Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obama Power: The Yellow Couch Sitters, Part I The Establishment Fights Back

There is a battle going on within the White House. One that has gone largely unreported by the mainstream press. Chained to a toxic president, the establishment Democrats are desperately trying to separate Obama from his coterie of tone deaf, leftist advisers. This is in response to disastrous mid-terms defeats and, more importantly, at the urging of large campaign contributors.

The Ultimate Insider

An early salvo in this war was launched on July 21, 2009 on the pages of the New York Times Magazine section:

While both of them obviously want the president to succeed, Emanuel’s criteria for “success” are straightforward. Jarrett, according to Muñoz, is “very focused on why he ran in the first place” — a psychological calculation that only Jarrett would presume to undertake and which therefore is bound to drive others nuts.

Bubble Trouble

On March 20, 2011, the Washington Times launched another broadside with this article:

The president has trimmed his confidants to a small cabal - what one longtime reporter called “the yellow couch sitters.” It is this half-dozen or so people who brainstorm with the president in the Oval Office - arrayed around what always seems to be a yellowish couch, regardless of the president - and decide the path to take.

Obama’s whole career has been about audacity - arriving in the Senate and then not taking it very seriously, and deciding to run for president before amassing any real qualifications for the job,” said one longtime White House reporter. “So now, in a way, the insulation of the White House has fed this audacity in an unproductive manner - his strength becoming his weakness - so that he acts in a way where he doesn’t care about perceptions and thinks that because he does it or says it, it must be good

 Valerie Jarrett -  Obama's Brain

During the campaign, Vogue featured this puff piece on her:

She has been variously described in the press—and to me—as "the other side of Barack's brain," "Barack's secret weapon," and "a female version of Barack," all of which get at parts of her specialness but none of which quite sums it up.

Rahm Emmanuel - Dead Fish

Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama's Chief of Staff, was aware of the threat that Jarrett posed and made early efforts to get her out of the way:

The promise: President Obama, year one By Jonathan Alter

One of these efforts, contacts with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, to get her appointed to Obama's  vacant Senate seat sparked some controversy when it popped up on FBI wiretaps:

The promise: President Obama, year one By Jonathan Alter
Bill Daley - Adult to the Rescue

Daley, who took over the job from Rahm Emanuel in January, faces a daunting task: Not since Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office during the inflation-plagued 1970s have business leaders -- many of whom supported Obama in 2008 -- soured so badly on a President so quickly. A big reason for this desertion is Obama's policies -- massive health care and banking reforms clearly rankled them. But executives particularly dislike the way the President talks about business.

Just listen to how he sums up Obama's problems with business: "The relationships weren't there," he says bluntly. In his first two years in office Obama had "no one from the business world" around him. "People like Valerie [Jarrett] worked to change that. But he didn't have those long relationships, and that raised more cynicism."

Peter Rouse - The Fixer

Known as the Fixer, Pete Rouse's quite unassuming ways have kept him out of the firing line. He is one of Obama's most astute hires and one of biggest reasons Obama is currently president:

The promise: President Obama, year one By Jonathan Alter#

David Axelrod
Peter Roust
David Plouffe
Dan Pfeiffer
Bill Burton
John Favreau
Anita Dunn & Bob Bauer

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