Rahm, two circling 747s trying to land, and a flock of fu*king Canadian geese. Is this how the Obama inner circle works?
A recent Financial Times story entitled "America: A fearsome foursome"
by Edward Luce describes the inner circle of four advisers closest to president Obama, and how this group has functioned in the first year of the administration.
They are David Axelrod,Senior Adviser; Rahm Emanuel,Chief of Staff; Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary; and Valerie Jarrett Senior Adviser.
Read the story in full here:
Here are a few ‘highlights’:
"Whatever issue arises, whether it is a failed terrorist plot in Detroit, the healthcare bill, economic doldrums or the 30,000-troop surge to Afghanistan, the White House instinctively fields Mr Axelrod or Mr Gibbs on television to explain the administration’s position. “Every event is treated like a twist in an election campaign and no one except the inner circle can be trusted to defend the president,” says an exasperated outside adviser. "
Describing the group of four Mr. Luce says:
"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."
Well- R.M. (Tricky Dick) Nixon did get reelected, but that second term did not end on a happy note. That’s a comparison that might lead to some thought.
For those that are wondering why the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and legal reforms related to the ‘war on terror’ has run into political interference, Mr. Luce cites this:
“Rahm said: ‘We’ve got these two Boeing 747s circling that we are trying to bring down to the tarmac [healthcare and the decision on the Afghanistan troop surge] and we can’t risk a flock of f***ing Canadian geese causing them to crash,’ ” says an official who attended an Oval Office strategy meeting. The geese stood for the closure of Guantánamo.
Umm.. I hope the healthcare 747 had plenty of fuel, because that plane hasn’t landed yet…And were the Guantanamo closure supporters or detractors the "flock of fuc*ing Canadian geese"? Was this Republican and Blue Dog slapping or base slapping?
I think Mr. Luce is describing Rahm trying to shore support for the president’s initiatives here:
"“We are treated as though we are children,” says the head of a large organisation that raised millions of dollars for Mr Obama’s campaign. “Our advice is never sought. We are only told: ‘This is the message, please get it out.’ I am not sure whether the president fully realises that when the chief of staff speaks, people assume he is speaking for the president.”"
Will ‘change’ be coming to the current situation?
Mr Luce quotes David Gergen:
" Mr Gergen says members of the inner circle meet two key tests. First, they are all talented. Second, Mr Obama trusts them. “These are important attributes,” Mr Gergen says. His biggest doubt is whether Mr Obama sees any problem with the existing set-up.
“There is an old joke,” says Mr Gergen. “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”"
An illuminating article that should be read in full at the link provided previously. Financial Times allows limited page views free without registration, if you are new to their site it should be free with no registration required.