Obama to DeFazio: "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother."

The AP reports that President Barack Obama joked around with Congressman Peter DeFazio and called him out for his recent vote against the stimulus package:

At a meeting with the president Monday night, DeFazio told Obama he wanted more infrastructure spending. Without prompting, Obama immediately recalled DeFazio's vote against the president's economic stimulus bill.

"I know you think we need more for that because you voted against" the stimulus bill in February, Obama told DeFazio during a question-and-answer session with about 150 House Democrats at the Capitol.

"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother," Obama added, as other lawmakers howled with laughter. ...

Later in the meeting, Obama told DeFazio he was "messing" with him and that he needs the veteran Democrat's vote on his budget proposal.

DeFazio said Tuesday that he took the president's verbal jabs in good humor — and instantly became a kind of Capitol celebrity. A fellow lawmaker approached him at the House gym and said he should be honored that the president called him "brother."

DeFazio said he agrees.

"There were 200-some odd Democrats in the room, he probably can't name half of them," DeFazio said of Obama. "He knows my name. He knows how I voted, and he knows why. And he knows enough to say I'm a tireless advocate for transportation. He got the message that I wanted him to get, and hopefully we can make common cause on this."

Discuss.

Comments

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Glad to see the man behind the curtain, Rahm Emmanuel, makes himself known.

    Once the Blagojevich thing blows over, I'm sure we'll see more of this from Mr Emmanuel. Welcome to the new Amerika.

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    First, Obama knows all the Dems by name. Isn't he suppose to be "scary smart" despite the faux gifts he provided to Prime Minister Brown and now the Queen of England?

    Second, that was a threat. Obama didn't say he was talking score, but "we" were. The we means Rahm (don't waste a crisis) Emanual and he's scores are always threats that he follows through on.

    Scary Hubris in the Administration again, if you ask me. I do think that DeFazio will stand up to them...

  • Christine Desermeaux (unverified)
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    DeFazio has the guts to stand up and fight for what we need and he will continue to have the respect of the people, the President and the House because of it.

  • Jamie (unverified)
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    Peter's not easily intimidated and intuitively does the right thing, even when it's not politic. Yeah, that can bring battle scars, but so be it. We need more like that.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Yes, Peter is certainly not intimidated. He's stupid, but he's fearless. He still hasn't admitted that the Smoot-Hawleyish, and entirely unjustified, KO to the Mexican truck pilot program (whose drivers and trucks had a BETTER safety record than the glorious Teamsters in the U.S. of A.) was REALLY stupid, and will cost Oregon lots of jobs.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Peter's not easily intimidated and intuitively does the right thing, even when it's not politic. Yeah, that can bring battle scars, but so be it. We need more like that.

    And Oregonians need to get the message out that they support DeFazio. Congratulations to Peter DeFazio for again showing the courage of his convictions while we wait for Obama to bring his promised change after he gets through the business-as-usual session of taking care of Wall Street and his other campaign donors.

    And Afghanistan.

  • (Show?)

    Steve: Welcome to the new Amerika.

    So after eight years of illegal spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant, the President arrogating to himself the power of seizing U.S. citizens he (and only he) designates as "terrorists", illegal kidnappings and torture in overseas prisons, the subsequent destruction of CIA tapes of those torture sessions in direct violation of a court order, the use of the justice department to illegally harass and pursue political prosecutions against innocent individuals on a Rovian blacklist, the refusal of the justice department to enforce legal warrants and subpoenas issued by both courts and the Congress in direct violation of law so as to hinder proper oversight...

    Now "Steve", who had no problem with any of the above, is saying "Welcome to Amerika" because the new President's political team is counting votes.

    Kari, you really really really need to put in the log in system to shut out these drive-by trolls.

