Well, here’s a new declaration from outgoing President Obama. He’s declared himself to be the “father of the Tea Party.” In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, the anchor (and former Clinton operative) asked the president what sentence would describe him. Stephanopoulos cited the quote by the late Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who said “the greater the man, the easier it is to describe him in a single sentence.” Luce uttered this in 1962 when asked by then-President Kennedy what was on her mind.
The 44th president said of himself, “President Obama believed deeply in this democracy and the American people.”
“I’ve gotten people who maybe didn’t believe in the process to get engaged. Ironically, I’ve even gotten the other side that maybe didn’t believe in the process to get engage. I gather that I’m the father of the Tea Party; I invigorated the grassroots of the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party,” added Obama.
One could argue that the intensity is more on the GOP side, which had a sustained effort ended with them retaking Congress, the presidency, 69/99 state legislatures, and two-thirds of the governorships. They’re the dominant political force in the country. If anything, Obama has been great for the GOP. There may be some who might agree that Obama’s spending increases (i.e. the stimulus) and the fight over Obamacare shot steroids into his movement. Yet, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) under George W. Bush was the spark that started it all. Maybe Bush and Obama can share credit for that; Bush igniting the flame, but Obama fanned it for most of his presidency.