[dropcap]B[/dropcap]arack Obama gave a non-news speech to a hand-picked audience that applauded at the applause lines and hissed at the hiss lines. The weather was beautiful. The park was beautiful.
It was pretty much a perfect morning.
“We have come farther and recovered faster than almost any advanced nation on Earth,” Obama said. (Applause)
“Their single accomplishment has been shutting down the government,” Obama said of House Republicans. “Cynicism passes as wisdom, and it’s a sorry wisdom.” (Hisssss)
The day’s news would come later when Obama arrived in Texas to address the border crisis and to meet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. That would not be a fun time. Trying to divert attention from his semi-moderate stance on immigration, Perry has been suggesting in TV interviews that Obama has been part of a conspiracy to endanger children’s lives in order to bring them here as future Democratic voters. No, really.
In Denver, there were no such problems. Before the speech, there was a night on the town, pizza at the Wazee Supper Club with a few supporters, a photo and a handshake with a guy wearing a horse head (presumably not John Elway), and a beer and game of pool with John Hickenlooper (now unofficially unafraid of GOP cameras).
This had to be exactly what Obama hoped for. I can hear the conversation Obama must have had with Mark Udall setting up the trip (h/t to friend and reporter Nick Riccardi):
“Mark, I need to get out of this town. It’s driving me crazy. Can you believe the latest — that Boehner is trying to sue me? Didn’t they ever teach him about separation of powers? Somebody tell him to talk to Newt. Hell, he just impeached Clinton.
“Listen, I got an idea. What if I come to Denver and do a fundraiser? You need the bucks. I need the break. I’ll talk about the economy. These jobs reports are the only thing keeping my ratings out of the 30s. Maybe I’ll go to that bar that Hickenlooper is always bugging me about, and he’s such a suck-up, we’ll play pool and I know he’ll let me win.
“And here’s the thing, Mark. You’ll love this part. I can handle the whole thing. Really. You don’t even have to be there.”
[Photo by Tessa Cheek]