May 13, 2013

President calms no one with assurances

President Obama indicates how high the scandals are piling up.
President Obama held a press conference today with British Prime Minister Cameron to make a joint statement.  While I half-expected a declaration of ear on Syria a la Wag the Dog or Bill Clinton, the statement was clearly a set up for a question period for Obama.  The first two questions were exactly as expected.

The two question focused on the expanding scandals of IRS targeting of conservative groups (beyond just Tea Party groups now) and the cover-up of a failure of leadership in the Benghazi embassy attacks.

The president punted on the IRS in his lengthy, stalling for time answer. While he said everything he needed to say- unacceptable, held accountable, serious, etc. - it was clearly not a robust admonition of the IRS. In fact while it may be enough to cause some jitters on the left, no one on the right should feel comforted by it.  This is simply more of the obfuscation and stalling from this president similar to what the administration has done in so many other circumstances, like Benghazi.

On Benghazi the president took another approach. A political approach.  He blamed the Republicans for conducting a witch hunt.  That's been an effective tool for him since he was running against Hillary Clinton.  Except that now even Democrats are wondering what happened in Benghazi and the cat is already out of the bag that the White House was instrumental in altering the CIA's summary of events to suit their political narrative.  Blaming the GOP won't do much more than stall for time.  Prematurely there were reports Clinton would get tossed under the bus to keep Obama at arm's length from the trouble.  But now it looks like the first victim will be spokesperson Jay Carney. 

I'm sure he won't be alone in that regard. However this scandal is not over yet and is likely to get worse for the president, not better. Sacking people will not make the inaction or the cover up go away.  While the president's carefully planned answers made his points, his assurances should calm no one, even the president himself.
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