A White House nobody went on all five TV news commentating shows yesterday to declare that Obama knew nothing . . . nothing.
His name is Dan Pfeiffer. If you are not a political wonk, you have never heard of him.
When the White House sends out anyone this obscure to represent Obama to the groupies who watch Face the Nation and similar Sunday morning news shows, Obama is in trouble. When the guy is foisted off as a high-level advisor, he is in big trouble.
If this guy is a high-level advisor, then Obama is in big trouble, with or without crises.
The A-Team is gone. This is the second string.
This is not a senior advisor. This is a PR flak.
He said that this is really all about politics. Whenever any political hack uses thus line, his boss is in trouble. Of course it’s about politics. It’s about Washington. In Washington, politics is substantive, not peripheral. If an issue is all about politics in Washington, it’s a bomb under someone, and a lit fuse for his opponents.
He told Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation that Obama’s chief of staff has said that no more than 10% of anyone’s time should be devoted to dealing with all three crises, total: the IRS, the Justice Department’s spying on the Associated Press, and the Benghazi cover-up/spin.
If the chief of staff really said this, then he is living in la-la land. Obama has a trifecta of bad publicity to deal with. The House Republicans smell blood. The White House press corps does, too.
The latest two scandals have helped resurrect the third: Benghazi. This is a two-fer. The Republicans get Obama and Hillary in one scandal. They can say “it’s not about Hillary,” but of course it is. This is about 2014’s Congressional elections, but it’s also about 2016.
This is going to tie up the White House for months. It is going to undercut the White House’s plan to get a new immigration bill passed: “Amnesty R Us.” Because 80% of the votes of recent immigrants who actually vote are expected to go to the Democrats, he wants this bill passed. But the House of Representatives is busy. Very busy. “Don’t call Boehner. He’ll call you.”