The Campaign Spot

Obama Launches New PR Offensive for Dysfunctional Web Site

As mentioned below, today’s Morning Jolt talks about President Obama’s inability to see himself and his administration clearly. He can’t grasp the severity or the scope of the problem; he continually shifts back to seeing it as a “messaging” problem. Back in November, he described the problem facing Obamacare as one of “rebranding.”

Today Obama is going back to one of his favorite maneuvers:

The Obama administration on Tuesday will launch a campaign to promote the benefits of the president’s signature health care law, in a bid to blunt withering and widespread criticism over HealthCare.gov’s technical problems and insurance policy cancelations. The campaign will start Tuesday with Obama speaking at a White House event where he’ll be flanked by people who have been helped by the law, according to an administration official.

Remember Jessica Sanford. After a White House event where the president mentioned her as one of the program’s success stories, she received a letter declaring that there had been an error, that she did not qualify for a tax credit for insurance. Without the credit, she realized she couldn’t afford the monthly premium.

The problem is not the branding, or a lack of administration efforts to tout the program. The problem is that the program cannot work as promised the way it is currently structured. And what’s more, the much-touted web site still doesn’t work:

This is page A1 in the Washington Post. This is not some hidden, obscure report of an individual’s problem. In a normal White House, in a competent White House, someone would be telling the president, “We can’t just do another White House event, rolling out individuals who may or many not have insurance under the new law. The happy-talk stories don’t matter if the website doesn’t work. We just told the American people for the second time that the site works, when it doesn’t. We have a crisis of credibility, and the only way to solve that is to A) level with the American people about the scope of the problems with the system and B) do what we said we would do.”

There is no one who can tell the president that.

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