Fox-bashing Obama aide to step down

posted at 12:55 pm on November 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The woman who became the face of the White House war on Fox News will leave her post at the end of this month.  Anita Dunn, who also got heavily criticized for stating that one of her philosophical touchstones was Chinese communist Mao Zedong, will return to the private sector but remain available to the Obama administration as a consultant:

White House communications director Anita Dunn will step down from her post at the end of the month and Dan Pfeiffer, her deputy, will take over, according to sources familiar with the move.

Dunn, a longtime Democratic media consultant, took over the job on an interim basis earlier this year when Ellen Moran abruptly left the post to take a job at the Commerce Department. Dunn will return to Squier Knapp Dunn, the consulting firm where she is a partner, but will remain as a consultant to the White House on the communications and strategic matters. …

The passing of the baton from Dunn to Pfeiffer had long been expected within White House circles as she had made clear when she took the job that the “interim” in her title was meant to be taken literally.

Unlike when Moran left, the transition should be somewhat seamless as Dunn and Pfeiffer are longtime confidantes — having worked closely in [Tom] Daschle’s political orbit for years.

As Chris Cillizza notes, this does not come as a surprise.  Dunn never intended to stick around long, which is why some assumed the White House tasked her with leading the war of words on Fox News.  The Chairman Mao quote proved embarrassing, especially in that context, but obviously not fatal to her status as a temporary stopgap.  Had it done that much damage, the White House would have looked elsewhere for her replacement rather than appointing her protege.

The change does give the administration an opportunity to withdraw from the Fox War, though, and it has already given hints of reconsidering its widely-panned strategy of marginalizing the network.  For one thing, it has obviously backfired, as Fox’s audience has grown rather than diminished; it outperformed all of the other cable networks combined for Election Night coverage.  David Axelrod made an 11-minute appearance on Fox last week, and the white flag from the White House was not exactly subtle.

Interestingly, Cillizza also hints that Rahm Emanuel wants to “return to elected office in the not-so-distant future.”  He won’t want to go back to the House, and there’s an open Senate seat up for grabs in Illinois — Obama’s old seat, now being occupied temporarily by Roland Burris.  If Emanuel wants to run for that seat, he’ll have to start soon, and no later than the State of the Union address if he wants to keep other prominent Illinois Democrats out of the primary.  Could we be seeing a new chief of staff — and what would that mean for Obama’s proclivity for letting Nancy Pelosi run his legislative agenda?

Update: David Plouffe flogged his book on Fox, not Axelrod. Axelrod appeared for 11 minutes on Fox last week to discuss policy, not a book. My apologies for the error.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Norwegian on November 10, 2009 at 1:58 PM

My apologies. I didn’t see your post until too late.

Herb on November 10, 2009 at 2:36 PM

I heard Dunn will be the new Geico spokesperson, but that no one is expected to notice any change.

LASue on November 10, 2009 at 2:59 PM

ChannelXRFR is back blogging on Imus Times HERE.

Obvioulsy Imus Fans think Imus has found his sweet spot ;)

Dr Evil on November 10, 2009 at 3:12 PM

While she’s at it she might want to get the end of her tongue clipped. Or better yet get her mouth sewn shut. :)

NathanG on November 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM

So when does her new talk show on MSNBC premiere?

pilamaye on November 10, 2009 at 3:37 PM

“will return to the private sector but remain available to the Obama administration as a consultant:”

I liked Karen Hughes better.

notropis on November 10, 2009 at 3:47 PM

She should have been fired a long time ago. She’s a “communications director” with a pronounced tick of constantly licking her lips and clacking her teeth like her oversized dentures are about to fall out. It’s ghastly to watch. Who thought such a person should have anything to do with “communications”? Oh, and then there’s the Marxist stuff, too. Licking lips, clacking teeth, Marxist love. Yeah, hers should have been the resume they hung in the staff break room to laugh at; naturally, she was deemed highly qualified for the Obama Administration.

Rational Thought on November 10, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Fortunately, her husband is getting a job with the administration at about the same time that she’s getting canned.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2009 at 4:09 PM

As Hening said above: Another on bites the dust

Yes, us Beckheads win again, because:
We are the Champions

Now we know what Beck meant when he told them:
We will Rock You

Game On!

Knott Buyinit on November 10, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Nothing to see here. I read before the Mao controversy that Dun’s job was temporary and sthat he was due to leave in November.

“David Axelrod made an 11-minute appearance on Fox last week, and the white flag from the White House was not exactly subtle.”

You can look at this two ways. Capitulation by the White House. Or, Fox has agreed to the White House terms.

davod on November 10, 2009 at 4:57 PM

She might be gone, but there are thousands and thousands just like her.

Pelayo on November 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM

If she would have been doing an outstanding job, she would have stayed or been re-assigned to a higher position. (Do people really think that once she is gone from the White House she is not going to get a job from some other employer?)

She got the boot.

albill on November 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM

When will she start working for Acorn, SEIU or Goldman Sachs?

dthorny on November 10, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Another one bites the dust!!! and all of the sudden crazy old Glenn Beck is starting to look like a bit of a thorn in the side of the Obama administration and a power player on the national political scene.

Hellrider on November 10, 2009 at 5:18 PM

From Anita Dunn to Anita Done! How long till the whine and cheese party at msdnc?

jdkchem on November 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM

So the WH likes to keep score do they?
Conference standings show Beck is 3 and 0 against Obooboo.
This latest win comes with Beck out on sick leave.
Gosh gee whiz Mr. Soetoro, YOU SUCK!

Blacksmith8 on November 10, 2009 at 10:26 PM

So the lizard queen bows out, she’ll only be replaced by another socialist scumbag.

nelsonknows on November 11, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Dunn is Done… Yes!

DL13 on November 11, 2009 at 2:03 AM