Jul 14, 2010

The Blame Game Starts Early

Facing electoral disaster in November, the infighting begins.......

President Obama attended an emergency meeting with House Democratic leaders yesterday in an attempt to quell the uproar in Congress over comments his press secretary made about the fall elections.

House Democrats were upset by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' comments to NBC News that enough seats were in play to give Republicans a chance to take back the House. But what sent them into orbit was his contention that it would take "strong campaigns by Democrats" to keep the House out of GOP hands.

"What they wanted to do is separate themselves from us," Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey told the Washington Post. He said the White House planned to create a narrative that if Democrats lose their House majority, it's due to their poor campaigning rather than the political weakness of President Obama. At least publicly, House Democratic leaders have not endorsed Mr. Pascrell's theory but many rank-and-file members are furious that they've repeatedly been asked to cast tough votes on unpopular White House-backed bills, some of which were never likely to be voted on by the Senate.

One House Democrat says the relationship between the Obama White House and Congress reminds him of the 1970s commercials for Life cereal that featured a boy named "Mikey," who could always be tricked into tasting the cereal. "There's a sense that's the White House's attitude toward us," the House Democrat told the Washington Post. "And now, Mikey ate it and he's choking on it, and there's no appreciation."

-- John Fund

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