Video: White House flummoxed by Feinstein threat

posted at 5:23 pm on February 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Has a new administration ever looked this incompetent? Dianne Feinstein sounded a note of rebellion in the Senate today, threatening to vote against the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Porkulus Bill if it didn’t focus more on actual and immediate job creation than its current version does. When asked whether the Obama administration anticipated this or could give Feinstein those assurances, spokesman Robert Gibbs looked lost (via Melissa Clouthier):

Feinstein hasn’t yet committed to voting against the bill, but she’s not exactly supportive either, and it’s a bad time to start losing Democrats. As David Gregory’s question subtly references, Barack Obama has accused critics of the plan for supposedly playing petty politics. Does Obama include Feinstein in that group? Gibbs has no germane response except babbling some tired slogans that have already failed to convince people that Obama knows what he’s doing.

Obama has already flunked this test of his administration. He needed to understand that Nancy Pelosi would be his biggest problem in seeking bipartisanship. She has torpedoed any chance Obama had of gaining significant Republican support, and now he may not have enough votes to avoid a filibuster of the stimulus package, let alone get bipartisan cover. Feinstein has now stripped him of the “mean Republicans” cover, too. It’s a disaster for the new administration.

Update (AP): Via Breitbart, here’s the full clip of Feinstein’s statement, in which she makes clear that it’s the tax cuts, not the spending, that’s scaring her off. The longer this drags on the more it reminds me of the failed amnesty bill, where every move to placate Republican hardliners alienated Democratic amnesty shills and vice versa until the whole thing collapsed. According to Mark Hemingway, roughly a dozen Democrats are unhappy with the bill in its current form. Is this compromise simply unworkable?

Update (Ed): Major Garrett and Fox, not David Gregory and NBC. Sorry about that — I could have sworn ….


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Anyone notice how large Gibbs’ forehead is? He should sell advertising on it.

InterestedObserver on February 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM

This is like 3 stooges politics. You have to love it.

lexa on February 6, 2009 at 6:38 PM

IF this is the smartest president ever, give me a dumb one.

jukin on February 6, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Maybe I should have just thrown the election and bought my old senate seat back from Blago. Michelle, where did you hide those damn cigarettes!!!
- Barack Obama

MB4 on February 6, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Has a new administration ever looked this incompetent?

Forget “new” and forget “looked”. Has any administration ever been this incompetent? Not even close.

But, that’s what you get with a Precedent.

progressoverpeace on February 6, 2009 at 6:51 PM

I’m not an economist nor do I pretend to be one on TV. So either I don’t understand what is being said, or I do understand but it’s just illogical to me. If I’m given a $600 check and put that money into my bank. Isn’t that money, along with money from other like minded individuals, going to be used by said financial institution to fund business loans. Which is the problem that stated this entire situation, the lack of investment capital through financial institutions.

Zaire67 on February 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM

I had the same question when I watched that Feinstein speech.

aikidoka on February 6, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Prediction: Gibbs to write the first tell all insiders dirty laundry book about the Obama Administration.

Caper29 on February 6, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Feinstein needs to take up this issue with Pelosi . . . Obama is nothing more thatn Pelosi’s sock puppet and is totally incapable of deciding anything.

rplat on February 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM

If 40% of the stimulus is tax cuts, and the stimulus package is $900Billion, we have $360Billion in tax cuts going straight back into the pockets of every American. How can that not stimulate the economy?

And there’s a good reason why upper income people don’t spend those tax cuts — their mattresses are far thicker and fluffier with the tax cut hidden away, right?

unclesmrgol on February 6, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Did you mean Major Garrett, or is David Gregory on a clip I missed? And if you mistakenly called Major Garrett David Gregory, will you publicly apologize to him? (Major Garrett, that is.)

phlegn on February 6, 2009 at 7:11 PM

People ripped W for sunsetting the tax cuts in 2001 but he knew the art of the deal because he had experience doing , you know, real life stuff. At a point you cant make it personal- its business and you settle.
This whole thing is a very bad omen because it points out that this President has led a singularly insulated life.
Not the best training for the worlds most difficult job.

jjshaka on February 6, 2009 at 7:13 PM

Can you imagine if this was the BooshChimpHitler administration flailing around like this?

YES WE CAN!

The only thing worse than Barry Soetoro is the media’s epic failure at vetting his marxist, ineligible arse.

