Obama looking for a reset button with staff changes?

posted at 2:55 pm on September 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Post hears rumors of a staff sweep in the West Wing — and rumblings of discontent within President Obama’s party.  The presumed departure of Rahm Emanuel for the mayoral race in Chicago and the exits of economists Christine Romer and Larry Summers may mean a sweeping round of resignations and new appointments.  But will it mean opening up the White House to new, fresh perspectives in an attempt to regain good will — or a circling of the wagons in tighter, leftward motion?

The inner circle – Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, senior advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, press secretary Robert Gibbs and Vice President Biden – is breaking up, or at least breaking open. Emanuel is widely expected to run for mayor of Chicago, and Axelrod is likely to leave this spring to prepare for Obama’s 2012 reelection effort.

Obama will soon lose other top advisers. His chief economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, announced that he will return to Harvard, where he is a professor; Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina is expected to join Axelrod in Chicago; and national security adviser James L. Jones is said to want out by the end of the year.

Some former aides and allies of the president expressed hope that Obama will take advantage of the departures – which are common at the two-year point in any presidency – to bring in outsiders who will challenge the president’s current team.

“They miscalculated where people were out in the country on jobs, on spending, on the deficit, on debt,” said a longtime Democratic strategist who works with the White House on a variety of issues. “They have not been able to get ahead of any of it. And it’s all about the insularity. Otherwise how do you explain how a group who came in with more goodwill in decades squandered it?” The strategist asked not to be identified in order to speak freely about the president and his staff.

Insularity is a fancy word for losing touch with the electorate, and that much has been obvious since the big push for ObamaCare started in 2009.  Emanuel reportedly warned against getting stuck in an almost interminable debate, but the rest of the White House apparently didn’t see the dangers.  That makes the Post’s predictions for replacements rather interesting:

But Obama might not look too far beyond the walls of the White House in his search for new advisers. In the pervasive but often unreliable Washington guessing game, the names most often heard are already familiar to the president:Tom Donilon, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, is thought to be a leading contender either for Emanuel’s job or for Jones’s post. Donilon and Obama became close during the 2008 campaign, when he was in charge of prepping the candidate for debates.

Senior adviser Pete Rouse is another possible choice to replace Emanuel. He served as Obama’s chief of staff in the Senate. Other possible candidates include Bob Bauer, the White House counsel, who was the president’s personal attorney before he joined the administration last year; Phil Schiliro, who runs Obama’s congressional liaison office; and former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, a close Obama ally.

Anne Kornblut and Scott Wilson note that Obama’s choices of replacements have a common thread: they’re Obama insiders.  Elizabeth Warren and Austan Goolsbee, two of the most recent appointments, are both inner-circle Obamaites.  More importantly, they are almost certain to reinforce the decisions already made by this administration rather than offer heterodox points of view and proposals.  The same can be said of the candidates noted above for the upcoming vacancy for chief of staff.

Democratic strategist Peter Fenn says that “this is the way Kennedy worked,” sticking with a small circle of close advisers, but that strategy only works when the advice given succeeds.  Kennedy didn’t squander an immense level of popularity in less than two years, though, nor did he extend a recession and a post-recession malaise with bad economic policies as Obama has done.  Democrats should worry about insularity.  This administration is desperately in need of a reset button.


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Groupthink.

Wonderful.

When the thinking mechanism on these worthless idiot leftists is stuck hopelessly and irreversibly in 1917.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Obama, looking to put a new coat of paint on the walls when the walls are rotten.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Why should he go outside his inner circle? He’s only going to find people that disagree with him if he does that.

And our charming President doesn’t handle disagreements well.

Chris of Rights on September 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Somehow I think that this is going to work out like the Russian “reset button” incident, which turned out to be mistranslated into “overloaded” instead.

He’s going to make Jarrett his key adviser and she’s going to pull him further to the left, which is the exact opposite of what Clinton did after 1994.

teke184 on September 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

The patient has gangrene. Let’s change his socks. That will fix things.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

HECK, even this group of hacks do not want to go down in History as the worst administration under the WORST President .
Obvious answer here is that Republicans will take the HOUSE , and the rats are fleeing now , rather than face investigations and JAIL TIME.
Makes more sense to fell back to Chicago , where , for enough cash any criminal can walk the streets as a free man and do reality TV SHOWS

ELMO Q on September 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Is Obama perfectly happy with being a One Termer? Everything points that way.

