Obama aides: This whole Hilary Rosen episode shows that Obama is willing to take on his friends

posted at 2:31 pm on April 13, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Two of Barack Obama’s top aides took to the airwaves last night to spin the Hilary Rosen episode in Obama’s favor. David Axelrod and David Plouffe both said the controversy illustrates Obama’s willingness to stand up to his friends and contrasted his response to Rosen’s comments with Mitt Romney’s response to Rush Limbaugh’s recent inflammatory remarks about Sandra Fluke.

Doing damage control, White House adviser David Plouffe and Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod made separate appearances Thursday night to contrast Obama’s public response to Rosen to Romney’s response to controversial comments made by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

“I think we have an obligation in politics and public life, when someone, even friends, say things that are inappropriate, to say so. In fact, in certain ways, when your friends say it, there is more of an obligation to do so,” Axelrod said on CNN. …

In making his argument, Plouffe specifically pointed to last month’s controversy over Limbaugh, who called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” on air due to her testimony on the White House’s contraception mandate.

“It’s not the language I would have used,” Romney said of Limbaugh’s comment.

In contrast, the Obama administration was quick to “strongly condemn” what Rosen said, according to Plouffe.

“I’ve been disappointed on the other side of the aisle just recently when Gov. Romney and others were not willing to stand up and denounce speech that most people would call inappropriate,” Axelrod said. “I thought we had an obligation to speak and speak very, very quickly to make clear that this didn’t reflect our point of view and that we thought Hilary should apologize.”

Plouffe also pointed out that the country should be even more than usually willing to move on from this controversy because we’ve reached bipartisan agreement that stay-at-home motherhood has an intrinsic value Rosen’s comments ignored. (That’s nice!)

Does issuing a curt, condemnatory phrase really constitute standing up to friends, though? I appreciate that the president’s campaign sought to distance itself from Rosen, no matter what the political motivations for doing so. But I’d appreciate it even more if he’d stand up to his real friends:

  • Why hasn’t he stood up to Eric Holder on Fast and Furious?
  • Why didn’t he stand up to Tim Geithner on his tax evasion? Jeffrey Immelt?
  • Why didn’t he stand up to Democratic donors at Solyndra?
  • Why didn’t he stand up to environmentalists on Keystone XL?

These are just the first four examples off the top of my head. Please feel free to add more to the list.

Bottom line: I don’t really care whether my president stands up to commentators on the right or left. Is it nice? Sure. Is it necessary? No. I do, however, care deeply whether he sells the average American out again and again and again by failing to stand up to power players inside his own administration.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Tell ya what, Axe — when Romney is PAYING Rush to go out and say what he tells him to say, you’ll have a point. Rosen WORKS FOR YOU.

“Friends”? F*** you. She’s an employee who said that, and she said it on your behalf. Own it.

Dirty Creature on April 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Just to add to my other comments… the left always fears their own tactics and in 2008 many rode the Edwards cancer situation as far as they could. Pathetic losers that they are they feel the need to kill off Ann Romney’s likability that comes from being a survivor. Sad to see a political party that will do this to a cancer survivor but that is who these scumbags are.

Folks don’t think that the Herman Cain accuser being in Axelrod’s building or Hilary Rosen being comdemned by Axelrod means he isn’t behind all these manipulations of the public while keeping deniablity. These people are up to no good behind the scenes faced with no record to run on.

Conan on April 13, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Like peterft, I am becoming cautiously optimistic about this situation.

..it’s gonna be a grand seven months!

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

.
I’m getting the same vibe. For me, it happened when The Regime announced that Biden would announce the legislation on “The Romney Rule” tax bill and the Romney campaign immediately responded through a spokesperson that they considered the legislation “The Obama Rule,” comparing explicitly the values of lower taxes and smaller government to Øbama’s and the DemocRAT’s view of class warfare through higher taxes and more regulation.
.
Romney’s response was immediate and it was impressive in it’s succinctness and simplicity.

ExpressoBold on April 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

My problems is that Obama doesn’t want friends who will stand up to him. Throne-sniffers only.

DrSteve on April 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM

s/b “problem is” — goodness gracious

DrSteve on April 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Conan on April 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Obama has a bad habit of “doubling down.” Let’s just hope he and his minions continue along these lines.

Roy Rogers on April 13, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I think this whole episode is a VERY carefully crafted campaign AGAINST Obama. I think Rosen is a “lesbian first, Democrat second” and this line about “she never worked a day in her life” was a bomb that she KNEW would explode. I also believe that the purpose of doing it is because Obama had decide to punt on the gay anti-discrimination issue.