Let’s roll.

ex-Democrat on February 6, 2009 at 7:13 PM

she is lost because she wants to create jobs
for the tens of millions of illegals bankruting her state..

Shes a moron she wants even more money so she can employ her illegal mexican gardeners as well as that white garbage collector..

man shes a piece of crap..

jcila on February 6, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Come one Obama, let’s see some of those smarts everyone keeps talking about…

Hog Wild on February 6, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Did I miss something? Didn’t Zero tell us for months while campaigning that he had a plan to create jobs and stimulate the economy?

Once elected he then has some botox ridden moron take charge and write a bill that polarized the Congress and according to the CBO will cause more harm than good.

Is this Zeros Presidential version of voting present?

iam7545 on February 6, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Feinstein needs to take up this issue with Pelosi . . . Obama is nothing more thatn Pelosi’s sock puppet and is totally incapable of deciding anything.

rplat on February 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM

I have always seen Obama as a Soros puppet.

Does anyone one here remember any community organizer, become state senator, run for and win us senate, never join the senate and win the potus with zero adminastrative experience??? There was a lot of power pushing this guy forward far more than Polosi has.

allrsn on February 6, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Clearly, Dianne Feinstein is racist.

/sarc

bitsy on February 6, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Prediction: Gibbs to write the first tell all insiders dirty laundry book about the Obama Administration.

Caper29 on February 6, 2009 at 6:58 PM

um, maybe if he can find somebody to ghost write it

the poor guy is truly a special needs type

funky chicken on February 6, 2009 at 8:26 PM

The ratcheting sound you hear are the life rafts being lowered from the decks of the Titanic.

Shouldn’t be long before the Democrat rank and file start throwing their leadership ballast overboard.

Republicans should use their oars to put some distance between themselves and this rock and perhaps push some heads under water.

moxie_neanderthal on February 6, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Communist.

DerKrieger on February 6, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Both mt senators, Pryor and Lincoln seem to be fully on board. Stupid and foolish since AR is a Red state. Lincoln is up for reelection in 2010 and I’m sure she’s heard from Wal-Mart, Tyson, and JB Hunt.

DerKrieger on February 6, 2009 at 8:59 PM

Update (AP): Via Breitbart, here’s the full clip of Feinstein’s statement, in which she makes clear that it’s the tax cuts, not the spending, that’s scaring her off.

Thanks for clearing up another d*mned misleading post.

Kralizec on February 6, 2009 at 9:16 PM

Didn’t Sen. Feinstein ever think that the stimulus checks didn’t work last year because gas cost $4.50/gallon? Fact is, families were using that money to pay increased costs for food, transportation, and (looking ahead to the winter) home heating.

While there are good arguments against stimulus checks, that isn’t one of them; it is only an argument against any policy which creates expensive energy.

That all said, why isn’t a pipeline to ANWR part of this package? It’s been debated for decades, would create jobs, and would have both an immediate and long-term effect on the price of energy. Sheesh, people.

Roxeanne de Luca on February 6, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Does anyone else get the feeling that the press is enjoying teeing off on Gibbs?

I can see it on the reporters face. He KNOWS he is about to give Gibbs a straight right to the chin, he KNOWS it. He has a smug satisfied look on his face as he is asking the question. Heh. They’d never attack The One like this, but Gibbs? Gibbs is pure delight…

Theworldisnotenough on February 6, 2009 at 9:52 PM

I’m worried.

The thing they are public about holding out for is never the real reason they are holding their vote.

She wants something else. I hope it isn’t more change we don’t need.

cryptojunkie on February 6, 2009 at 10:47 PM

ya all gotta learn: the porkules is NOT about stimulus the prokules is ALL ABOUT DESTRUCTION. PORKULAS IS ABOUT SOCIALISM! If you cannot understand (accept) that you will remain ignorant to the death of freedom!!! Please get it together!!!

Once you understand the tactics of the stratagy you will understand how stupid your comments are! THIS IS NOT ABOUT SAVING OUR ECOMOMY, THIS IS ABOUT IMPLEMENTING SOCIALISM!!!!! PLEASE GET IT!!!

allrsn on February 6, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Ok I admit I cannot spell or type worth a damn, but I state a fact you MUST understand!!! our freedom NEEDS your emotionial strength!!!!! Please learn!!!

allrsn on February 6, 2009 at 11:39 PM

Boy, Gibby’s blather shows he’s been drinking the HopeAndChange Kool-Aid straight out of the unicorn horn.

eeyore on February 6, 2009 at 11:42 PM

You stay classy Hot Air, already determining the Obama Administration a failure in less than it’s first month in office.