I’ve always wondered if the Presidency is just a stepping stone for Obama’s real plan. He wants to be the Head of the United Nations.

portlandon on September 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Hmmm Why am I reminded of John of Gaunt’s speeches in Richard II? When you surround yourself with flatterers you may feel secure in your position, but the people will rebel around you.

As a history lesson Richard II was a terrible king, he didn’t listen to what the people wanted and went with unpopular ideas.

He ended up losing his throne when the people rebelled against him.

Something to think about.

Cookies Mom on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Different shade of lipstick; still the same pig.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

The faces will change.

The direction will remain the same.

ajacksonian on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

More of the same. It’s not the ideology that is the reason for the difficulty. The philosophy is perfect, it is just never administered by the right people who can make it work.

Skandia Recluse on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

This administration Country is desperately in need of a reset button.

FIFY

tomg51 on September 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM

There is only one person that needs to be replaced and he is not included on the list.

Electrongod on September 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM

This administration is desperately in need of a reset button.

A reset button didn’t work for Hillary and it won’t work for Oboobi. Same sh*t different day.

SHARPTOOTH on September 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM

The One Trick Pony will just serve up more of the same.

GarandFan on September 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Stuck on Stupid….

phreshone on September 23, 2010 at 3:04 PM

This administration is desperately in need of a reset button.

not gonna happen…he will stick with the ones he knows…

will rahmie write a tell-all about the groupthink?

cmsinaz on September 23, 2010 at 3:04 PM

So, are going from bad to worse???

Blake on September 23, 2010 at 3:04 PM

The reset button will come in November, 2012.

Ward Cleaver on September 23, 2010 at 3:04 PM

This administration is desperately in need of a reset button an enema.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Iceberg dead ahead!

rjoco1 on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

This will work… we just need to dig the hole a little deeper…

phreshone on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Is it obama or Capt. Bligh? Could a mutiny be starting or just they realize bo is an absolute idealog not a politician?

tim c on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Is Obama perfectly happy with being a One Termer?

I’d be happy with him being a half-termer.

He can get a head start on his next career.

Traveling the world, getting paid $200K for an hour’s speech where he badmouths American and Americans.

Michelle deserves nothing less.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM

My sincere, selfish hope is that he doubles down on stupid. I want him gone in January of 2013.

joejm65 on September 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Sailor Joe: But Captain Obama, there is an iceberg dead ahead.

Barack Obama: Ramming speed!

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM

This all reminds me of meth. When meth gets into a home, it literally detroys the house from the inside. It gets into the wood and the sheet rock only from being cooked in the house, and one quick wash of walls reveals that meth is on the house. What obama is doing is he is going to try to paint over the meth in the house as if the American people will not see it, but one quick wash of his policies only brings it to light and shows that they do not change.

BTW, the only way to get rid of meth is to tear the house down and start from scratch. That is what we will need to do with obama in 2012. Tear down his house and put up the peoples house again

ConservativePartyNow on September 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Obama needs a fresh batch of communists … the current group is plum tuckered out.

darwin on September 23, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Tom Daschle. Interesting. Didn’t he write a book on the virtues of cutting health care to the elderly?

He’s a cold fish, who wouldn’t give a second thought to the life of anyone outside his family or party.

So much for tacking toward the middle. I suspect these names being brought up, are going to tack even further to the left than they are now.

capejasmine on September 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Democratic strategist Peter Fenn says that “this is the way Kennedy worked,” sticking with a small circle of close advisers, but that strategy only works when the advice given succeeds.

Kennedy also wasn’t a global government type, or hated the “little people”, or adhered to Marxist pronciples.

darwin on September 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Window dressing, nothing will change his Marxist ideology

tarpon on September 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Obama needs a fresh batch of communists

So many to choose from . . .

Menshivicks, Bolsheviks.

Perhaps a Trotskyite mixed in for diversity sake.

NoDonkey on September 23, 2010 at 3:12 PM

This administration is desperately in need of a reset button an enema.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

DC is a good place to stick the hose for that.

teke184 on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Plan A: Give America arsenic out of a blue bottle.

Plan B: Give America arsenic out of a green bottle.

Luka on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM

So much for tacking toward the middle. I suspect these names being brought up, are going to tack even further to the left than they are now.

capejasmine on September 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Yeah. All he doing is changing the most visible faces. The nuts he hired, the radical communist czars will still be in place. They’re the most dangerous.

darwin on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Window dressing, nothing will change his Marxist ideology

tarpon on September 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Especially since it’s his crackpot commie czars that are the ones executing the “transformation”. They’re going nowhere.

darwin on September 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Has anyone heard from Billy “boom boom” Ayers these days?

