Who’s Zooming Who?
By Wamara Mwime
On Wednesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs uncovered one of the great mysteries about the Obama Administration. It seems they have not decided to out some of the Republicans who have been blocking appointees, healthcare votes and causing utter stagnation in the Senate. See the exchange right here:
Q Why don't you use his name?
MR. GIBBS: I did on Friday -- Senator Bunning for Kentucky --
Q Does he want everyone to run out of benefits?
MR. GIBBS: Look, sometimes even using their names doesn’t create the shame that you would think it would normally engender when there are people that lost their unemployment benefits because one person decided they were going to gum up the works. It's just never -- it's just not how it's ever worked. I don't know why. I don't know why?
Q Okay. Does the President feel it's part of his job to explain or justify the use of reconciliation, or to educate the American people about what it is from his perspective, given the fact that of course Republicans are referring to it as "ramming" the bill through? Does he feel the need to kind of provide another perspective on that issue?
MR. GIBBS: I think he would hope that that would be the cause many of you (the press) would take up.
Why doesn’t Gibbs think mentioning names is important? This seemed right out of Alice in Wonderland. For example, a smattering of questions from the White House press corps (minus yours truly who has been working on a few different short and long term projects) seem far from the subject of Republican obstruction. One journalist asked, “Is Obama hoarding desserts?” in reference to his slightly higher cholesterol rating during an annual physical fitness report. Another reporter asked who the president was “bumming cigarettes off” as part of the same line of questioning. Not very in-depth.
The bigger questions that comes from Gibbs’ “passing the buck” revelation is, who will help the effort to get things pushed through and will the media be to blame if Democrats lose seats in November thanks to the media? Gibbs suggestion seems to say us White House reporters have really got to start cracking to do David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuels’ jobs. I did get a copy of the Washington Post article on Senator Jim DeMint blocking the TSA appointment from veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, but that was clearly not enough. Should we both feel ashamed for not getting DeMint to see the light and approve Errol Southers, the Obama TSA appointee? Both of Obama’s top political advisers arrived at the White House with serious resumes on just this kind of negotiating. Axelrod made millions with a public relations firm in Chicago.
Rahm has his millions and even seems to control his own bounty of reporters, like Washington Post reporters like Dana Milbank who wrote a custom piece titled, "Why Obama needs Rahm at the top." The article staunchly defended Emanuel’s position as White House Chief of Staff, while blaming others for Obama’s shortcomings. This was a bogus journalism project and news on the web suggested Milbank wrote the article defending Emanuel’s inability to make things happen with notes from the White House Chief of Staff’s stockpile of political friends.
Axelrod, Emanuel and the White House still have an empty director seat at TSA. Will
Obama make a recess appointment? If Ax and Rahm are working on this behind the scenes, why is there no new TSA Director? This would seem like the most bipartisan thing to accomplish, especially after the Detroit bomb scare. If Obama is really hoping on the media to make it happen, as Gibbs suggested, they had better not hold their breath.
The White House needs to identify any and everyone who might be obstructing their goals, especially while Republican have stooped to a new low with an ugly fundraising strategy.
What we don’t want to say could hurt America…So let’s just get it off our chest. Perhaps nothing is getting done because everyone involved is making $100,000 or more and in some cases have millions in the bank. The urgency to do this jobs bill brought up this very question in my mind. Almost all of the players involved from Emanuel to Gibbs or even RNC Chairman Steele don’t personally have to worry about flying America’s friendly skies in a domestic plane. Each is well off enough to fly private or even on Air Force One. So the TSA appointment does not affect them personally as it would you or your family in some airport going through the usual security.
So some urgency has been lost in the process. The American public is watching this lackadaisical Washington theater while they are losing homes, jobs, retirement, healthcare, airline security and unemployment benefits. Tough break. The 24 hour news cycle further magnifies this for the hopeless Americans watching the train wreck all day and night.
Wamara Mwine covers the White House for Examiner.com and PoliticsInColor.com. At United Press International, NBC and CNN, Mwine covered national politics.