Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Out of Confidence Men

"Just read "Confidence Men." It's good. It's smart. It rings true. It's a tough read for Team Obama."

Journalist Marc Ambinder, on Ron Suskind's new book "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President."

The book portrays President Obama as weak in handling conflicts with his staffers and getting steamrolled by his Lawrence Summers, Tim Geithner and Rahm Emanuel. This was told to Suskind by staffers on-the-record and with the cooperation of the administration. Team Obama is now trying to do push back. The problem is Suskind has these conversations on tape. Anita Dunn denied she claimed the White House was sexist towards women. Suskind revealed a tape to the Washington Post that made Dunn's original on-the-record quote even more damning.

"I remember once I told Valerie [Jarrett] that, I said if it weren’t for the president, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” Dunn is heard telling Suskind. “Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women."

A White House that gives complete access to a well-known muckraking reporter and then have staffers show incredibly poor message discipline. This is not a smart administration.

Suskind appeared on Morning Joe to discuss a meeting female staffers had with the President about sexism from Summers and Emanuel. Obama told them he wouldn't fire them because he needed them. I have yet to figure out what positive things did Summers and Emanuel do in the Obama administration.

Summers was such an egomaniac that he was telling people in the administration that he was smarter than Obama.

According to Orszag, Summers says, "You know, Peter we're really home alone. There's no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes." Later, Orszag says to Suskind, "Larry just didn't think the president knew what he was deciding. Was this [obstruction of the president's wishes] outright and willful?" In other words, asks Orszag, was Summers saying, "I know more than the president flat-out? That strikes me as ... likely."

Joy-Ann Reid tweeted me that I just attacked Summers because I hated him. I tweeted her the Summers quote. Reid never tweeted me back. The thing about Obamabots such as Reid is they never want to talk about the substance about the criticism.

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