Obviously the good Senator from California is angling for the Governorship and testing the water with Republicans. Because she’ll be needing those votes if she wants to win the Gov. race. The fact that your whole shpeel doesn’t even mention the aforementioned tidbit of information is a disservice to all your readers.

PresidenToor on February 7, 2009 at 1:07 AM

PresidenToor on February 7, 2009 at 1:07 AM

the point that you are missing is that she is not going along with your messiah’s desires and that your messiah does not have an ounce of power over his own people. this administration is a failure even only a month in when it comes to getting people to work together because his own party is torpedoing his administration. You want to bring in tidbits of inside information that who knows how you got and have nothing to back it up? Try getting information on why Pelosi and Reid are the real pushers behind this PORKULUS bill and why your messiah has no control over it.

TitleofLiberty on February 7, 2009 at 2:44 AM

So incompetence- is that what Obama meant by all of his using “Bush” as perjorative, yet Obama has lowered the bar.
Can we say that we are going to miss having a Harvard MBA in the White House already?

mdetlh on February 7, 2009 at 7:09 AM

Boy, Gibby’s blather shows he’s been drinking the HopeAndChange Kool-Aid straight out of the unicorn horn.

eeyore on February 6, 2009 at 11:42 PM

I love that quote… Hope you don’t mind me using it..

It’s sad that so many people have fallen for the the obama blige

bullseye on February 7, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Just where in the hell are we going to get almost a trillion dollars???

For those liberal morons who say “tax the corporations”, I know this is a difficult concept, but you cannot tax a corporation. All taxes on corporations ultimately fall upon the backs of individuals.

We could borrow money from really friendly countries like Red China… What could possibly go wrong there??

We could put a crushing tax burden on our children and generations after them, if the republic lasts that long.

All this bill does is distribute massive amounts of wealth to people who don’t work and to the democraptic party hacks.

I can see this leading to socialized medicine.. If we go that route and If any of my family members die because of socialized medicine, I will rip the eyeballs out of the nearest liberal and tie them in a square knot.

bullseye on February 7, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Anyone notice how large Gibbs’ forehead is? He should sell advertising on it.

InterestedObserver on February 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I THINK Gibbs needs to blow his nose utterly and completely and thoroughly before he ever gets in front of a microphone again. His nasal speech-through-his-nose affect is awful.

S on February 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Blowing his nose will actually clear his head of the few brain cells he has left. I am compassionate and feel Mr. Gibbs needs all the neurons necessary to regurgitate what the President tells him, so keep sniffling least we miss a Presidential thought.

MSGTAS on February 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I am not buying her rhetoric, because she is DiFi after all, and a more slithery politician is hard to find. However, she is good at giving the appearance of actually applying analysis to this mess and considering its effect on her constituents – me. I hope she does hold out and vote no even for the wrong reasons.

Not holding my breath for sure.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on February 7, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Just a thought, Obambi and Co know this is a mess, they can see (hell, even Biden can see this) the backlash coming. Just like the Harriet Meirs flub with Bush, they need an out. Could it be that they are going to allow some Dems to in effect kill this, let everyone else off the hook so that in 2010 some of them can be reelected because the stupid electorate will have forgotten by then the strong arming and utter insanity of this “Bill to end all bills”?

InTheBellyoftheBeast on February 7, 2009 at 10:55 AM

But, that’s what you get with a Precedent.

progressoverpeace on February 6, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Hey, I like that. President Precedent or Precedent Obama.

Can I use those?

darwin-t on February 7, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I can see this leading to socialized medicine.

bullseye on February 7, 2009 at 8:19 AM

We already got a rolling start down that road with SCHIP, didn’t we?

darwin-t on February 7, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Not even close.

Jimma Carter?

oldleprechaun on February 7, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Gibbs really is terrible at his job – couldn’t someone who’s entire persona is based on being able to give a good speech, hire someone for this job who could do the same?

blish on February 9, 2009 at 8:20 AM

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