October 1, 2014

GOOD AT GOVERNMENT, BAD AT POLITICS:

Democrats to Obama: Shut Up (Albert R. Hunt, 10/01/14, Bloomberg View)

Democrats, especially members of Congress in competitive elections this fall, have a simple ask of President Barack Obama: cool it.

Specifically, they would like the president to keep as low a profile as possible for the next five weeks, to foil Republican efforts to make him the centerpiece of the midterm elections. They are particularly concerned about news-making interviews. The latest flap flowed from the president's weekend sit-down with "60 Minutes," in which he suggested that the swift rise of Islamic State was due in part to faulty U.S. intelligence.

Predictably, the intelligence community struck back, with articles in the New York Times and the Daily Beast in which unnamed sources said it was the White House that didn't respond to warnings about the growing threat. The front-page Times piece said high intelligence officials were "bristling about being made into scapegoats" by Obama. The White House press secretary yesterday insisted that was not the president's intent.

Whatever the merits, say these Democrats, it was a no-win situation for the White House and them. When an Obama controversy dominates the political conversation, they worry it plays into Republican hands.

This is one of a number of so-called unforced errors by the Obama White House. 

Posted by at October 1, 2014 11:41 PM
  

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