Maybe Obama Will “Go Bulworth” Just a Little

Don’t know how I missed this story earlier, but according to the New York Times‘ Peter Baker, the President of the United States is at least fantasizing about going very rogue:

In private, he has talked longingly of “going Bulworth,” a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought. While Mr. Beatty’s character had neither the power nor the platform of a president, the metaphor highlights Mr. Obama’s desire to be liberated from what he sees as the hindrances on him.

“Probably every president says that from time to time,” said David Axelrod, another longtime adviser who has heard Mr. Obama’s movie-inspired aspiration. “It’s probably cathartic just to say it. But the reality is that while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be practical about whatever you’re saying.”

Yeah, but still, Obama has been edging in that direction as of late, as HuffPost’s Luke Johnson observes:

While Obama, unlike Bulworth, is not likely to show up drunk at a campaign event or start rapping, at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April, he used a joke to express his genuine frustration with Congress. “Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” he said. “‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”

He continued, “I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”

Well, Obama is obviously not going to go completely wild, but it wouldn’t hurt him to display his capacity for caustic and truthful wit a bit more often. And I mean that quite literally: what could Republicans or the MSM say about him that’s worse than what they are already saying?

That same question must occur to Obama quite often.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.