The Many Images From Obama's Testy Press Conference

Pundits saw him as a dad, a dick, a grown-up, a surly teen, a class warrior

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In his hour-long press conference Wednesday, the normally cool and professorial President Obama displayed an uncharacteristic level of emotion, The New York Times' Michael D. Shear writes. Referring to faltering negotiations on raising the federal debt ceiling, Obama said of Congressional Republicans, "They're in one week, they're out one week... And then they’re saying, 'Obama has got to step in.' You need to be here. I've been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and Bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let's get it done." Watch out, guys--Dad's mad!

Obama the dad was one of the main metaphors to come out of the press conference, likely because he unfavorably compared the GOP with his tween daughters, who never wait till the last minute to do their homework. As The Takeaway's Celeste Headlee tweeted, "Obama threatens to cancel 4th of July if debt ceiling isn't raised. Sounds like a dad. 'So help me, I will turn this van around & go home!'" Likewise WNYC's Anna Sale saw Obama as "the grown up," saying Republicans shouldn't be viewed as "standing on principle. Instead, he painted them as cowardly avoiding a difficult situation."

A less nice metaphor was offered by Mark Halperin on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday. I thought he was a dick yesterday," Halperin said. Host Joe Scarborough desperately tried to get the word bleeped, but to no avail: "Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing? I can't believe… don't do that. Did we delay that?" Halperin quickly apologized.

Ed Morrissey had a different take, seeing Obama not as a big meanie but a whiner--"a pouting, sullen adolescent" because he "bizarrely blamed the fiscal crisis on a small coterie of corporate-jet owners, a heretofore unknown juggernaut of economic destruction."

That corporate jet line was what National Journal's Ron Fournier noticed, saying Obama presented himself as a class warrior. "In Obama's world, Democrats are for kids and Republicans are for corporate jets. ... Republicans have cast Obama as a tax-raiser and a Big-Government spender. This was his jujitsu move to turn their arguments against them."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.