It is brilliant in that it makes it LOOK like she is “helping him to death” in that she is trying to help but it backfired. I don’t believe it backfired at all. I believe it was a very carefully crafted bomb that was designed as payback but doesn’t give the outward appearance of a deliberate attack.

Obama needs to build a firewall around the female voter demographic. This little jewel just peeled off the stay at home mom portion of that demographic (about 23% of mothers).

Obama might have felt it was safe to punt on that issue because only 4% of his voter base is gay. But just about 100% of his PR base is gay.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Obama will always take on any Democrat that says what Democrats actually think instead of sticking to the talking points.

Yosoff on April 13, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Dunn: You’re on CNN tonight. I want you to bomb Obama but it has to look like an accident.

Rosen: No problem, boss.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Long ago I saw the neighbor’s PITB mutt actually get his teeth into a tire of a slow moving car. Whipped him around and slammed him into the shoulder of the road. He ran off whimpering, but he wasn’t too much the worse for wear. He already had a limp from a broken leg got when he was hit by a car he was chasing, and he was back to chasing them again in a couple of days.

novaculus on April 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I always stop and let them catch the car. And then I “Meow” at them. Leftists would call that Cruelty to Animals, I’m sure.

Remember the legendary 1940s UCLA Mascot, George Tirebiter? A character based on his name later ended up as the major player in a Firesign Theatre album.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Tirebiter

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

This whole episode is that Obama would throw out his family members if it reflected bad on himself.

itsspideyman on April 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Dunn: You’re on CNN tonight. I want you to bomb Obama but it has to look like an accident.

Rosen: No problem, boss.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I understand your theory but I can’t buy it. I live and work in the DC area and let me tell you, when you get to work at the level that Dunn and Rosen work your future is tied to politicians who may or may not be re-elected. A new administration would bring in their own people and old allies either don’t have the influence or blame you for a messaging failure. In short, it would be professional seppuku for this to be intentional and once these people get a taste of working at this level, they become addicted. Hilary Rosen would not be willing to risk having to give up her $1M home and frequent visits to the White House for some gay vigilantism.

Happy Nomad on April 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM

This whole episode is that Obama would throw out his family members if it reflected bad on himself.

itsspideyman on April 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM

And yet his illegal alien uncle hasn’t been deported yet.

Happy Nomad on April 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

What a lowlife!

KOOLAID2 on April 13, 2012 at 4:43 PM

If O’bama is calling Rosen a “friend”, doesn’t that make totally False the Leftist meme that she’s a “nobody”?

We all knew that already, but they’re too stupid to realize it.

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 4:54 PM

JARA. MYAH. WRIGHT.

bntafraid on April 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Stand up to his friends? How much lower can the bar go for this failure?

Chuck Schick on April 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM

In short, it would be professional seppuku for this to be intentional and once these people get a taste of working at this level, they become addicted. Hilary Rosen would not be willing to risk having to give up her $1M home and frequent visits to the White House for some gay vigilantism.

I agree. Which is exactly why it is imperative that it needs to look like an accident because if it looked even the least bit intentional … it would be as you say.

But I can not believe Rosen is that incompetent. I was married to a person who started out as a journalist, worked on a Senator’s staff, went into PR and eventually into marketing. EVERYTHING is nuanced. Everything they say is very carefully selected. I can not imagine for a moment that Hilary Rosen is so incompetent as to not have known what impact the words “she has never worked a day in her life” would have when that phrase was the very central thesis of what she was saying.

She knew this would happen. Either that or she has developed a brain tumor because until now she has been an EXTREMELY competent PR person.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Remember the legendary 1940s UCLA USC Mascot, George Tirebiter? A character based on his name later ended up as the major player in a Firesign Theatre album.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Tirebiter

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Jeeeez! C’mon, Del!

~WP, UCLA ’68

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Remember the legendary 1940s UCLA USC Mascot, George Tirebiter? A character based on his name later ended up as the major player in a Firesign Theatre album.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Tirebiter

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Jeeeez! C’mon, Del!

~WP, UCLA ’68

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Speaking of which, R.I.P. to Firesign Theatre founder Peter Bergman, who died in early March of complications from leukemia.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/10/local/la-me-peter-bergman-20120310

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Picture of the Day: If Obama Had A Son, He Would Not Look Like Trayvon

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/04/picture-of-day-if-obama-had-son-he.html

Resist We Much on April 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Too funny! Try as he might, this is not Barry’s Queen Latifa moment. Not after he himself unleashed the meme in announcing that MO didn’t have the “luxury” of staying at home with the kids.

