Saturday, December 7

Media: Can't blame Obama b/c *no* meetings with HHS chief from 2010 to launch date

As several have pointed out, Obama has never held a job that involved any significant management or responsibilities.  Oh, he chaired a scam "organization" in Chicago that channeled $120 million in public and private funds to supposedly "innovative" schools--with absolutely no improvement in any criteria--and he was a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago, but that's about it.

But hey, he's a faaabulous manager and executive, because...well, he was editor of the Hahvahd Law Review, and that was a reeally prestigious position with lots of responsibilities.  And there's all that community organizing experience.  So...with all that, why didn't he know Obamacare was in trouble long before the October 1st launch date?  Surely with a law intended to completely transform the nation's health insurance, he must have been meeting with his HHS secretary every week to get briefed on problems and areas that might benefit from his personal intervention.

Few things remove roadblocks faster than a call from the president.  So what should we make of this?
With so much riding on [a successful launch of Obamacare], one would assume he held weekly, if not daily, one-on-one meetings with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to isolate problems, challenge assumptions, apply executive pressure where needed and successfully manage a project of scale.

That did not happen, at least not according to Obama’s own official White House calendar.  From July of 2010 to Nov. 30, 2013 [that is, three-and-a-half years], the president’s public schedule records no one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius.  [But] over the same period, the president's calendar lists 277 private meetings with his other Cabinet secretaries (excluding full Cabinet meetings).
That's not from Fox News but from Politico--a solidly Democrat-loving website.  So one wouldn't expect them to publish anything remotely critical of King Barack. So what's up?

Lots of Republicans think it means the Lying Media are starting to realize how they were duped by Team Obama, but that's either naive or delusional in the extreme. Instead what we're seeing here is a canny strategy: 

The media isn't about to abandon the goal of socialism.  And as long as Obama stays on this track they'll keep supporting him at any cost.  So if the "Affordable" Care Act doesn't perform, the media has to find a way to make it Not Obama's Fault.  The obvious way is to portray him as *totally* relying on his HHS secretary to actually manage the implementation of a fabulous, clear, "wildly popular" law.

If the thing eventually works--even if badly--Obama will get all the credit for carefully selecting great managers.  If it doesn't, Obama gets no blame because he had no idea that a department head would fail to do her job.  I mean, look how hard he works, almost 20 hours every day!  He can't be expected to run the entire government single-handed!

But of course for this no-lose strategy to work, Obama can't have frequent meetings with Sebelius.  And having no one-on-one meetings at all works even better.  And sure enough, here's Politico's setup:
if Obama was not meeting regularly one-on-one with his HHS secretary to help navigate his signature legislative achievement safely into harbor, it’s hard to discern exactly what the president knew and when he knew it.
Neat, huh.  And in case you still didn't get the message, here's a second pass by Politico:
Perhaps the insular White House team wanted to distance the president from the bureaucratic process in the hopes of granting him...deniability if the launch failed. Or perhaps the lack of meetings reinforces the severity of what the New York Times describes as..."tensions between the White House chief of staff and senior health department officials.”
Ah, yet another novel, creative excuse: "tensions between the chief of staff and senior health department officials."  Seems like a good manager/executive would be able to fix that.  But of course he didn't know.  Because everyone knows that a president's key subordinates try to keep him in the dark about major problems that might torpedo his signature legislation and achievement.


The writer concludes with what looks at first like a hard-hitting critique:
Whatever the cause, the launch of will go down in the annals of executive management as a case study of failure. Obama must answer for his absence of leadership.
But clearly, no one in the liberal media have any interest in actually, y'know, making the smooth-talking community organizer answer for this alleged absence of leadership.

Update:  Author Peter Schweitzer is actually fairly conservative.  But Politico's editors definitely aren't.  I'll stand by my statement that the published this article because--far from indicting Obama--it actually furthers the goal of giving him excellent cover if Obamacare has too many problems.


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