I did a short interview with NBC Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd yesterday about the essay I did based on Edward Luce’s Financial Times account of things going awry at the inner core of the Obama administration.
Todd also mentions both my piece and Luce’s in his “First Thoughts” column this morning. Todd and his team write:
*** Obama’s inner circle: We should have mentioned these two pieces earlier — in the Financial Times and the Washington Note — that make some key observations about Obama’s inner circle, and are getting a fair amount of buzz. One excerpt: “The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, [observers] say. In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington – most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office – each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people – Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief… 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.”
Other interesting reactions and thoughts can be read at Digby’s Hullabaloo, pieces by John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog, at Peter Feaver’s Foreign Policy blog, and this morning in The Hill.
Also check out Jake Tapper’s take at ABC’s Political Punch.
There are also a number of sites — some very interesting ones — that take exception to the thesis that Luce and I have both put out there and who think that Obama’s team is getting most things right — or that this kind of palace intrigue article is at most entertaining and at worst malicious. I just want to be up front that there are other views out there — and my intent is not malicious — but rather to put a mirror up to the White House and have the President take a good look at how his presidency is quickly sinking.
In my view, he needs to do what Richard Wolffe in his book Renegade: The Making of a President said Obama likes to do when the President knows he is losing and that is, like in basketball, change things up.
— Steve Clemons