Speaking Wednesday at the Illinois State Senate, President Obama said "one of my few regrets [as president] is my inability to reduce the polarization and meanness in our politics."
"I was able to be part of that" in Illinois, Obama said, "and yet couldn’t translate it the way I wanted to into our politics in Washington."
Obama never explained how he attempted to change the tone of Washington, but we can offer a guess as to why he failed. Almost every time a major political debate inflamed Washington, Obama avoided sitting down with Republicans and talking things through. Instead, he used the power of his perch to drop rhetorical bombshell after bombshell on his Republican adversaries.
When Republicans voiced skepticism of his proposed global warming solutions, he argued they were putting America's soldiers at risk.
When Republicans sought including spending restraints into a bill raising the debt ceiling, Obama accused the GOP of taking America hostage. White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer even likened Republicans to suicide bombers.
And that's just a sampling. Check out the above montage for more.