Obama getting tough on critics
Just as Congress is hitting something of a bipartisan stride on such issues as Medicare, Iran and trade, President Barack Obama and his White House team have decided to go after their Republican critics, picking fights and scornfully calling them out by name.
In just the past week, the president and his spokesman have targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senators John McCain and Charles Grassley on topics from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal.
Last Friday, Obama used a news conference to deliver to senators a testy lecture about the delayed confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.
This is a White House unleashed, forgoing niceties for the kind of blunt talk some of Obama's allies have been demanding for some time. But the rhetoric carries risks of sounding peevish and signals that a president who once ran on the promise of changing the tone in Washington has fully embraced its political combat.
Obama last Friday decried the long wait Lynch has faced since she was nominated in early November. "Enough. Enough!" he said, addressing Senate Republicans. "This is embarrassing, a process like this."