NYT: White House advisors totally surprised by Obama-Clinton press conference

posted at 8:02 pm on December 10, 2010 by Allahpundit

Oh, I’ll bet they were. Say what you will about Axe, Gibbsy, and the rest of the crew, but I’d like to think they have the basic political common sense to avoid photo ops where the president has to skip out after a minute or two to go eat gingerbread cookies.

I’d like to think The One had the same basic political common sense, but … we learn something new every day, don’t we?

The leader of the free world and the ex-leader wandered a deserted hallway, past the offices of the senior advisers, only to discover the door to the press corps briefing room locked.

Had it not been, Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton might have discovered only a few reporters milling about or catching a few minutes of sleep. Instead, they turned around and found a junior staffer sitting outside of the office of Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.

“Do you know how to open up the briefing room?” Mr. Obama asked the staffer, Katie Hogan.

“Yeah,” Mr. Clinton said, “can you help us unlock it?”

Hearing that, Mr. Gibbs walked out.

“I said, ‘what are you guys up to?’” Mr. Gibbs recalled later. “President Obama said, ‘we’re looking for some reporters.’”

“What have you guys got on your mind,” Mr. Gibbs –- always cautious — countered.

You can almost hear the horror in Gibbs’s voice. Little did he know the world was about to witness a quasi-abdication of office, live across the dial on cable news, so that the most powerful man in the world could go sit on Santa’s lap and tell him that all he wants for Christmas is the START treaty ratified.

Here’s a new lowlight reel of the presser from Mediaite, which calls this “one of the worst PR moves in the entirety of the administration.” Exit quotation via Michael Scherer at Time, who might be joking about Clinton’s famous verbosity — or might not be: “Count this among the greatest miscalculations of President Obama’s career: ‘I’m going to let him speak very briefly,’ Obama said Friday, upon introducing Bill Clinton in the White House briefing room for his triumphant, self-adulating return.”


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Obama is the quintessential empty suit. I’ve seen my share of bad executive hires and a couple were real doozies. But this must be the worst hiring decision in human history.

And I’m not talking about ideology. If this guy were a Republican, we’d all be bald from pulling our hair out. Amazing.

RadClown on December 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM

There’s more to this than a simple guest lecture. Our President is showing a belief of impending defeat. He’s asking for help from someone who has an allegiace to the party but not him. He’s made another mistake because he has never experienced this kind of negativism. GodBama is fallible; hmmm, whoda thunk.

PaCadle on December 10, 2010 at 10:22 PM

You can almost hear the horror in Gibbs’s voice. Little did he know the world was about to witness a quasi-abdication of office, live across the dial on cable news, so that the most powerful man in the world could go sit on Santa’s lap and tell him that all he wants for Christmas is the START treaty ratified.

AP, dude, you are totally the man. that is the most awesomest turn of phrase I’ve ever read from you. Score big.

This day has ended perfectly now. Driving home from a Christmas Party. My wife and I pulled up to a stop sign at aa T intersection and, lo and effing behold, in the window of the house ahead of us, yes, my friends…… a LEG LAMP!

my day is complete. what a week

ted c on December 10, 2010 at 10:33 PM

I had to check the Constitution, just to be sure.

It says no one can be elected president twice.

I was afraid the modifier “consecutively” might be in there…

Wethal on December 10, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Whew!

He sure did look like he was comfortable up there and even shooed Obama away to this missus.

Texas Gal on December 10, 2010 at 10:38 PM

I’ll give Obama this much, he has gone from destroying the office of the president to saving it by destroying himself in one single presser. Obama has cemented himself as the worst president and the biggest mistake ever! Somewhere Jimmah Cahtah is doing a high heel kick!

csdeven on December 10, 2010 at 11:02 PM

I had to check the Constitution, just to be sure.

It says no one can be elected president twice.

I was afraid the modifier “consecutively” might be in there…

Wethal on December 10, 2010 at 10:19 PM
Don’t forget, this bunch has little regard for the law or the Constitution.

mobydutch on December 10, 2010 at 11:14 PM

In any other country… that would be a coup de etat.

cebj25 on December 10, 2010 at 11:17 PM

This day has ended perfectly now. Driving home from a Christmas Party. My wife and I pulled up to a stop sign at aa T intersection and, lo and effing behold, in the window of the house ahead of us, yes, my friends…… a LEG LAMP!

my day is complete. what a week

ted c on December 10, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Be Careful!!!! You’ll shoot your eye out!!!!!

petunia on December 11, 2010 at 12:28 AM

In any other country… that would be a coup de etat.

cebj25 on December 10, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Well here it’s just called the stupidest thing a President has ever done.

