... then, instead of denouncing the S & P downgrade (tempting though that must be given their embarrassing track record and the $2 trillion computational blunder), he would have said "Yes, it's terrible that the Republicans have caused this. This shows how right I was about not endangering our credit, about the need for more revenue and a balanced grand bargain, etcetera."
As things stand, he risks making himself the downgrade's sole owner in the U.S. public mind, without necessarily having any effect on market confidence (downgraded debtors are expected to complain).
But the heading of this post makes it alternative history, along the lines of "What if Lee had won the battle of Gettysburg?".