The Corner

New Book Depicts ‘Divided and Dysfunctional’ White House

Ron Suskind, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, has a book coming out soon looking at President Obama’s White House. The picture isn’t pretty.

Here is the New York Times review:

A new book claims that President Obama’s response to the economic crisis was hampered by a White House economic staff plagued by internal rivalries, a domineering chief adviser and a Treasury secretary who dragged his feet on enforcing decisions with which he disagreed. . . .

Mr. Suskind quotes from two memos for the president in which Pete Rouse, a senior White House aide, wrote, “There is deep dissatisfaction within the economic team with what is perceived as Larry’s imperious and heavy-handed direction of the economic policy process.”

And here is the Washington Post:

A new book claims that the Obama White House is a boys’ club marred by rampant infighting that has hindered the administration’s economic policy and left top female advisers feeling excluded from key conversations. . . .

The book, due out next week, reveals a White House that at times was divided and dysfunctional.

It says that women occupied many of the West Wing’s senior positions, but felt outgunned and outmaneuvered by male colleagues such as former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Summers.

“I felt like a piece of meat,” Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, said of one meeting in which Suskind writes she was “boxed out” by Summers.

Dunn told Suskind that the problems began during the 2008 campaign. At one point she was viewing a television ad with other campaign officials and was shocked to see no women in the spot.

I wonder what the impact of the book will be, considering that president Obama faces the lowest poll numbers of his presidency, not to mention heavy skepticism about his policies and ability to run this country.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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