Breaking: Obama to speak after Shinseki meeting; Update: Shinseki out

posted at 11:17 am on May 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

At first, I assumed that a lack of leaks during the first part of the Eric Shinseki meeting meant that the embattled VA Secretary would keep his job, especially since the White House hadn’t scheduled a presser to follow it. That’s changed, though, with the sudden call to the Briefing Room. Obama will speak shortly, and CBS News already has the live feed running:

And… Shinseki’s out:

Update: Sloan Gibson will take over as interim VA Secretary, but the bigger question will be for Obama. Why not make this change last week, instead of waiting nine extra days to hear the obvious? Why hold last week’s presser?

Update: First question was about what happened to Obama’s confidence in Shinseki, expressed just last week? “Ric’s judgment,” apparently meaning that Obama didn’t ask for his resignation.

Update: “We’ve got to deal with Congress,” Obama said to explain that Shinseki would likely be distracted by Congressional demands for his resignation. This is the same Congress that increased the VA budget by 78% over the past six budget cycles.  Shinseki was also “offended” that bad news didn’t get to him fast enough, Obama said, and used the passive voice to explain that “the structures didn’t exist” to deliver it. Er, Shinseki was in charge for more than five years. Whose fault was that?

Update: Obama, when asked about his own responsibility, notes that he’s been talking about since he was in the Senate, but then denied that warnings about wait-list fraud never reached the executive level at the VA or the White House. The transition team was warned before Obama took office about that very problem, and warnings continued through last year.

Raffi Williams makes a good point:

After five-plus years, ignorance of the problems on which Obama ran for President in 2008 is a particularly cynical excuse.

Update: Reason’s Jesse Walker makes a good point:

Update: Presser over, but Obama left the dais as the White House press corps asked him, “Do you owe an apology?” That’s a pretty good question, as opposed to the final question which asked Obama whether Shinseki was getting scapegoated.


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He’s gone…

climbnjump on May 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Looks like Obama accepted Shinseki’s resignation …

Mark Boabaca on May 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Eric Shineki’s new job: Bus undercarriage inspector.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

“Some say we should execute all federal employees, and burn down all federal buildings. Others say we should declare all federal employees and holdings holy, and above the law. I have taken the common sense middle ground and fired Shins.” – Barrack “Straw Man” Obama

NotCoach on May 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

He’s gone? Well that settles it. Problem solved.

Doughboy on May 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Did O’bama blame Bush for his having to accept Shinseki’s resignation?

Del Dolemonte on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

“With regret”?

:-/

Spade on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Old and busted: Why change leadership now? It won’t solve the problems.

New hotness: New leadership is required to solve these problems.

rcpjr on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

I saw Dave’s post at Ace’s. I guess he’s been reading the papers as it seems he knows these secret wait lists existed at more than the Phoenix VA.

Thank God the the media in the Age of Obama.

Dusty on May 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM

My guess is that President Jarrett finally made a decision.

GarandFan on May 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM

If you see rough-looking men smiling today, they’re Rangers.

formwiz on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Yeah! The VA office can go back o vein efficient again.

coolrepublica on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

So Obama wanted him to stay on? Uh huh.

Dongemaharu on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Eric Shineki’s new job: Bus undercarriage inspector.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Under My Bus

Rebar on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

He didn’t have the balls to fire him. No political fallout for Obozo. He wasn’t the bad guy, Shinseki did it for him. Pu$$y.

Patriot Vet on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Now for the General to write the book

ConservativePartyNow on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

“truth to power”

What a clown.

forest on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

He’s going on and on praising shinseki. Completely delusional.

Naturally Curly on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Dusty on May 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM

D’oh. Drew, not Dave.

Dusty on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Nothing will change as long as this Regime is in power. This regime is the antithesis of the kind of mentality that LED to all the fraud, abuse and unaccountability that’s rampant, not just in the VA, but all throughout the federal bureaucracy.

The people that say the problems at the VA are systemic, are exactly right. But the system is the ENTIRE system, not just the VA.