Other fields, other grasshoppers, I suppose.

petunia on December 11, 2010 at 12:29 AM

I would not have been shocked if Obama was in reindeer slippers and holding onto a blankey…

right2bright on December 11, 2010 at 12:58 AM

Pack your bags Joe. Bill Clinton pulled that little stint so Hillary will be named VP.

phillyrepub on December 11, 2010 at 3:58 AM

Pleased? No. I do not think Hillary is happy at all at this turn of events. She has struggled heartily, albeit, as ruthless as any slimy politician, (with a life’s long ambition) to be a person of her own right. Remember, she was not only insulted, but highly appalled when she went to some country (I can’t remember) and the local press questioned her on what Bill would do. She clearly had her nose out of joint. Plus, it’s the rockiest of marriages. A lot of people mistakenly believe (even with tomes proving otherwise), that creatures of certain regard, status, reputation, are somehow, above feeling wounded to any worthy degree…as if they are robots. On the contra re
it is the complete opposite…..Exhibit Number One…..OBAMA

betsyz on December 11, 2010 at 5:12 AM

‘I’m going to let him speak very briefly,’ Obama said Friday

was this Obama’s Kanye West moment? “Imma let you finish, but I’m skippin out to go to this party!” C YA.

ted c on December 11, 2010 at 6:40 AM

When in command, take command.

WordsMatter on December 11, 2010 at 8:32 AM

GardenGnome on December 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

It’s too late. Zero has now made it clear to any doubters throughout the world that he can’t and won’t do his job.

All he wants are the lavish, princely perks.

Our enemies surely see him for what he is, and what he is not.

dogsoldier on December 11, 2010 at 9:07 AM

“The leader of the free world and the ex-leader wandered a deserted hallway, past the offices of the senior advisers, only to discover the door to the press corps briefing room locked.”

If the New York Times does anything well, it is imagery…

percysunshine on December 11, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I can imagine the scene: The President of the United States reaches for the plate of gingerbread cookies. The First Lady of the United States slaps his hand and directs him to the carrot sticks and fat free yogurt dressing.

scatbug on December 11, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Did anyone notice that right before Obama takes off, President Clinton says, “Help me”? Immediatly aftward, is body language shows that he is very uncomfortable.. knowing this is a major F-UP.

IUnknown on December 11, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Why the surprise? Didn’t he say that he knows more than all his advisors? Didn’t he say that he is brighter than them all? Teh O is a genius. Why should genius be wasted on petty things like selling a plan?

SilentWatcher on December 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM

This interview shows how Obama made it through school: other people did his homework and he got the credit.

SilentWatcher on December 11, 2010 at 8:28 PM

jawdrop

What? Is this Keystone Cops?

It’s not like this was a crisis that required immediate action. There was time to talk to the White House staff. Plan out a press Conference with both the President and Mr. Clinton when the President wouldn’t have to lead. Plan out an exchange between the President and Clinton to ensure it looked like the President was involved and not just calling in Clinton to throw some Hail Mary pass for him.

I mean…

This is just stupid.

Sackett on December 11, 2010 at 11:47 PM

I thought President Obama was going to tell us he was running late for his Tee Time at Andrews and we all know how hard to get one is – even for the President.

Luckily, President Obama, unlike President Clinton, has BBall to fall back on, if he misses his Tee Time.

MSGTAS on December 12, 2010 at 7:09 AM

My wife reminds me that I had a similar experience at work. A plant manager of mine was struggling with leadership-under-adversity issues. I was helping him understand basic leadership concepts, and fixing the plant at the same time. Well, something went wrong on New Year’s Eve, and I asked the staff to work through it.

At about 10:00 p.m. the plant manager walked up to me and said “well, my wife and I have plans tonight, so I’m leaving”. I explained that he was leaving his boss and his people behind, and how poor a show of leadership it was. He left anyway.

We worked through the night to solve the problem, and the plant performance improved dramatically thereafter. With a new plant manager.

Bigurn on December 12, 2010 at 9:39 AM

That’s sure some way to address a sitting and former president: You guys.
I guess familiarity really does breed contempt. Or at least disrespect.
One other thing while I’m at it – I hate, absolutely hate to hear women addressed as “you guys.”

abcurtis on December 12, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Luckily, President Obama, unlike President Clinton, has BBall to fall back on, if he misses his Tee Time.

MSGTAS on December 12, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Clinton had Lewinsky to fall back on.

abcurtis on December 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM

That must have been one heck of a Christmas Party/orgy./s

I was good to see Clinton back in power ……….. and I am a Republican.

SC.Charlie on December 12, 2010 at 6:42 PM

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