White House subdued victory lap?
December 17th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

White House subdued victory lap?

Washington  (CNN) – The late night House vote to pass Bush-era tax cuts was a big victory for President Obama, but it was greeted with muted celebration.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he wasn’t awake at the time. “I think some of us were…certainly asleep,” he said.  “Asleep?” a stunned reporter asked. “Yes,” Gibbs responded.

It was a low key evening for the president as well who apparently wasn’t following the vote in the final hours.

A White House official said Phil Schiliro, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, emailed him “around midnight” with news that the bill had passed.  At the time the president was reading in the private residence.

Unlike other major Obama accomplishments passed by Congress, there was no statement hailing the bill and no senior advisers blanketing the morning network shows.  After several attempts to get reaction to the overnight victory, one top aide finally told CNN, the White House was “feeling pretty good” about the vote.

Later in an off-camera gaggle with reporters, Gibbs, who had in recent days expressed optimism that Congress would pass the tax-cut bill before the end of the year, said it wasn’t even down to the wire. “I don’t think people thought we’d have two weeks to spare.”

“This was, I think, a very important and a very big piece of business that we needed to get done.”

White House officials dismissed suggestions that their reaction was muted. They point out that the president is delivering remarks and doing a public signing joined by 150 people, including members of Congress, administration officials and key stakeholder and advocates who worked to pass the bill.


Topics: President Obama • Robert Gibbs • Tax cuts • The News

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. jefflz

    All the trickle-down arguments in the world don't make failed supply-side economics. valid. The growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else bodes poorly for the economic future of this nation. The greed-driven approach to taxation serves a very few selfish people at the expense of the long term needs of the country. Only the most cynical can press for continued tax cuts to the wealthiest. Obama did not just sell himself out- he is sold out the American people. you can't negotiate with Republican terrorists.

    December 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • CTinDC

      BobnLA... caved? really. So you wanted your taxes to go up... and where in your statement to you blame the Republicans for continually fillibustering. I find it ironic when people blame Obama for the Republicans actions. But for their actions, the bill would have been at least passed for extending tax cuts for those who at the most make 1 million.
      Therefore, if you are angry about this bill, use facts and blame those responsible for the need to compromise. Not those who had to push a compromise for 98% of this country ( middle class).

      I pray this country will invest in education. This country is full of people who have no critical thinking skills.

      December 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • CTinDC

      Jeff..

      Obama sold himself out and the american people?? Did you not take the time to follow this entire scenario. Where in your statement do you speak of the Republicans who fillibustered the tax bill passed by the House. What is your alternative.. let everyones tax cuts expire. Mind you .. not only would tax cuts expire but also deductions..

      December 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Stoopid Iz Az Stoopid Duz

      You don't realize this had nothing to do with "saving" the economy or the American taxpayer, right? This positions Obama to take on the greed-driven Republican't who takes him on in 2010. It is his opportunity to expose how detrimental the Republican't's method of taxation really is. I will vote for Obama again in 2012, but it was either pass it this way and have a leg up in 2012 or let it expire and push the swing voters away so the Republican'ts could claim Obama raised taxes and they had nothing to do with it. They are all Washington scum-bags.

      December 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • elizabeth

      Dear jeffiz,

      The ONLY RICH IN THE WORLD 90% of it is GAY .... ARE YOU WAITING THAT THEY WILL OR WANT TO HELP YOU?!

      tHEY WANT TO DISTROY THE PEOPLE THAT TEHY ROBBED LIKE YOU AND THATS WHY THE GAYS IN MILLITARY IS AND WAS IMPORTANT FOR THEM....

      December 19, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  2. Peter s

    jefflz you have valid argument! but the refusal to extend those tax cuts to the wealthy could have been catastrophic, remember the same group of republicans were claiming that, businesses are not hiring because they don't know what will happen with the taxes!. Now everything is clear!

    December 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  3. TOTAL FACTS

    This was a very stupid thing to happen. Obama is proud. You bet he knows it is one more nail in America's coffin. All the fools blasted SARAH PALIN but she is so right and PRAYFULLY she will be the next President of the United States if there are any States left. We Must get rid of the FOOLS in the White House and their AAs plus WAAs supporters. These people haven't a clue as to what the hades is happening to this Nation. I guess they will when the table of six start ruling this country or the Middle East does by taking off the heads of half of the goons.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • Stoopid Iz Az Stoopid Duz

      You're funny. You should try your hand and standup.

      December 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  4. NVa Native

    Sadly there is a minority in our country who feel they deserve the benefit of our government but not the responsiblity of paying their fair share of taxes.
    You don't want to pay your taxes you belong in Somolia – and hey – then you won't have any excuse to bitch about the governement either.

