One of the finest and most influential political reporters in America, Peter Baker of the New York Times, has a front page story today, in which he documents the problems facing Team Obama. As Baker puts it, Obama promised to “slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a ‘new era of responsibility.’ What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.”
Indeed. And since Baker’s story was written, we’ve learned that Obama’s “performance czar,” Nancy Killefer has withdrawn her nomination because she failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help. You can add Ms. Killefer to the list of troubled nominees — Bill Richardson, Tim Geithner, and Tom Daschle (also since withdrawn). And all of this of course comes on top of Obama waiving ethics rules for lobbyists.
The famously smooth running, No-Drama-Obama Team is rapidly becoming an Abbott and Costello routine — or, as Matt Drudge puts it today, “It’s a Circus.” Circuses are fun to bring your children to; they are not so good to have running the country or occupying the White House.
Many of us predicted that reality and political gravity would soon take over when it came to President Obama and his Administration. But the fact that it’s happening this quickly, and with this much ham-handedness, is a bit shocking. And to think that once upon a time comics were worried that with Obama & Company there would be nothing to mock. If Jon Stewart is looking for material, he can start with this 1986 Tom Daschle for Congress ad.
As one friend wrote to me, “you can’t make this stuff up.”