Patterico's Pontifications

12/17/2008

Scouting Obama’s Team

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 5:06 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Citing prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s request that he avoid comment, Barack Obama has so far refused to answer questions about his staff’s discussions with Governor Rod Blagojevich regarding the vacant Illinois Senate seat. As a result, Dana Milbank thinks Obama’s basketball team may be varsity but his politics is barely JV:

“There’s no denying Obama’s team has an impressive starting five: Duncan (6-foot-5), incoming national security adviser James Jones and body man Reggie Love (both 6-foot-4) all played college basketball, while Attorney General-designate Eric Holder and U.N. Ambassador-designate Susan Rice played high school ball.

But Obama’s response to Blagojevich questions has been decidedly junior varsity. Begging off because of an ongoing investigation? Hiding behind Patrick Fitzgerald’s skirt? Warning a reporter not to “waste” a question and asking for an alternative question? All four techniques were popularized by Bush.”

I think Obama the politician is not that different from Obama the basketball player.

— DRJ

18 Responses to “Scouting Obama’s Team”

  1. Better analogy:

    Obama has been playing 3-on-3, half court, winner-keeps-the-ball and call-your-own-foul basketball.

    He is now playing full-court regulation ball, with a clock, refs and audience.

    Big difference.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  2. So Obama had two choices: (1) honor the prosecutor’s explicit request not to interfere with or potentially compromise the investigation into blatant political corruption which may somehow implicate directly or indirectly Obama’s own political circle, or (2) ignore the prosecutor’s explicit request, potentially compromise the investigation, and either score cheap political points or attempt to spin away any criticism.

    And you’re complaining? I’d love to hear what you’d say if he chose the second option.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  3. Begging off because of an ongoing investigation? Hiding behind Patrick Fitzgerald’s skirt? Warning a reporter not to “waste” a question and asking for an alternative question? All four techniques were popularized by Bush.”

    We can expect at least 4 years of this. They cannot even criticize Baracky without lying about President Bush.

    Baracky hasn’t even been junior varsity up to this point. Bush league all the way.

    Aplomb – The list of assumptions you based that on is practically endless.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  4. How about #3, push the Chicago Tribune to blow the wiretapping skyhigh before the seat’s actually sold.

    Al (93703e)

  5. It’s funny how the behaviors that the Left hated in GW Bush are perfectly understandable coming from BO. Actually telling a reporter not to “waste” a question? Why, that would be…arrogant…coming from a Rethuglican!

    This guy really doesn’t have much experience, and we are all about to find out how quick of a learner he is….and I hope that he is a quick study.

    Of course, he does have many supporters/idolators in the press, and that will help. Up to a point.

    But the handling of the Blagojevich issue does not make me hopeful. Junior Varsity indeed.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  6. The biggest concern over this Blagojevich scandal should be that Baracky’s initial gut reaction was to be patently dishonest, when the truth would have done quite nicely.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  7. Comment by JD — 12/17/2008 @ 5:38 pm
    At almost every juncture of his thrust to the Presidency, when confronted with controversy,
    he has dissembled and deflected,
    when (as you say) the truth would have done quite nicely.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  8. AD – I do not understand it. I would love someone to explain to me why a rational actor wouold choose to be dishonest and caused oneself problems when the simple truth would acquit themselves, and make an issue go away.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  9. I think it boils down to everyone’s initial reaction to the Baracky Express….
    There’s no there there.

    I believe that his only desire in life is to be, and that he has no real philosophical center to base his life-quest upon.

    If this is the case, we have probably elevated the most dangerous type of individual to a position of great power.
    The future will tell whether he is just going to be incompetent, or a sociopath.

    Another Drew (bc69ec)

  10. Aplomb,

    Dana Milbank is complaining about Obama’s failure to answer. I’m complaining about Obama’s tendency to trash talk when he doesn’t like what people say to him.

    DRJ (803bba)

  11. So Obama had two choices: (1) honor the prosecutor’s explicit request not to interfere with or potentially compromise the investigation into blatant political corruption which may somehow implicate directly or indirectly Obama’s own political circle, or (2) ignore the prosecutor’s explicit request, potentially compromise the investigation, and either score cheap political points or attempt to spin away any criticism.

    Obama or any of his team members could have said that they weren’t going to interfere with the prosecutor’s investigation the minute the story broke. Instead, we were treated to a rapid devolvement from Lightbringer to Wizard of Uhh’s by the assertion that there had been “no contact”, Axelrod stating that he “misspoke” about any contact at all(considering the scandal, that’s a pretty big thing to “misspeak” about), and then Obama asserting that he had argued that there was no “inappropriate contact” when he did no such thing. The comment that they didn’t want to interfere in the investigation came a week after the story broke. It’s only due to the fact that Obama is the media’s creation that they haven’t roasted him repeatedly in press conferences.

    And let’s be honest, if Bush or any other Republican had acted this way you would be screaming “WHAT DID THEY KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT??!!” But holding your own guy accountable when he has a potential public relations disaster on his hands and demanding accountability would take a smidgen of integrity.

    Even if Obama is clean on this, doesn’t it bother you that Obama and his staff would blatantly lie about such superficial bullshit? Is this a pattern of behavior that you want to see in the Oval Office for the next 4-8 years–that someone who would so blatantly lie when by all accounts appears to be clean? What’s going to happen if he ends up getting caught in something REALLY egregious, are you going to make excuses for him then, too?

    Chris (1487d0)

  12. The most ironic aspect of that exchange is that the reporter who was attempting to ask Obama the big question was the same individual whom Blago was trying desperately to get canned from the Trib’s editorial board. Curious, is it not?

    Dmac (e30284)

  13. Hey you’re “wasting a question” if you expect to get a straight answer from the Lightworker.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  14. EASY WAY TO MAKE SURE OBAMA NEVER GETS INAUGURATED (READ CAREFULLY):–

    Since the Supreme Court has now prevented itself from acknowledging the question of whether Barack H. Obama is or is not an Article II “natural born citizen” based on the Kenyan/British citizenship of Barack Obama’s father at the time of his birth (irrespective of whether Barack Obama is deemed a “citizen” born in Hawaii or otherwise) as a prerequisite to qualifying to serve as President of the United States under the Constitution — the Court having done so three times and counting, first before the Nov 4 general election and twice before the Dec 15 vote of the College of Electors — it would seem appropriate, if not necessary, for all Executive Branch departments and agencies to secure advance formal advice from the United States Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel as to how to respond to expected inquiries from federal employees who are pledged to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” as to whether they are governed by laws, regulations, orders and directives issued under Mr. Obama during such periods that said employees, by the weight of existing legal authority and prior to a decision by the Supreme Court, believe in good faith that Mr. Obama is not an Article II “natural born citizen”.

    Ted (429bc3)

  15. Good luck with that, Ted.

    JD (7f8e8c)

  16. Obama voters were JV, and they put one of their own into the highest office.

    Icy Texan (b7d162)

  17. While Obama’s team may have used what may seem like subterfuge about the intial inquiry from the press, Obama had no option but to say: “This is an ongoing investigation…(insert generic political answer to questions about associations during on-going investigations)” Sure, we’d like to know everything right now, and from the mouth of the guy who claims we need transparency, but in the real world this isn’t the way investigations work. I think Obama himself is in the clear on this one.

    Matt (96f134)

  18. Ted, is your grocery store out of aluminum foil?

    SPQR (72771e)


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