MR. CARNEY: ...The President, as he said, is not wedded to every detail. But it demonstrates the President’s fundamental commitment to making tough choices in order to get something done.Later in the briefing, another reporter referred back to Carney's words:
Q He’s going to press Democrats to accept something like that by the end of the year?
MR. CARNEY: I think he’s made clear, as he has in the past, that he will be in the future willing to lead members of his party in the effort to achieve a sensible, balanced compromise.
Q I wonder -- it sounded like, in answer to Jim’s question when he was saying, do you have to do entitlement reform by the end of the year, your answer was in the future. And I noted that when the President spoke today --Carney's statement reminded me of an old Soviet Union era joke I had just read in an article at National Review:
MR. CARNEY: No, I didn't say it was in the future.
Q -- would pressure -- when asked about pressuring Democrats, you said, he has vowed to do that in the future.
MR. CARNEY: No, he’s done it in the past and he will do it in the future.
Q We have a record of what you said. But --
MR. CARNEY: Right. I meant "the future" as also in the present tense.
“In the Soviet Union, the future is predictable,” goes an old dissident joke. “It’s the past that keeps changing.”Now at the Obama White House, the future is the present. Got that?