How bad is it in Washington for the Obama administration? It's Obama "needs to fire somebody" bad, according to former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan. That quote comes from a Politico piece that is, itself, a sign of the apparently tough times ahead for the White House.
Amidst so many scandal-driven Congressional investigations — Benghazi, the IRS, the AP — that we at The Atlantic Wire had to create a scorecard just to keep track of them, Beltway insiders are apparently turning on the administration, big time. Politico's "Behind the Curtain" team of Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei dutifully chronicled the impending dagger to the chest with a gossipy piece full of passive-agressive descriptions about just how little good will the administration had going into the week of 1,000 scandals in the first place.
In the gentle hands of the D.C. publication's scribes, Obama is "aloof," with a "holier-than-thou rhetoric," and the White House is full of "petulance, arrogance and defensiveness." That, Politico argues, is a recipe for disaster: "reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration," they write. But it gets worse:
One Democrat who likes Obama and has been around town for many years said elected officials in his own party are no different than Republicans: they think the president is distant and unapproachable.
“He has never taken the Democratic chairs up to Camp David to have a drink or to have a discussion,” the longtime Washingtonian said. “You gotta stroke people, and talk to them. It’s like courting: you have to send flowers and candy and have surprises. It’s a constant process. Now they’re saying, ‘He never talked to me in the good times.’ ”
So with Washington apparently reacting like a spurned lover, the jury's still out on how the administration will fare through the plethora of scandal fodder that's already piled high. If they're going to get through this in OK shape, though, they'll probably have to get better at the art of the damage control presser. At least one organization has offered some support to the administration on that front: on Tuesday night, Media Matters issued talking points in defense of the Justice Department's secret acquisition of AP reporters and editors' phone records.