Maybe he would like to fill a position.

VibrioCocci on September 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Could be worse… could be raining…

phreshone on September 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM

emocratic strategist Peter Fenn says that “this is the way Kennedy worked,” sticking with a small circle of close advisers, but that strategy only works when the advice given succeeds.

umm, and Kennedy was an anti-communist. unlike certain presidents…

joeindc44 on September 23, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Watch and wait till his incumbent cronies loose to the GOP. The number of czar positions will quadruple! With the moron-in-chief, there is always room for one more commie-in-da-house. Count on it.

sicoit on September 23, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Considering Ms. Jarrett’s father was a member of the Chicago Community Party, I would say that Scooter is going to continue being exactly who he is right now. No Clinton-Moderate impersonation for him.

kingsjester on September 23, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Communist, not Community

kingsjester on September 23, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Bob Hope had it right…

phreshone on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Obama’s car is totaled. He is holding a can of spray paint.

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Obama’s first meeting with Speaker Boehner:

Him: “You won”

Mr. Speaker: “Sure did…here’s what you’ll be doing….”

BobMbx on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

The real problem is that the ideological leader of this rat pack, the most extreme of all of them, is the lying top dog himself. That’s why it’s unlikely he’s going to bring on advisors with a significantly different worldview, unless he pulls a Nixon In China.

paul1149 on September 23, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Meanwhile……..

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/09/23/layoffs-begin-bofa-does-party/

capejasmine on September 23, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Obama looking for a reset button with staff changes?

Considering the Obama administration is demonstrably too stupid to know the difference between “reset” and “overcharge”… his economic policies make a bit more sense.

malclave on September 23, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Speaker Boehner: “The election’s over, Obama”

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

When the sofa won’t fit through the door sideways, there’s only one solution.

Back up and get a running start.

SlaveDog on September 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Kennedy also wasn’t a global government type, or hated the “little people”, or adhered to Marxist pronciples.

darwin on September 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

or a narcissist, have a chip on his shoulder, have gargantuan ears, nor was he married to MO.

He was, however, the first Catholic POTUS. Historic. And had the hottest First Lady…EVAH.

BobMbx on September 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Isn’t it amazing to see how Obama has failed to grow into his job? He’s still the petulant manchild. Even Clinton grew in stature during his 8 years, as much as it pains me to say it.

fossten on September 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

OT: From Michelle (Boss Emeritus) site: GOOD NEWS!!!
http://michellemalkin.com/2010/09/23/the-orwellian-disclose-act-vote/

Final roll call vote 59-39.

Harry Reid foiled again! What part of NO more union pay-off gag orders masquerading as “reform” doesn’t he understand?

sicoit on September 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

The mixture of incompetent thugs and elitests being replaced by another group of the same is like changing a diaper with the same results. Barry gives narcissists a bum rap.

volsense on September 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Obama: “Hey Berkeley, send me the next batch of Marxists”

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:26 PM

“They have not been able to get ahead of any of it. And it’s all about the insularity. Otherwise how do you explain how a group who came in with more goodwill in decades squandered it?”


How else to explain it? Try rank incompetence.

rcpjr on September 23, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Too little, too late

txmomof6 on September 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Reid in contact with voting law lawyers; will sue for recount in DISCLOSE Act senate vote.

BobMbx on September 23, 2010 at 3:34 PM

“They have not been able to get ahead of any of it. And it’s all about the insularity. Otherwise how do you explain how a group who came in with more goodwill in decades squandered it?”

Abandoned by the unicorns, Obama was left without his gift.

BobMbx on September 23, 2010 at 3:35 PM

If ۞jesus weren’t tone-deaf, he would have thrown Gibbs under the bus halfway through his first television appearance. I hope he never, ever lets Gibbsie go.

hillbillyjim on September 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Obama’s car is totaled. He is holding a can of spray paint.

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Like this?

Christien on September 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Reset yourself out of the picture, Obi-Won, and resign.

ya2daup on September 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

When the sofa won’t fit through the door sideways, there’s only one solution.

SlaveDog on September 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Get a government-subsidized loan for a house you can’t afford that has a wider doorway?

malclave on September 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Jeez, Obama vomits from nervousness any time he has to do anything that might anger part of his base, and the angriest part of his base is on the left.

