The Obama press operation bears little resemblance to its well-oiled campaign predecessor. The Judd Gregg mess is bad enough on its own merits, but the White House press team seems determined to make it worse.
First, they offered conflicting accounts of the withdrawal. The president was blindsided. No, maybe not. Well, you figure it out.
Second, they adopted a nasty tone unbecoming of any White House. As one report noted:
“Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart”. So, it’s going to become a nasty blame game between Gregg and the White House — something which can only diminish Obama.
That tactic also perpetuated the storyline needlessly, as Gregg denied the accusation that he had sought the job from the White House. At this point, only the most devoted Obama-spinners take the White House push-back at face value.
Less than a month ago Obama held the high ground. He had the aura of competency, ethical purity, and unquestioned respect. That’s been scuffed up more than most would have imagined in less than a month. And to boot, the candidate who mastered the media now has a White House press operation which rivals Scott McClellan for credibility, charm, and effectiveness.