Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Ever Happened to No Drama Obama?

The Campaign and its promises seems a long time ago. And the famously disciplined candidate and his team even farther away. Then I see the best post ever on the subject here:

My question now is why are certain anonymous White House officials trying to undermine the President? I ask this question in all seriousness, because this is exactly what happened in the Clinton fight for health care reform. We would do these terrific, thoughtful, complex policy meetings where we go over various options on the health care bill but make no firm decisions. The next day in the New York Times or The Washington Post, some particularly controversial aspect of the bill would be headlined as in "High-ranking administration officials say Clinton is considering X." It was without question one of the things that eventually killed health care reform.

What I discovered when I worked in the White House was that there were plenty of people who work in that building whose primary loyalty is not to the President but to themselves. They leak things to reporters to cultivate them and make sure they write puff job articles about them. They help certain lobbyists because they might want a job in their firm someday. They empower certain powerful Senators or members of Congress because they are personally close to them, and/or because they might want to get paid big money to lobby them someday soon. Maybe they want to run for office themselves one day, and so they cultivate certain donors.

Read the whole thing. There's lots of good food for thought there.

see also Marcy Wheeler for a deep throat backgrounder, as it were, on who she thinks the "unnamed official" is and who the stenographer was.

I love Obama, and Gibbs, and most of the rest of the crew but I wish they'd figure out that letting their own team backbite "the left"--by which they obviously mean "the center" of the country, and backstab the President's policies at the same time is a losing strategy. If its Rahm, which I doubt, he should be ordered to STFU and if its Messina, which seems more likely, he should be fired or exiled to a far distant outpost--maybe sent to investigate co-ops in Alaska.

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