"We don't want to make HER mad"
Not only did Obama hand over his podium to his pal Bill Clinton, but then after standing around looking bored to be there, he suddenly looked at his watch and said, "I've been keeping the First Lady waiting for about a half an hour. So I'm going to take off. You're in good hands. Gibbs will call last question." And Clinton's response? "Please go. . . .we don't want to make HER mad."
So Bill Clinton, evidently playing "President for a Day," stayed around for the next 30 minutes of the press conference on the Tax Bill, answering any and all questions. And no, Gibbsy-boy did NOT "call the last question"--Clinton did that.
h/t to my favorite blog, Michelle Obama's Mirror's Blog for the picture.
The guys at HotAir ask the obvious question: "How important is this deal to Obama? Less than a Christmas party and dealing with his spouse's irritation." The incredible shrinking president. I also thought Ace of Spades said it well: "equal parts funny, pathetic, and quite frankly a little scary."
Update. From the New York Post and John Podhoretz. "What happened here has, to my knowledge, never happened. When the president finishes speaking, whenever the president finishes speaking, the event ends. Period.
"Not any longer.
"Obama can change the rules of etiquette governing his White House if he wants. The problem for him is that those rules of etiquette exist for a reason. They are intended to enforce the standing of the presidency itself. By breaching them, Obama did harm to his own standing, and at a time when he can ill afford to lose any more of his authority."