  • Stephan Andrew Brodhead (unverified)
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    <h2>Yes, Peter is certainly not intimidated. He's stupid, but he's fearless. He still hasn't admitted that the Smoot-Hawleyish, and entirely unjustified, KO to the Mexican truck pilot program (whose drivers and trucks had a BETTER safety record than the glorious Teamsters in the U.S. of A.) was REALLY stupid, and will cost Oregon lots of jobs.</h2>

    Why dont we put in a NAFTA super highway and just let the mexicans just bypass America? Hey maybe they can drive Chinese made trucks? Better yet, they can haul illegals, and drugs too?

    I thought Liberals support unions?

    How would you like to compete with Mexican drivers that make Mexican minimum wage? Hell, lets just subscribe to Barney Franks Communist tendancies and let them tell us how much we are worth! Just tell all the American truckers that buy American made trucks to stay home because Mexican's do it cheaper in a Chinese made truck! American truckers dont need the money anyways. They dont need to pay their mortgages! They dont need to eat or send their children to school! They dont need a job that pays the bills! Lets just give it all to the Mexicans! Hell lets just give California and all the border states to Mexico and Oregon too!

    www.StephanAndrewBrodheadforCongress.com

  • (Show?)

    Why dont we put in a NAFTA super highway and just let the mexicans just bypass America? Hey maybe they can drive Chinese made trucks? Better yet, they can haul illegals, and drugs too?

    I thought Liberals support unions?

    Yeah...I can't wait until cycle when its time for SAB pull-quotes for the Oregonian, the Argus, the Beaverton Valley Times...etc.

    Candy!

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Mr. Brodhead's economic illiteracy is so astounding that he makes Peter DeFazio's economic illiteracy look positively erudite by comparison.

    Go back to school Mr. Brodhead. Take an economics class this time. Or, if you took one last time, this time try listening to the instructor.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    The Faz won't back down from doing the right thing as he sees it, never fear.

    I remember how he stood up to the House leadership in his early years, ending up on Tom Foley's s**t list in the process (note that if Foley had listened to The Faz and the progressive wing, he and a lot of others would have stayed in office past 1994). Obama will be a better President if he listens to The Faz's input.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    ...KO to the Mexican truck pilot program (whose drivers and trucks had a BETTER safety record than the glorious Teamsters in the U.S. of A.) was REALLY stupid, and will cost Oregon lots of jobs.

    And your source of information is????

  • (Show?)

    Why dont we put in a NAFTA super highway and just let the mexicans just bypass America?

    American truckers dont need the money anyways. They dont need to pay their mortgages! They dont need to eat or send their children to school! They dont need a job that pays the bills!

    Hell lets just give California and all the border states to Mexico and Oregon too!

    You're going to have a hard time in the Republican primary advocating for these policies.

    Also I've never really gotten the whole NAFTA superhighway thing that wingers get so riled up about. There's already 2 highway corridors that run straight from Mexico to Canada (I-5/I-15 and I-35/I-29), and several dozen other routes between our friendly neighbors via multiple interstates, so whether or not there's a designated NAFTA highway seems like a moot point.

  • (Show?)

    Here's a better link to the complete story as it ran in the Register-Guard today: Obama Ribs DeFazio about vote against stimulus

    This was certainly not a threat and DeFazio is right to feel good about this. The President knows who he is, knows he willing to buck him over issues of significance (not just trivia or ego) and he knows what issues are important to DeFazio.

    For a member of Congress, that sounds like the triple crown to me.

  • (Show?)

    And he should give this up to run for Governor?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "Now "Steve", who had no problem with any of the above"

    Says who? Your logic that Rove got away with it means Emanuel should get s pass on bad behavior makes no sense.

    How about free minds and free thoughts without threats of reprosals?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    "There were 200-some odd Democrats in the room, he probably can't name half of them," DeFazio said of Obama.

    "200-some odd Democrats"? How many were there who weren't odd?

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    For a member of Congress, that sounds like the triple crown to me.

