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President Obama asks Rep. Conyers Why He is "Demeaning" Him

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An interesting story in the Hill. Representative Conyers recently received a call from President Obama:

Conyers, the second-longest-serving member of the House, said, "[Obama] called me and told me that he heard that I was demeaning him and I had to explain to him that it wasn't anything personal, it was an honest difference on the issues. And he said, 'Well, let's talk about it.'"

The Hill

More after the fold.

Representative Conyers has been critical of President Obama's policy choices on several issues:

"I've been saying I don't agree with him on Afghanistan, I think he screwed up on healthcare reform, on Guantánamo and kicking Greg off," Conyers said, referring to the departure of former White House counsel Greg Craig.

The Hill

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Conyers was an early supporter of Barack Obama:

Conyers was the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Obama over then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.


"I did whatever was necessary to be done to win. I met with ministers, I met with unions, I met with lawyers, I met with community activists, I met with healthcare people," Conyers explained in early April.

The Hill

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What I find interesting is that President Obama saw this as personal criticism, not as issue differences.

Obama's decision to challenge Conyers highlights a sensitivity to criticism the president has taken on the left. Conyers's critical remarks, many of which have been reported on the liberal-leaning Huffington Post, appear to have irritated the president, known for his calm demeanor.

The Hill

It appears the President does not understand how much he has demoralized the base with his centrism and lack of audacity.

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