New, Fightin' Obama Calls Out Foes

No more Mr. Nice President
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2010 9:23 AM CDT

It's hard to imagine that critics once complained that Barack Obama wasn't tough enough. Lately, he's been savaging his opponents by name, Politico notes, tossing verbal jabs directly at Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and more. It's a deliberate effort to get back the “spunk and fight” Obama had during the campaign, says one presidential rhetoric expert. “When you campaign, you campaign against people.”

Of course, any time the president attacks anyone he's punching down, and Republicans have argued that the attacks are beneath his office. “Name-calling isn't typically done from a position of strength,” says a Mitch McConnell spokesman. But a former Clinton spokesman says it's not unusual for the president to play the “happy warrior” role. “Probably the best strategy is to pick on someone of stature and say it with a smile.” (More Barack Obama stories.)

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