At a White House dinner with a select group of business executives in early 2010, Obama gets off on the wrong foot by saying,
“I know you guys are Republicans.”
Ivan Seidenberg, the chief executive of Verizon, who “considers himself a progressive independent,” retorted, “How do you know that?”
Nonetheless, Seidenberg was later pleased to receive an invitation to the president’s 2010 Super Bowl party. But he changed his mind after Obama did little more than say hello, spending about 15 seconds with him.“Seidenberg felt he had been used as window dressing,” Woodward writes.
“He complained to Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama aide.... Her response: Hey, you’re in the room with him. You should be happy.”
Two bits stood out to me, though this first one includes imagery that may be more telling to smokers than to our more virtuous brethren:
By Woodward’s account, Boehner fit a type that Obama believed he knew well from his eight years as a state legislator in Illinois. “John Boehner is like a Republican state senator,” the president tells his inner circle, according to Woodward. “He’s a golf-playing, cigarette-smoking, country-club Republican who’s there to make deals. He’s very familiar to me.”
Boehner sized up his adversary during one of his early private meetings with Obama, telling Woodward: “I just started chuckling to myself. Because all you need to know about the differences between the president and myself is that I’m sitting there smoking a cigarette, drinking merlot, and I look across the table and there is the president of the United States drinking iced tea and chomping on Nicorette,” the gum for smokers trying to break their habit.
And then there's the inevitable 'Obama Blames Someone Else' story:
... Woodward quotes Obama as complaining openly to his aides about Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), his main Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.
“The one thing that I said I actually needed, they didn’t get,” he fumes to his advisers as he tries to avoid a plan that would raise the debt ceiling enough to cover a few months.
“I needed this to go past the election, and they didn’t get it for me.”
Woodward's book may sound enticing but c'mon, how much curiosity can there possibly be about the inner sanctum of the the most transparent administration in history?