    I agree with Jack Roberts. Did the rapture happen or something?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Right on, Jack! Thanks for the link.

    It is great to see normal order returned, and the executive and legislative branches being seen as equal branches, unlike the executive branch uber alles attitude we saw for much of this decade.

    And friendly banter! What a concept!

    Much better than when Mark Hatfield came up with a budget with less spending (but not the president's priorities) and Pres. Reagan accused him of "busting the budget".

    The clash of ideas often produces a better result than the "shut up and follow orders" attitude.

  • DanOregon (unverified)
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    This is funny - Karl Rove based an entire column on how Obama is bringing "chicago-style" politics to DC by taking Obama's "threat" to Defazio seriously. It ran in the Wall Street Journal and not surprisingly, Fox and Friends mentioned it.

    What a moron.

  • jonnie (unverified)
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    DanO -

    Here's the link:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123862834153780427.html

    Both Rove and Rahm are 'keeping score'.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Scott in Damascus: here's a synopsis

    The actual report is also available online. Unlike the lies from websites staffed by Teamster toadies, this business site actually represents what the report says.

  • michael b (unverified)
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    I'm a conservative who agrees with my progressive neighbors on one thing: Bush was a horrible president. He was not a conservative.

    That said, I grew up in Chicago and lived there for 36 years and I do NOT believe Obama was kidding.

    Those of you who call Bush the Imperial President, the Shredder of the Constitution, the Denier of Liberty, but praise Obama for nationalizing big chunks of our economy, for demonizing private citizens from the podium, and using the presidency to aggregate power are contradicting yourselves!

    Chicago politics are all about power and silencing and/or destroying opposition. I don't agree with much of Mr. Defazio's politics, but I applaud him and Sen. Wyden for voting against the stimulus bullshit that will surely bankrupt our great nation.

    And frankly, I would advise him to watch his back. Obama does NOT LOVE YOU.

  • Shirley's Jism (unverified)
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    Keep the humor coming. Distracts from the fact that Speaker Pelosi is the most ineffectual Speaker in history. This is the President showing that he knows she has no influence, taking the opportunity to do her job for her.

    Thank you, Michael, for noticing the elephant in the room. Personally, I find it easier to believe that BSO is real hope, change and progress than that he's the first clean pol out of Shitcago. I'm not that old, but I went to college with kids from there that didn't know that on election day the alderman wasn't supposed to knock on the door, remind you to "don't forget to vote", and leave a twenty on the kitchen table. Does anyone remember Jane Byrne? What did we get for the spent political capital that put Carole Mosely Braun into the Senate?

    Besides the fact that Illinois is a fascist state. They have had more draconian sobriety check-point laws, worse than Oregon is debating and rejecting, for 30 years . Anyone remember Michael J. Howlett running for gov against Big Jim Thompson? The Dems freaking nominated Al Capone for governor! Forced me to vote Rep, once in my life. It will never be forgotten Dems!

    How much did JFK's premature demise cost this society? Lay all that at the feet of Chicago Dems. We talk about the police state and the evil Bush/Cheney axis, but the fact of the matter is that only once in my life have I been gassed, kicked, stabbed, deprived due process of law, and imprisoned, for simply being at a political rally. The perpetrator of that state violence was Richard J. Daly, Sr., Democratic mayor of Chicago for life. Do you see what inspires the goon squad to say "Democrat Party"? Yeah, they sound like idiots. How much smarter does it sound to say, "Democratic Mayor of Chicago for life"?

    If it's a party, it sucks. Give up feeding the pimp, folks. Don't write one more check to a political organization until you see that they are actively working for your agenda. Stop writing checks to stop whatever. If folks had done that, we'd have nominated the Kucmeister, not friend of the Blagmeister. His antics aren't very news worthy, not the least enough to get a topic here. I really can't see where his latest is any different than the stupid Rep tricks that you all love to guffaw over. Move on folks. Just ignore the male, Democratic version of Sarah Palin. More important, continue to believe that the system that produced him could produce real hope and change. Maybe they're like rice. The white is the same as the brown, except that all the goodness has been washed out of it. Or you could say they're the same thing.

