Priorities



With the economy in the toilet what is the White House’s top priority?


W.H. pushes back hard at Suskind

The White House launched an aggressive response to a forthcoming book that chronicles internal dissent and second-guessing of President Barack Obama by his own staff and presents Obama as a conflicted, sometimes wavering leader.

Administration officials assert that “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” by Ron Suskind is infested with errors, both big (what they characterize as misquotations and distorted narratives) and small (several names, a birthdate, a publication date, an employer, an unemployment rate, etc.) and gives a distorted and inaccurate picture of the White House under Obama.

[…]

“Books like these tend to take the normal day to day activities of governing and infuse them with drama, palace intrigue and salacious details based on anonymous accounts,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said in an email.

But beyond the palace intrigue, Suskind’s book portrays Obama as uncertain and second-guessing himself.

“During so many days of crisis in his first two years,” the author writes, “Obama often felt that performance pressure — having to play the part of president, in charge and confident, each day, in front of his seasoned, combative, prideful team, many of whom had, all together, recently served another president.

“As he confided to one of his closest advisers, after a private display of uncertainty, ‘I can’t let people see that, I don’t want the staff to see that. … But I get up every morning. It’s a heavy burden.’”

No White House would want such an image of the boss to take hold as a reelection campaign began. But some of the book’s most intriguing quotes come from Obama himself.

Suskind quoted Obama as saying in the interview, on Feb. 14: “The area in my presidency where I think my management and understanding of the presidency evolved most, and where I think we made the most mistakes, was less on the policy front and more on the communications front.

“I think one of the criticisms that is absolutely legitimate about my first two years was that I was very comfortable with a technocratic approach to government … a series of problems to be solved. …

“Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks. … I think that if you get too consumed with that you lose sight of the larger issue. … The reorganization that’s taken place here is one that is much more geared to those [leadership] functions.”


Every president worries about their image, but Obama is the first one to be obsessed with it.

Of course when image is all you have . . .


Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Priorities

  1. Mary says:

    They’re so worried, they recruited Bill Clinton to be the administration spokesman on all the Sunday shows.

    You know, Bill Clinton—the guy they called racist in the primaries. (snort)

    • imustprotest says:

      I saw Bill Clinton on Face the Nation this morning. His hands were shaking. I’m worried about him.
      😦

      • ralphb says:

        I hear he’s a vegan now. Maybe he just needs a good steak.

        • imustprotest says:

          Maybe! He was so cute when Bob Scheiffer asked him about the Dick Cheney comment that Hillary would have been better than Obama. First, he smiled and talked about how proud he was of Hillary and how happy he was when people noticed what a great job she was doing. Then he said that Cheney was a good politician who was trying to cause trouble in the Democratic party. Bill is so good. They had a split screen when Bill was talking about Obama’s job’s bill. Bill on the left and video of The One speechifying on the stump. The contrast is stunning. If they’re trying to help Obie, they really shouldn’t do that!

    • Mary says:

      Oh…..and guess who was on Fareed Zakaria’s show talking about how to create jobs for Americans?

      Jeffrey Immelt, of offshore GE fame.

      He’s the best they had?

  2. trist says:

    Administration officials assert that “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” by Ron Suskind is infested with errors, both big (what they characterize as misquotations and distorted narratives) and small (several names, a birthdate, a publication date, an employer, an unemployment rate, etc.) and gives a distorted and inaccurate picture of the White House under Obama.

    Oooh, do you think the one might actually refer to the book as a…gulp….fairytale at some point?

  3. ralphb says:

    Ever-increasing tax breaks for U.S. families eclipse benefits for special interests

    I don’t buy this in it’s entirety but it does tell us who will wind up paying for the debt/deficit no matter who is in power.

    The number of tax breaks has nearly doubled since the last major tax overhaul 25 years ago, with lawmakers adding new benefits for children, college tuition, retirement savings and investment. At the same time, some long-standing breaks have exploded in value, such as the deduction for mortgage interest and the tax-free treatment of health-insurance premiums paid by employers.

    All told, federal taxpayers last year received $1.08 trillion in credits, deductions and other perks while paying $1.09 trillion in income taxes, according to government estimates.

    Only about 8 percent of those benefits went to corporations. (The write-off for corporate jets equals about .03 percent of the total.) The bulk went to private households, primarily upper-middle-class families that Obama has vowed to protect from new taxes.

Comments are closed.