To be fair, MO really did not have that luxury. Not if she wanted to keep buying $540 sneakers or thought that $600 is a pittance, just enough to buy a pair of earrings. Speaking of out of touch…

obladioblada on April 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Meh. We already knew President Emptysuit is sworn to fun, loyal to none. Didn’t need his droids to confirm that.

n0doz on April 13, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Speaking of which, R.I.P. to Firesign Theatre founder Peter Bergman, who died in early March of complications from leukemia.

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM

A good time to for each of us to remember: We’re All Bozos on This Bus.

de rigueur on April 13, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Rosen is thoroughly steeped in feminist ideology and rhetoric and practices the lifestyle it advocates. She evidently believes the NOW line that they fully represent women’s interests. She thought she was playing a class-warfare card, attacking the Romneys for being out-of-touch. The millions of women who still value the work of raising children more than prestige and a paycheck aren’t in Washington PR circles and were invisible on her political radar.
The easy, cheap shot hit the wrong target.

Confutus on April 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM

To put it another way: When your entire job is WORDS, when it is your job to evoke certain emotional reactions, to get people to behave in certain ways, when it is your job to “sell” a particular brand, you are very careful about the words you use. A PR person is all about words, words are their entire world. Their world is different from the average person’s world when it comes to words.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Rasmussen

In a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup, Mitt Romney earns 48% of the vote, while President Obama attracts 44%.

The thing here is Romey is almost at 50%. Obama is pooping his panties

Conservative4ev on April 13, 2012 at 6:12 PM

To put it another way: When your entire job is WORDS, when it is your job to evoke certain emotional reactions, to get people to behave in certain ways, when it is your job to “sell” a particular brand, you are very careful about the words you use. A PR person is all about words, words are their entire world. Their world is different from the average person’s world when it comes to words.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Excellent observation to which I would only add: “..and if you have to use a teleprompter to convey these words that your hirelings wrote for you and you suck at it, then..well..YOU SUCK!

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

In a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup, Mitt Romney earns 48% of the vote, while President Obama attracts 44%.

The thing here is Rom[n]ey is almost at 50%. Obama is pooping his panties

Conservative4ev on April 13, 2012 at 6:12 PM

..can you imagine the mountain of soiled diapers piling up in the WH dumpsters if a trend like this continues?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Rosen’s not worried. She has other friends that will defend her…. Like Greta.

oceansidecon on April 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

What this showed is that he’s willing to send minions out to test strategies, then stab them in the back when the strategies fail.

kozmocostello on April 13, 2012 at 7:29 PM

How can Rosen be a “friend” today when yesterday she was “some woman on TV.”

And if the visitor logs are incorrect, then (1) Rosen is not a friend and (2) these people cannot manage anything, including a simple log book.

matthew8787 on April 13, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Sorry but the WH response to Rosen is nothing more than a rehash of Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah maneuver. Give them PR lip and outrage when one of your friends advances your meme.
Stay at home mothers now know what the Obama loyalists think about them. Hopefully they will remember in November.

Silvergoat on April 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM

David Axelrod and David Plouffe sent Rosen out, the crap cake Hilary served on TV, blew up in their faces. Sorry Hilary under the bus with you. This illustrates Obama’s willingness to stand up for his friends.

stormridercx4 on April 14, 2012 at 1:46 AM

It really shows that Obama knows how to count:

23% of women are stay at home mothers. And, most Americans don’t think much of consultants who make big money consulting for BP.

Hillary Rosen is a big-money consultant FOR BP. Oops. That will probably offend a lot of liberals as well as women.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/13/embattled-democratic-consultant-hilary-rosen-has-ties-to-bp/

mountainaires on April 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

What this showed is that he’s willing to send minions out to test strategies, then stab them in the back when the strategies fail.

kozmocostello on April 13, 2012 at 7:29 PM

BINGO.

mountainaires on April 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The bus stops here.

PaleoRider on April 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Yep, when things don’t work out the way he planned, there’s always room under the faux bus for hilary beside the rev and all the others.
This was orchestrated and we are all so stupid we can’t see it. What the heck do you think she was visiting 0b0z0 for – sex? I don’t think so. So let’s see a transcript of their emails, etc.
BTW, I think Mitt should tell them he will release his tax when 0b0z0 releases his passport, his travel history, his grades and how he got into the universities.

Bambi on April 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Also, FRIENDS? I thought she was just “some person on tv!”

Bambi on April 14, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Yeah, it was actually a very clever plan to make hard left Democrat women look mean and unappealing, allow the President’s press secretary to tell stupid, transparent lies, and let Obama show himself to be a back stabbing little bitch. It was superbly executed.

claudius on April 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Obama will stab in anybody, friend or foe, if it is in HIS best interests. Rosen was just a liberal tool that didn’t have a warranty.

volsense on April 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 2