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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Gibbs, Matthews — Who Will Criticize Obama Next, Joe Biden?


The midweek edition of the Morning Jolt features a big roundup of the coming storm of Obamacare, further evidence that the IRS isn’t good at math, and this point about what happens when a very comfortable administration suddenly finds that its old spin and excuses don’t work anymore:

BOOM: The Implosion of the Obama Excuses for the Scandal Parade

Just how bad has it gotten for the Obama administration?

Not even his old spokesman Robert Gibbs can say his boss is handling this stuff well.

Former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs — now an MSNBC contributor — explained to Andrea Mitchell this afternoon that President Obama made White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s job more difficult due to his passive response to the scandals surrounding his administration

Carney would have had an easier time defending the president, suggested Gibbs, if the President had spoken out on the IRS scandal over the weekend.

“The problem is this — the tenor of this briefing would be different if the president had spoken about this on Saturday or Sunday and not on Monday,” Gibbs explained shortly after Carney struggled to answer reporters questions in the White House Press Briefing.

Gibbs added that President Obama sounded like he was “losing patience” with the issue “which is what I do with my 9-year-old.”

Gibbs explained that Obama should have used “more vivid” language and proposed a tough commission to look at the issue while waiting for the Inspector General to release his report on the scandal.

Well, at least Obama still has Mr. Leg-Tingle himself, Chris Matthews, who — wait, what?

Matthews: President Obama has got to stop taking advice from sycophants who keep telling him he’s right and only they can be trusted. He needs to act. He needs to fire people. He needs to grab control of his presidency. He needs to surround himself with people who are ready to fight on every front, because the three problems he faces now, Benghazi, the IRS and the FBI are less likely to be two problems by this time next week than there are to be four and counting. Why? Because, as I said, it’s not just that he’s under attack. It’s that he’s vulnerable. And that is obvious to everyone this side of the White House gates.

Who’s going to denounce the president next, Joe Biden?

What we saw in Tuesday’s White House press briefing, where the press corps appeared ready to break out the pitchforks and torches and go French Revolution on Jay Carney’s dishonest tush, is what happens when a very comfortable, very confident administration suddenly finds that none of the traditional scandal defenses work.

Dennis Miller: “Carney blows more smoke than a Rastafarian’s death rattle.”

Tuesday afternoon, Ace of Spades came up with the idea of a scandal-excuse prediction game in the form of an NFL-style draft, and Twitchy collected some of the best.

Ace began with, “low level employees”, took “Obama gives a historic speech” in the second round (overrated, I would argue that player peaked a few years ago and has really seen less playing time in recent years) and concluded the third round with a very versatile selection who gets a lot of playing time, “Some procedures may need review/Procedures have let us down again.” My first-round selection was the offspring of the Hall of Famer that everyone remembers from the breakout 1998 season, “The real story here is the shadowy network behind our critics making these baseless accusations.” In the second round I went with a player who has been on the field almost constantly since the start of the 2009 season, “If you look back to the Bush administration . . .”

It’s easy to predict these because anyone who has followed the news during more than one scandal has seen them before. There is a playbook in these sorts of matters: It wasn’t me, it was that other figure/local office over there. I was out of the loop. I was in the loop, but the concerns were never adequately communicated, in violation of established procedures. I knew about it, but I didn’t approve of it. There’s an ongoing review, I can’t comment. All of this happened a long time ago, you’re obsessed with ancient history. This is a distraction from the real business of the country. Finally, don’t you understand that my political enemies are behind this?

All of the above lines are meant to get you to focus on something besides what happened, who’s responsible, and who should be held accountable. All of this is mean to persuade us that their decisions and actions aren’t the problem; the problem is with us, for asking questions about it.

To hell with that.

“In my defense, you guys always swallowed these lines before.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Robert Gibbs , Chris Matthews , Scandals , Jay Carney


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