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September 18, 2013

Obama, Flailing, Reaches Out For First Term "A-Team" as a Lifeline

A book called The Obamas featured this delicious nugget:

Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: "I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people Iíll hire to do it," he said. "Itís hard to give up control when thatís all Iíve known." Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaignís political director. "I think Iím a better speechwriter than my speechwriters," Obama told him. "I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And Iíll tell you right now that Iím gonna think Iím a better political director than my political director."

A first-class temperament, they told us in 2007. Plus, a first-class intellect to go with it.

There's an old bit of wisdom -- old, but true -- that the more you know the more you realize you don't know. And conversely, only someone who knows a tiny little bit could possibly be under the illusion he knows it all.

Flash forward to today's story of Zeus throwing down thunderbolts on he whose hubris astonishes even the arrogant gods.

A struggling President Obama is calling for help from members of his first-term A-Team, who have left the White House for other jobs.

With his poll numbers falling and his second-term floundering so far, Obama has sought help from the former aides who helped catapult him to the presidency.


One former aide described Obamaís trusted inner circle from the first term as "the originals," and speculated that if they were still at the White House they could have helped prevent some of Obamaís second-term blunders, such as the decision Monday to give a fiery speech criticizing Republicans just hours after 12 people were gunned down a few miles away at the Navy Yard.

You could do a better job of political directing than the political director but you didn't know that?

Obama is plainly surrounded by yes-men who are intimidated by him. He's like Elvis at in the declining years. Whatever The King says, that's just a great idea.

"I donít think he would have made that kind of mistake in the first term," one former administration official said on Tuesday. "Sometimes it feels like thereís a void over there. There are some new, extraordinary folks over there, but it definitely leaves something to be desired."

But Obama does have some of his Sage Council* remaining.


To be sure, Obama has had some of the same faces around him during the second term, including Carney.

Oh well he's just the guy to give it to you straight.

But after a painstaking period of self-criticism and self-examination, Team Obama thinks they've figured out what's been going wrong with them lately.

Surprise! It's the same thing they always say is going wrong with them.


Former Obama aides, however, maintain that there has been a messaging problem at the White House ever since Obama won reelection.

Fortunately, there is a cure: They can begin putting out a Message that Obama almost never puts out lately.

And they say that aides need to do a better job reasserting the narrative that Obama is, as one put it, the "aggressive champion of the middle class."

And the Middle Class. No, he never mentions And The Middle Class (ATMC). I mean, sure, he mentioned it for no reason at all in his Syria speech, but he practically never mentions And The Middle Class, apart from Always.

The problem isn't that he doesn't mention it. It's that he doesn't believe it and we all know it. And that's not a Messaging Problem. It's a Priority Problem, or, as we usually call it, just a straight-up Problem.

* Not a misspelling, Spelling Nerds. Usually I say "Sage counsel," as in wise advice.

But now I'm saying he has a Council of Sages. So the change in spelling is appropriate given my change in meaning.

So you just go right ahead and eat a bag of dicks, Spelling Nerds.

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posted by Ace at 04:12 PM

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