In what is obviously a painfully transparent attempt to give gravitas, depth, and a sense of conviction and mission to the Obama administration as he faces more and more criticism over the Gulf ,the economy, unemployment, and huge disappointment over a tepid healthcare reform bill, Rahm Emanuel supposedly let it be known that he is "sick of the idealism in the White House."
That sound you hear is not an earthquake but a few hundred million people rolling on the floor laughing.
The truth is there has never been a shred of idealism in the White House about anything, or anything Obama has ever done in 13 years of elected office. Obama is about as idealistic politically as Richard Nixon and he shows it time and time again, most brazenly during the Democratic primary campaign for the nomination but has continued it into his presidency and his first 18 months in the White House.
Obama's lack of commitment, backbone and conviction was painfully clear during the health care debate when he capitulated every other day to whoever was criticizing him the most, then sold out the public option to a bunch of health industry lobbyists ( as reported by the New York Times last August) after pledging to support it to the very end. Then in typical Obama style, when asked about the loss of the public option in the health care bill in a PBS interview he simply lied claiming he didn't lose anything because he had never campaigned for a public option. Even Nixon would has asked if the guy was crazy. A slew of youTube videos showing Obama campaigning for the public option as well as his own campaign literature promising the public plan was soon all over the net.
The White House, any White House,is well aware of public relations. Messages are tightly controlled, ( which is why the General McChrystal Rolling Stone article has him in hot water),and people do not go off on their own expressing opinions that haven't been cleared in advance (except obviously McChrystal).
There is not the slightest doubt, none, that Emanuel's statement that he was "fed up with the idealism in the White House", was intentionally made public and was a calculated attempt to score political points for Obama, and was something known to, discussed and agreed on by Obama in advance.
It was just one more cynical political ploy by a White House that has always put process and politics ahead of policy, and it was a ploy made with Obama's knowledge and probably collusion.
In many ways its another example of Obama and the White House counting on at least some members of the press to be stupid enough not to see through it, and that is a calculation that has paid off for them politically in the past.
There is no idealism in the White House. There isn't even any real competent pragmatism. There is only politics, and as Obama has shown, he will turn on a dime if he thinks its the political thing to do. Just look at the results of healthcare reform, something most Democrats are bitterly disappointed with.
So far the attempt at painting Obama as an idealist isn't working and probably never will. The best thing Obama has going for him is that he is not George W. Bush, unquestionably the worst and most incompetent president in history. But so far Obama has been a distant second.
Some in the press will swallow Emanuel's "leak" like trained seals swallowing fish the zookeeper throws their way. But its not likely to do much good. Not given the reality of Obama's presidency so far, which, given what has been clear about Obama politically should come as no surprise. And as most Democrats will tell you, has been anything but ideal.
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