No way he moves to the right with any replacements for Rahm, Alexrod, etc., unless its simply a token appointee who will then be marginalized by the rest of the staff (that doesn’t mean the new brain trust won’t have Obama pretending to move to the right, by saying a few more moderate things. He’s just never going to actually sign any moderate legislation (and if the Dems hold the Senate, he’ll use a ‘good cop, bad cop’ strategy with Reid, Durbin or Schumer in the villain’s role).

jon1979 on September 23, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Iceberg dead ahead!

rjoco1 on September 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I believe he prefers arugula over iceberg…

karl9000 on September 23, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Obama’s car is totaled. He is holding a can of spray paint.

faraway on September 23, 2010 at 3:18 PM

“Dude, we can totally fix it! My dad has this awesome set of tools!” – Barry ‘Spicoli’ Obama

Phil-351 on September 23, 2010 at 3:49 PM

sicoit on September 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

yes!

cmsinaz on September 23, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Christien on September 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Sigh, **not quick enough**

Phil-351 on September 23, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Like this?

Christien on September 23, 2010 at 3:36 PM

lololol

cmsinaz on September 23, 2010 at 3:52 PM

The rats are always the 1st to jump from a sinking ship.

Especially the really big ones.

gonnjos on September 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

One must assume that Mr. Obama’s first round of appointments constituted what he believed to be the first team. Now he faces the future surrounded by the second team. Moreover he is deep into the game and falling badly behind. This is a dangerous moment both for Mr. Obama and for the country. There is little evidence that he is likely to do well facing adversity particularly in the absence of his seemingly blindly devoted support system. Given his odd personality one wonders if he will be able to soldier through or if he will begin to decompensate psychologically. I’m guessing the latter. If so, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Mason on September 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Given his odd personality one wonders if he will be able to soldier through or if he will begin to decompensate psychologically. I’m guessing the latter. If so, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Mason on September 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Like I’ve said before, in January he becomes “the guy who lives in the White House”. Nothing more.

BobMbx on September 23, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Obama Reset: Let’s rearrange some deck chairs and may sure the band is playing Kool and the Gang’s Celebration..:)

Dire Straits on September 23, 2010 at 4:02 PM

…one wonders if he will be able to soldier through or if he will begin to decompensate psychologically. …
Mason on September 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

“Decompensate” — what a perfect word!

Mary in LA on September 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Who needs staff anyway when the Won-derworker waves his magic wand, the seas stop rising and the celestial choirs are singing? Hope-n-Change-n-Yes-we-can and bibbity bobbity boo, all your dreams come true!

And who could question his Judgment to Lead? He needs no followers…

Steve Z on September 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Reset Button? Is that Hillary we are talking about? He is a nice fella who can jump around in automobile and gulp beer.

antisocial on September 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM

“They have not been able to get ahead of any of it. And it’s all about the insularity. Otherwise how do you explain how a group who came in with more goodwill in decades squandered it?”

Insularity comes from the Latin word for “island”. All by themselves, they see no one and hear no one. The red tide is risin’, they don’t see it coming until they’re swamped.

Steve Z on September 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM

None of this will affect “Cousin Eddie”!

He has his czars appointed without oversight, his cabinet heads in place and will ship in a new batch of marxists or Black Liberation Theology and Saul Alinsky disciples.

He knows his legislative tricks are done after the lame duck session and will continue his destruction by fiat with the czars and dept. heads, until he is impeached or resigns in late 2012.

He doesn’t want a job ‘Cousin Eddies” don’t work he wants to fundamentally transform America and will do as much as he can in four and try to turn it over to Hillary, the next Alinsky disciple!

dhunter on September 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

C’mon this is a prank from MTV isn’t it? Ghoulsbee is running the economy, some guy names Ruse as the Chief of Staff and Phil “the Shill” Schiliro is going to be the liaison to congress. And really Bob (my wife Anita is a Mao-lovin lizard lady) Bauer… c’mon.

On a more serious note why doesn’t he just appoint Soros as Emperor and stop pretending he’s running things.

batterup on September 23, 2010 at 4:21 PM

It’s interesting that a person not listed as departing is Hillary.

But if the Dems totally tank in November, Hillary is going to start weighing her options for 2012. She can leave in January w/out having a major screwup in foreign policy – not sure how long that will last however. Better get out to “spend more time with her family”.

PackerBronco on September 23, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Re “this is the way Kennedy worked”, is it a sign of desperation that democratics refer back to the most overrated president in US history?

slickwillie2001 on September 23, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Get out while the getting is good.

MSGTAS on September 24, 2010 at 10:37 AM