  • David Aat Een Burro (unverified)
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    So, if you see a troupe of chimps, by a waterhole, thrashing about and making a display, do you see that as being about the environment or the chimps? Wouldn't most say, "I don't know what they're hepped up about, they're just acting like chimps."? How many would not account for the fact that they are chimps and take seriously the "issue" that has them aroused? It's as if Jane Goodall suddenly broke her commentary off to say, "my that is a tasty looking grub", and go grab one.

    "Called him out" is spot on language. Let's throw in "brother' to leverage family as well as species hard coded behavior. You are watching primates posture, not the work of government getting done. Oh, that is how the work of government gets done. Takes a real bright species to embrace the natural world, reject civilization, at the same time that they are destroying the natural world.

    The comment about parties is accurate, I think. BHO's saying, "Party first, principle second". "You work for your principles when the bill is being crafted, you defend them during debate, then you vote with us, regardless". That's what you get with parties, folks. Can't complain there. If you're too lazy to think issue by issue or to dumb to "get the big picture" or can't read the ballot and only know to check the jackass, guess what? Party is the kind of government you get.

  • (Show?)

    Steve: ["Now "Steve", who had no problem with any of the above"] Says who? Your logic that Rove got away with it means Emanuel should get s pass on bad behavior makes no sense.

    Says who? Says google, which clearly shows no one using your ambiguous handle ever using the word "Amerika" in Blue Oregon to describe the Bush administration.

    Scorekeeping is standard political practice, and has been since the founding of this country. Arbitrarily throwing U.S. citizens in jail without any judicial oversight or due process (and illegally torturing them) is not.

    The way Republicans now hypocritically try to use false equivalencies and absurd double standards would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

  • (Show?)

    Keep making us proud, Pete. We need that infrastructure investment.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    UPO - do you even read your own links?

    There wasn't enough trucks to count to make a statistically significant finding.

    Try again.

  • ally (unverified)
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    What's going on here?! Half these comments seem to be from denizens of Free Republic. Aren't you people needed right now at Fox Nation, or Politico?

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Scott in Damascus - the trucks surveyed were those who participated in the pilot project. While not statistically significant, it is quite interesting, don't you think, that, despite the fact that the truckers participating IN THIS PROGRAM were found safer than U.S. trucks and truckers, DeFazio and his Smoot-Hawleyish gang decided to trash the program.

    Remember, this wasn't an end to large-scale Mexican trucking in the U.S. This was the end to a SMALL PILOT PROGRAM, which tended to attract, I'm sure, the best and brightest of the Mexican truckers. But that wasn't good enough for Peter "Smoot-Hawley" DeFazio and his Teamster buddies.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Ally, don't count me in with the Free Republikers. I almost always vote for the "blue" candidate. It's just that, for the life of me, I still can't figure out why so many otherwise progressive Democrats like Peter DeFazio insist on economic illiteracy on the free trade issue. And put their alleged concern over the poor in the "Third World" on display for the sham it is by their refusal to allow trade and commerce with such countries - the best way (as has been proven in East and South Asia) to lift them out of poverty.

  • (Show?)

    The bottom line on Mexican trucks is there's not adequate control on safety or emissions. Let them apply for specific US licensing, and we'll talk.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "Scorekeeping is standard political practice"

    And your OK with that. If yes, no amount of logic is going to convince you of democracy's benefits.

  • rlw (unverified)
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    http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/3/18/amy_goodman_new_column_those_hit_hardest_get_no_bailout

    Have to admit, I'd give my favorite pair of socks for an Amy Goodman on this site.

  • nova (unverified)
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    "He got the message that I wanted him to get, and hopefully we can make common cause on this." That´s how communication works...

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