In an interview with CNBC's John Harwood, Obama once again shows why the polarization in Congress is at record levels. In a brief: he said he is "exasperated", and that the shutdown is "entirely unncessary" but adds that he is (finally?) prepared to negotiate, however only after he gets his way namely after the government is reopened. And another important talking point: Obama added that while gridlock in D.C. is nothing new, "this time I think Wall Street should be concerned." It is unclear how that statement makes any sense in light of Obama's right hand senator Chuck Schumer telling the man who is really in charge, Ben Bernanke, to get to work. Unless of course, Obama is now angling for a "concerning" market crash, which sends the Dow down by 20% like in the summer of 2011, and Obama can tell the stunned public "I told you so."
Additionally, it wouldn't be an Obama theatrical presentation without the usual solid dose of scapegoating and blaming: "When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble.... If we get into the habit where one party is allowed to extort, ... then any president who comes after me we be unable to govern effectively." The good news: we have confirmation that there will be presidents after Obama.
Obama would not comment on who he's likely to nominate to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"Ben's still there's; he's doing a fine job," he said. The ultimate nominee would have to keep an eye on inflation and employment, in keeping with the Fed's dual mandate, the president said.
On Obamacare, the president's most significant legislative accomplishment, Obama said that despite certain polls showing it was unpopular with specific segments of the population—namely white people—the law would ultimately be accepted by the population at large.
Tenets of the bill are popular among "all races" the president said. "The majority of the people who will be helped by the ACA will be white," he said.
The complete Obama interview is below: