenditures on negative advertising are reshaping politics. Faced with the choice of running for re-election armed with a principle or with potentially millions more dollars to help offset the current Republican advantage in the super PAC wars, he set aside the principle, prompting quiet cheers from party operatives and expressions of outrage from advocates of tighter campaign finance controls.
Hello! This is the guy who had been in favor of public financing for years, until he had an advantage over John McCain in 2008 and opted out of public funding. From the linked story:
The decision comes four years after Mr. Obama became the first presidential candidate since the Watergate era to turn down public financing and the accompanying spending limits, allowing him to raise $750 million for his 2008 campaign.
Back in 2008 the Times had more coverage and even inveighed against Obama's reversal of a long-espoused view. But now Obama's latest "show me the money" shift is a surprising reversal illustrating his reluctant embrace of Washington's evil ways, or something. Please.