In a strikingly unusual move, President Obama walked off from a presidential podium - handing the question-fielding responsibility on the extension of current tax rates to former President Bill Clinton.
In the wake of a reinvigorated Republican base - still humming from devastating mid-term election victories - President Obama brought in the big guns in an effort to more broadly support his centrist position on the question of extending the existing Bush-era tax rates for all Americans. The Obama move is considered a "triangulation," built to bring in more disenfranchised independent voters.
However, at a press conference designed in part to give a better shape to the Obama administration's reversal on the question of Bush-era tax rate extensions for all Americans, President Obama yielded the podium to former President Bill Clinton.
The move to present Mr. Clinton as effectively a centrist spokesperson for the Obama administration attracted significant media attention.
"Anyone walking into the middle of the news conference Friday afternoon at the White House would be forgiven for wondering whether Bill Clinton was back for a command performance as leader of the free world," Fox News reported on Friday.
President Obama, citing his desire to not keep the first lady waiting, abandoned the podium to former President Bill Clinton.
"I don't believe there is a better deal out there," Clinton told reporters.
Meanwhile, House Democrats have moved to strike down the Obama compromise - opting for an alternative vote to not recognize the president's actions.
While the issue has created good political theater, a failure to act will result in tax increases for 95 percent of Americans on January 1.