    Not paying your fair share of taxes is un-American.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  5. Larry

    Two things. First, how is this a victory for Obama? He caved to the bullies. He should have stood strong. Second, regarding the comment about Sarah Palin being right. what exactly is she right about. A "renewal", restoring Americas greatness? Except for saying all the right catch phrases, she has NEVER said how she would do this. She criticized the tax bill but gave no suggestions on a better bill. She never does. She just criticizes everything, and the simple-minded folks say "Sarah Palin for President". Before you support her for President, ask her what EXACTLY she would do differently. I guarantee she won't answer the question except with slogans. She can't. She hasn't the brain power.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Charlie

      Agreed

      December 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  6. bobnla

    A victory? Are you kidding? The President caved, Generations of future seniors lost, and the ricj got richer while the deficit expanded.
    Who won? Republicans and rich people.
    Not only should there be no victory lap but the administration should apologize to the people of this country.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  7. rob

    "The late night House vote to pass Bush-era tax cuts was a big victory for President Obama"

    CNN you just can't help but cheerlead this President. This was not a victory for President Obama, it was a victory for COMMON SENSE and the ECONOMY. President Obama has been slaming the Bush Admin and these horrible tax cuts for the "Rich" for 2 years, yet he admitted that keeping these same horrible tax cuts in place would add at least a point to GDP and add private sector jobs in 2011.

    I guess President Obama can try to have it both ways because CNN won't call it on him but eventually his ideolgy of huge Govt programs to fix all problems through high taxation and less individual liberty will fail just like it is in Europe right before our eyes.

    December 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Stoopid Iz Az Stoopid Duz

      I'm sorry, where is it that Obama has installed high taxation? And exactly which individual liberties do you now not enjoy that you did prior to 2008?

      December 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • Charlie

      Europe is actually a good place to live, barring Greece, Italy, Spain, and Iceland. Anywhere else seems pretty nice.

      December 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  8. GOP: Greed Over People

    CNN, we should all be "subdued" we just added 858 billion directly to the national debt.

    And you want cart wheels and handsprings?

    December 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  9. J.V.Hodgson

    When will bloggers listen to what the President has said repeatedly there are things in this bill he did not want meaning the reduced estate tax and the keeping of the lower tax rates for the wealthy. The CNN economic commentator who gloated that Obama should have put the break point a $1m earningslevel should listen to a vote in the Senate where that amendment was blocked by Republicans, and your show hosts dont even correct such mistakes.
    What should the White House celebrate the giving up of a major Pledge President Obama made.. gimme a break stop headlining stories with crazy talk.
    Regards.
    Hodgson.

    December 18, 2010 at 3:32 am |
  10. Emile Zola

    As far as my family and myself is concerned, Obama is the Benedict Arnold of democrats. He ran as the opposite of Bush and then, once elected, he became Bush. The only difference between Bush and Obama, besides the obvious, is the intelligence bit, but judging by actions, the difference is blurred. All the crimes committed by Bush are being committed by Obama. All the failed policies of Bush are being adopted by Obama. Obama should pull a Ronald Reagan here and switch parties and leave us the notion that democrats still care for Joe Q. Public. If the democrats join the republicans in favor of the rich and powerful, what is going to happen to the 98% of us that don't have the money to buy their representatives? Oh, God, why have you forsaken us? I mean the 98% of the population. Could we trade You Hallbrooke for Boehnner, McConnell, Obama? It may be a little too late, but remember Lord, Lazzarus. I know You can do it and we need peace, not war. We need bread, not drones. We need the Constitution back, not lawlessness.

    December 18, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  11. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    @CTinDC; I agree with you 100%! No matter what, who's at real fault, who's requiring compromise, who has blatantly announced that they're not signing this bill or that bill, IF this or that doesn't go into it, whether they are republicans and/or democrats, the biased media and hateful bloggers make it their business to figure out how to blame the whole hang-up on PRESIDENT OBAMA! IT'S HIS FAULT AND HIS FAULT, ALONE! If he doesn't reach across the isle, he's 'RAILROADING', if he DOES, HE'S WEAK! MY GOD!

    December 19, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  12. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    TOTAL FACTS; YOUR WHOLE COMMENT IS STUPID! YOU ARE THE FOOL! AND IS SARAH PALIN ALL YOU GOT? FOR PRESIDENT? McCAIN IS SORRY HE BROUGHT THAT MONSTER OUT!!!!?!!!!?

    December 19, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  13. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    ON CNNs' 'RELIABLE SOURCES' this morning, they spoke on the fact that OBAMA DEFIES NEGATIVE PRESS'. I've always DEFIED negative press of our national security strategies, human and civil causes and of ALL THINGS, sensitive GOVERNING decisions! It's become a 24/7, 365 mission of the media though, ever since PRESIDENT OBAMA was sworn in! THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING TOO, AND WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK THEY'D BE JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR WANTING DEMOCRACY IN THEIR COUNTRIES? IS THIS YOUR DEMOCRACY?!? KEEP IT!

    December 19, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  14. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    Judging by the way some of us EDUCATED RIGHT and LEFT WING POLICIANS carry on, on the blog, we shouldn't even get to know too much about the incremental processes it takes government officials to come to an agreement on ANYTHING! One reason I say that is, half of you get it TWISTED or it's SPINNED to you NEGATIVELY, by your favorite media outlets! Periodically, you may get a phony tidbit of a 'fake hope', in the POSSIBILITY of a POSITIVE OUTCOME of some issue! YOU JUMP RIGHT OUT ON THE NEGATIVE PERCEPTION!

    December 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  15. don

    Who is that yo-yo standing right behind the President ? He has a band-aid over his eye, looks like he got smacked around during the process. Chances are the President is sitting on a doughnut, I am sure he is sore after the Republcan's let him have it up the boomer!

    December 20, 2010 at 7:02 pm |