Core Chicago Team Sinking Obama Presidency
(TPM Cafe) -- By Steve Clemons --
Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief Edward Luce has written a granularly informed insider account about those who hold the keys to the inner most sanctum of Obama Land -- Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod.
It's a vital article -- a brave one -- that includes "dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington."
Most are unnamed because the consequences of retribution from this powerful foursome can be severe in an access-dependent town. John Podesta, president of the powerful, administration-tilting Center for American Progress, had the temerity and self-confidence to put his thoughts publicly on the record. But most others could not...
Any serious survey of the Obama administration's accomplishments and setbacks over the last year has to conclude that the administration is deeply in the red.
If current trends continue, this once mesmerizing Camelot-ish operation will be be seen in the history books as the presidential administration that -- to distort slightly and inversely paraphrase Churchill -- never have so many talented people managed to achieve so little with so much.
The entire article needs to be read, but to set the stage, here is the beginning of Ed Luce's portal into the heart of today's Obama machine:
"At a crucial stage in the Democratic primaries in late 2007, Barack Obama rejuvenated his campaign with a barnstorming speech, in which he ended on a promise of what his victory would produce: "A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again."
"Just over a year into his tenure, America's 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington's ways. What went wrong?
"Pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offer a smorgasbord of reasons - from Mr Obama's decision to devote his first year in office to healthcare reform, to the president's inability to convince voters he can "feel their [economic] pain", to the apparent ungovernability of today's Washington. All may indeed have contributed to the quandary in which Mr Obama finds himself. But those around him have a more specific diagnosis - and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say.
"In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington - most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office - each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people - Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief.
"Two, Mr Emanuel and Mr Axelrod, have box-like offices within spitting distance of the Oval Office. The president, who is the first to keep a BlackBerry, rarely holds a meeting, including on national security, without some or all of them present.
"With the exception of Mr Emanuel, who was a senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, all were an integral part of Mr Obama's brilliantly managed campaign. Apart from Mr Gibbs, who is from Alabama, all are Chicagoans - like the president. And barring Richard Nixon's White House, few can think of an administration that has been so dominated by such a small inner circle..."
I will never forget when Rahm Emanuel laughingly responded well within earshot of several national media (and this blogger/writer) at an Inaugural bash to an inquiry if Emanuel was enjoying putting Tom Daschle on the basement floor of the White House in a non-descript office pretty far from the president. Emanuel joked back glibly that Daschle had to be happy with any office in the White House because "any square inch of real estate inside the White House -- no matter where it is -- is more valuable than anything outside it."...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
The writer of this article goes on to recommend some moves that Obama can make to turn things around, but it's really just a waste of time. The problem with the Obama administration, just as was the case with the Bush administration, is that it is corrupt and fraudulent by nature.
Obama has always been a mere figurehead, thrust into the presidency by string pullers in the Democratic Party braintrust because, as Joe Biden put it early on in the primaries, he was a clean-looking black man who could deliver a good speech.
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man," Biden said.
Obama fit right in with the entire left-liberal ethos that existence is all about spin, fast-talking, and "making the legend," -- that principles, morality and integrity are old-fashioned and irrelevant. There is zero substance there, and there never was. It's almost as if the entire Obama presidency was dreamed up by a team of Hollywood script writers doing a prequel to "The West Wing", and his election was executed like a television production, with Obama as the star power who comes out of his luxurious dressing room when the cameras start rolling to deliver his lines, and then goes back inside as the production staff continued to put together the show.
The routine continues today, as that same production staff is attempting to govern the nation, and surprise!, it's finding that there's more to the job than just dazzling the masses with liberal pomp and circumstance, and throwing money at every problem that come down the pike by charging it on the national credit card.
The shallow and superficial Obama administration, a snake oil collective of hustlers, grifters, and Hollywood-type schmoozers packaging a left-liberal fantasy and selling it to the gullible, dumbed down masses as a substitute for integrity. What a perfect metaphor for our times.
Obama and his reptilian, snake-oil handlers, David Axelrod (top) and Rahm Emanuel