Posted at 09:17 AM ET, 08/03/2011

Marc Ambinder gets props from Jon Stewart for debt ceiling debate foresight


Marc Ambinder and Jon Stewart. (The Daily Show.)

Jon Stewart was clearly disappointed about the outcome of the debt ceiling debate, a bill that does not include any revenue increases. On Monday’s “The Daily Show,” the host looked to the past to find someone who could predict that Republicans would have a huge amount of leverage over the White House during the current debate.

“But even a Jedi master strategist wouldn’t have seen that coming,” Stewart said.

Enter reporter Marc Ambinder, who asked a seemingly clairvoyant question to President Obama in December after he signed a bill that extended the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years.

“How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks to Republicans about raising the debt limit because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now going in?” said Ambinder, National Journal White House correspondent and contributing editor to the Atlantic.

“Well done, Potter,” Stewart said of the bespectacled, bow tie sporting journo. “Ten points for Gryffindor.”

In response to Ambinder’s question, Obama replied, “Nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse.”

Stewart laughed: “It’s funny because it happened.”

“Let me do a quick impression of what’s going on in the White House at this very moment: ‘Find me that bow tie boy and let him tell us what happens next,’ ” Stewart joked.

“I am not as prescient as the world seems to think I am,” Ambinder tweeted after the clip aired. But that hasn’t stopped the National Journal, other writers and admirers from giving Ambinder shout-outs for doing his job well.

As for the Harry Potter comparison, Ambinder doesn’t seem to mind. He tweeted, “I always thought of my style as more Ron Weasley-fumbling, but I'll take it.”

“It's kind of neat,” Ambinder told The Post of the attention. “But it was a fluke — a confluence of the president's decision to have a news conference and my curiosity about how he expected Republicans to negotiate with him going forward.”

Yes, it doesn’t seem that Ambinder will take his moment in the fake cable news spotlight as a cue to become a political crystal ball reader:

“Generally, I try not to make predictions, because it's not my job, and because my batting average trends to be about 50 percent when I do.” 

By  |  09:17 AM ET, 08/03/2011

 
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