Obama, the Great Placator, needs to throw some elbows

By Courtland Milloy
Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 10:23 PM

Watching President Obama walk back to the White House with a busted lip from a recent basketball game, I was hoping he would step toward the TV cameras and show off his scar. Taste the blood in his mouth, tell us that he'll just have to take it out on the Republicans or something.

Instead, Obama trudged on by, nursing his wounds, looking like a kid who had just been sucker-punched in a schoolyard brawl.

And then came this account in The Post on Monday:

"A White House official with knowledge of the incident, and eager to make the president look as tough as possible, said that [Reynaldo Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and owner of the flying elbow,] required a hospital visit after the collision and received some stitches himself."

I don't mean to pile on with more criticism of Obama as a wimp, but a White House spin doctor to make him look tough after a pickup basketball game? Man up, Obama. Let us see you with blood on your teeth and fire in your eyes. Or does being the first black president mean you can never show yourself to be a man in full?

Now he wants a pay freeze for federal employees, announced just in time for Christmas - and only two months after proposing to give them a modest raise.

Did the Republican leadership pop him in the mouth, too?

Obama's decision will be a devastating blow to the Washington area's economy, not to mention a betrayal of some of his most loyal supporters and the nation's most dedicated public servants. After throwing nearly a trillion dollars to rescue banks and big business, he turns around and picks the pocket of everyday working people.

Has there ever been a president who treated his sworn enemies so much better than his proven friends?

What a milquetoast.

How does the president respond to the unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents? White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that Obama "was, as an understatement, not pleased" with WikiLeaks.

It's been two years since Obama's election, and that's how he always looks in the face of bad news. Never angry, never disgusted or fed up. During the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, he actually issued a news release that cited the emotions - "anger and frustration" - that he intended to convey during an upcoming speech.

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