The Chicago Squad (Emanuel, Axelrod and Jarrett, with Robert Gibbs)
To say that Emanuel, Jarrett and Axelrod performed stellar as political advisors in 2009, you will need to take a bicarbonate of soda for that rationale.
The new excitement is that President Obama will bring both factions, Democrats and Republicans, to the White House for negotiating health care, again, but this time in the ray of sunlight. Oh, it will be on television.
To say that I am jumping up and down or doing a "Dorothy" by clicking my ebony pimped out black encrusted crystal stilettos for this announcement, you will be waiting a long time for that one. And I can jump in my pumps!!!
Let me be clear, I am glad that Barack Obama is going on television, doing President's Time, calling the Republicans out, and Democrats to some extent, but when the euphoria dies down it comes back to this, "Did anything change?" And the answer is "NO".
Now, I have to look at what happened in 2009? Sure, we were over the moon in having the Democrats in charge and Barack Obama as president, but did major legislation move forward to make a difference? And I mean a difference the average American can feel, talk about at the dinner table and the answer is no.
Senator Al Franken was right in lashing out his frustrations towards the White House, primarily the Political Team. They have been horrible from practically day one. I refuse to believe that this political team did not know the frustration of the public out here on the Wall Street bonuses, bailout monies, confusion of the health care bill, etc. They did know, they just chose to ignore it and believed that once any health care bill was passed the poll numbers will shoot up. Damn, what a difference a clusterfuck year makes.
The Obama White House political team which includes Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, Advisors Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod has stepped on many toes. The primary beef from Democrats from Capitol Hill has been lack of leadership from the White House, President and this criticism goes far back to last summer.
The fact is we have our president, rebooting, wanting to bring sunlight to the dark on health care. He needs to. The Democrats need major legislation to win in November, so the pander train is in full force. This is damage control by David Plouffe, because that political bunch would never allow Obama on television in the open after the corrupt deals made by the very political team on behalf of the President. These very deals from Sens. Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and the pharmaceutical deal has hurt the very "transparency" of this White House. Now, it is reboot time. It is those deals from the super smart political team which is finding times a bit harder now.
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.
I never understood the namby-pamby of this White House. I expected the olive branch, openness to the other side, but when it did not work to move on. I did not expect the continuation of bipartisanship when the Republicans have continued to spit in our faces.
David Plouffe is right on this point:
"Republicans right now are just sitting back and slinging arrows," Plouffe said. "We need to infiltrate their camp and shine some light over their side of the fence."
Absolutely, we need to shine the light and expose the Republicans for the cowards and obstructionists they are. In the mean time, that political team which has delivered disastrous results, thus far, needs to be revamped too. Along with having CREDIBLE individuals on television who can speak crisp, sharp, factual on a smack down mode in behalf of the White House.
Lastly, with the meeting for health care being televised (February 25), out in the open, expect all the deals that the smart political team made on behalf of the Obama White House to be out in the open, with apologies by President Obama for making these deals. In the end, can we get bipartisanship from this meeting? I doubt it. This issue is too politicized and damaged, in my view. The only thing that can move forward is having the Republicans say no, publicly, and have the Democrats find some leadership over in D.C. to fix the bill and push it through.
Again, that leadership thingy? That is asking an awful lot for the Democrats to produce. I hope I am wrong, but thus far by their performance, I don't think so.