The Buzz

Barbara Boxer: Obama forced to clean up Bush’s mess

Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer file photo

Top o’ the day to you:

“Barack Obama has had to clean up the mess that was left him.” — California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, listing the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, cutting the deficit and recovering from the recession — all issues that Obama had to deal with that were left over from the Bush administration.

Interesting take from the Democrats, which is that Obama was bogged down from day one with “Bush issues” — and there’s some truth to it. Republicans dismiss the idea by saying all presidents have to deal with issues left over from their predecessors. But the near-economic meltdown wasn’t just another issue. Neither was the war in Iraq.

“The bear has cabin fever.” — White House counselor Valerie Jarrett on Obama’s desire to get out of the White House this summer.

Jarrett is picking up on Obama’s reference to himself as “the bear” following a recent unscheduled outing to a Starbucks near the White House when Obama said the bear was loose. Jarrett said the “cold and bitter” winter made Obama eager to break out of the White House bubble and move around a little. He’s now in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and the family plans a two-week getaway to Martha’s Vineyard in August.

“The fact is, we’ll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry on CNBC when asked whether he believes that there should be therapy programs to “cure” homosexuality.

An interviewer was following up on comments last week in which Perry seemed to suggest that homosexuality is a disorder. This is not a fruitful conversation for the governor who began his answer by saying, “I don’t know.” Answers like this might help Perry in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, but they will kill him if he makes it to the general election.

“Kevin is more fit, personality-wise, to be majority leader.” — Florida Rep. Thomas J. Rooney, a Republican, on the expected elevation of California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace Rep. Eric Cantor as House majority leader.

The early take on McCarthy: He’s a leader with a smile who will be hard-pressed to crack the whip in the manner of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. He’s not the greatest fundraiser, and he’s known for talking to just about everybody, a personality trait that could prove problematic in a job that requires laser-like focus on the issues of the day.