Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Obama: Screw-upper in chief.

Yesterday was a rough day for the Obama administration. Just as we were digesting the news of Tom Daschle bowing out as OHB's designate to head HHS for dodgy tax reasons, news came that his pick to head the new WH position of Chief Performance Officer, Nancy Killefer, was also dropping out for dodgy tax reasons.

Who did he get to vet these appointments anyway, the same folks who worked for John McCain? Or is it just that every big shot in Washington with a cushy government-related job tries to avoid paying taxes on their nannies, who always seem to have dubious citizenship status? Too bad we don't get to look into every Senator's tax records while we're at it.

In any event, my concern isn't so much with the vetting or some unpaid taxes-- stuff happens as Rummy once said -- it's the way Obama responded to the dogged questioning of a suddenly inquisitive press.


"The twin bombshells overshadowed Obama's bid to showcase his economic stimulus plan in a flurry of television interviews and reflected the potential traps he has set for himself by promising a new era of ethical government.

'I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards, one for powerful people, and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes,' Obama said in an interview with CNN.

'I think this was a mistake. I think I screwed up. And, you know, I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again,' he said."

He made the rounds of the big media operations saying "I screwed up," over and over. I think it's refreshing -- after 8 years of Bush trying to think of one mistake he'd ever made -- to hear a president finally be honest about something, but when I heard about this I almost hit the ceiling.

The standard political rule of thumb for the past thirty years, at least, is that you never admit a freaking mistake. Whether you're a Republican or a Democratic president you never admit you've done anything wrong. Jimmy Carter's great sin was admitting he, and we, weren't perfect. It's something us Democrats have been suffering for ever since.

That's why W. would never be drawn into that kind of conversation. That's rule # 1. He may have been delusional, but he wasn't suicidal.

There's a reason you never admit you fucked up. And most especially you never say it in the form of a freaking sound bite!!! Because, your enemies can do stuff like play it over and over again just like NPR's Morning Edition is doing right now.

He's just coined the phrase they'll all be using to characterize his administration from here on out. "I screwed up." "I screwed up." "I screwed up." "I screwed up." "I screwed up." "I screwed up." "I screwed up."

He said it, we're just confirming it.

This is the problem with having academics in political office. They know all the theory, they know the history, but they don't have any practical experience or any freaking Goddamn common sense. Jesus!

[Case in point, I searched "I screwed up" and up comes at the top Michelle Malkin writing this: "Screw up, move up, no consequences for the Screwer-Upper-In-Chief. Cue 'I’m Sorry' and let’s talk about my glistening pecs again, shall we?." (Find it yourself, I'm not linking that bitch to my blog.)]


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