Before his plane even landed, White House spokesman Bill Burton offered unsolicited criticism of comments by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, who was quoted as saying he wished Republicans had been to able to obstruct Obama even more. Obama later mocked McConnell's words, too. [See who donates the most money to McConnell.]
"Obstruct more? Is that even possible?" Obama said. "Apparently that's their plan for the future: No we can't."
Democrats, particularly House candidates who have taken tough votes in support of Obama, have been clamoring for him to get more aggressive. But that comes at some risk for a president who pledged to change Washington's tone as a candidate, then recommitted to doing it in his second year as president after acknowledging he was unsuccessful in the first.
When asked if Obama was exacerbating the same partisanship he pledged to end, Burton was unapologetic, saying certain moments help make the choice stark for voters. "The president," he said, "is happy to showcase those moments."