In a sign of liberal panic, NPR's Diane Rehm Show spent its first hour Monday questioning President Obama's management style. As their website elaborated on the Healthcare.gov fiasco and the NSA spying on world leaders, "the latest embarrassments have even some of the president’s supporters questioning his management style."
To insure that their comments weren't too upsetting to Obama-loving NPR listeners, several journalists -- Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and David Gergen of CNN -- insisted the Obama administration has been "relatively scandal-free" in its operations:
MARCUS: This is not a scandal in the traditional sense of scandal. And this is not -- but scandals and problems are a fairly common hallmark of second term presidencies. There's a lot of reasons for that. The president may be feeling very emboldened and verging on cocky/arrogant. The staff -- many of the best staff may have left, or they're exhausted. You've gotten opposition that's just so furious that they haven't won the White House for a second time that they're going to make your life even more miserable.
This has been really -- and I know people are going to call about Benghazi and other things, but this has been really a very -- and the IRS -- this has been a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term.
Gergen agreed strongly:
GERGEN: I particularly agree that -- with Ruth that this has been a scandal-free administration by and large, and we should appreciate that. I also agree with Donna that it's laughable that President Obama is a bystander. I don't think that's truth. He's being very deeply involved in a lot of these programs.
What I do think is there is an insularity problem and that is that the president, as all presidents have done, brought in some terrific people with him from Chicago. He brought the people he trusted, have been with him two campaigns, naturally enough. But what good president have done -- most effective presidents have done have then supplemented those -- that inner circle with heavyweights whom they can look to.
That's pretty shameless. Gergen's hinting that, for example, Clinton went outside his Little Rock inner circle to tap heavyweights like.... David Gergen. Is this guy sending his resume to Obama again? At least Marcus is admitting that Obama himself was lacking in the executive heavyweight department:
MARCUS: But he did come into office with very little management, no executive branch, executive office experience like former governors, very little time in public federal office. And I think that we may be seeing the consequences of that, and particularly in health care, where you know you've got this enormous complicated program that would be a challenge for the most experienced manager. To not have brought in the ultimate czar [for the Obamacare launch] is obviously a huge mistake in retrospect.