Via Real Clear Politics, Obama on the stump today in Florida, talking about skyrocketing gas prices:
"Some politicians, they see this as a political opportunity. I know you're shocked by that. Last week the lead story in one newspaper said, 'Gasoline prices are on the rise and Republicans are licking their chops.' That's a quote. That's the lead. Licking their chops. Only in politics do people root for bad news. They greet bad news so enthusiastically," Obama said.
I wouldn't be shocked if there are some Republican political operatives whose lips are moist from their own tongue, any more than it would surprise me to hear that certain Democrats felt the same way in the fall of 2008.
What would be shocking is if actual Senators licked their chops -- not behind closed doors and not about gas prices -- but about the deaths of U.S. troops, openly to reporters.
Make that what was shocking. Because it happened in 2007:
As Democratic leaders in Congress brace for a showdown with President Bush on Iraq war funding, they issued a blunt threat to GOP colleagues: Challenge the White House strategy or be wiped out in 2008.
"We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) told reporters yesterday. "Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding."
Harry Reid gave his chops that particular dab of saliva in front of reporters on Friday, April 13, 2007. Not satisfied with just a prediction of political opportunity, he then began practically drooling in eager anticipation of turning the prediction into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything"
CNN Interviewer: "General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill...and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq...will you believe him?"
Reid: "No. I won't believe him because it isn't happening."
The Democrats saw escalating violence in Iraq as a political opportunity. They licked their chops. They not only rooted for bad news, they worked to bring it about.