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Obama: “A few minutes ago Sec Shinseki offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted.”

Can you offer someone else’s resignation?

CycloneCDB on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

but the bigger question will be for Obama. Why not make this change last week, instead of waiting nine extra days to hear the obvious? Why hold last week’s presser?

It takes Obama so much time to make a decision because he is so cerebral, and thoughtful. He isn’t a reactionary who thinks with emotion. He is brilliant in his effective decision making. If only Obama could have a 3rd & 4th term.

portlandon on May 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Update: First question was about what happened to Obama’s confidence in Shinseki, expressed just last week?

The political climate changed. 100% political as usual.

forest on May 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Can you offer someone else’s resignation?

CycloneCDB on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Hand it to them and say “sign this”.

portlandon on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Why not make this change last week, instead of waiting nine extra days to hear the obvious?

Plain and simple. They wanted a few days to gather info on Shinseki’s personal life to blackmail him into keeping his trap shut after he’s kicked out.

Gotta keep those in the know quiet about what they know.

CycloneCDB on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Ric…. Ric…..Ric

10 minutes on 1 question… loves to hear himself

cmsinaz on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Holy cow. He’s taking questions.

forest on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Yeah! The VA office can go back o vein efficient again.

coolrepublica on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

???

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Bam….you campaigned on this

This didn’t start under me…

cmsinaz on May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

“I always take responsibility for what happens in my administration.”

Obama @ presser

Mark Boabaca on May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

With considerable regret, I accepted

You dumbass!!!!!! You should have been demanding it!

DAT60A3 on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Blaming Bush, yet again, and claiming the VA has been a success under him. Unbelievable.

changer1701 on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Keep in mind.

“I am Obama therfore I lie.”

Local District Att’s will have to file charges Eric Holder will do nothing as he is under orders from the liar in Chief.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Another Obama disciple falls in his sword for the messiah . . . unfortunately, this will change nothing.

rplat on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

You lie!

cmsinaz on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

“I always take responsibility for what happens in my administration.”

Obama @ presser

Mark Boabaca on May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The driver of the bus always says that.

The people with tire marks across their face and chest agree with him.

portlandon on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

“I always take responsibility to blame Bush or someone else for what happens in my administration.”

Obama @ presser

Mark Boabaca on May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

FIFY

ConservativePartyNow on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Why not make this change last week, instead of waiting nine extra days to hear the obvious?

By drawing it out, Obama highlights Shinseki’s replacement as the end of the scandal. Now MSM can move on.

petefrt on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Yeah! The VA office can go back o vein efficient again.
 
coolrepublica on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

 
???
 
Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

 
It’s just her way of saying she won’t hold Obama responsible for fixing the problems she twice voted for him to fix.

rogerb on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Obama, work on fixing the VA not on “fixing” immigration.

Obama is claiming he knew nothing of the scheduling fiasco. What has this administration been doing for six years?

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

[Naturally Curly on May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM]

Dude, he’s not praising Shinseki, he’s assuaging Japanese Americans.

Dusty on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Problem solved. No we can go on ignoring this fake scandal. Not a smidgen of corruption.

warmairfan on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Shinseki out …

… And yet, obama, who personally authorized his VA’s “cost-saving” plan, is still in …

Pork-Chop on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

POTUS didn’t know about this problem….had not heard anything….computers used in VA date back to the nineties….

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

obama is a good leader who does not bow to public pressure when it is wrong. he is loyal to his people and leaves no man behind. he knows shinsenski is not to blame and will not punish him accordingly.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Time wounds all trolls……

tommyboy on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Did O’bama blame Bush for his having to accept Shinseki’s resignation?

Del Dolemonte on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

No, he blamed Bush for the decision to hire Shinseki in the first place:

“Had Shinseki not been such a vocal critic of Bush, I never would have appointed him to this job for which he was so clearly unqualified.”

AZCoyote on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

https://twitter.com/AP

The Associated Press @AP · 1m

MORE: Obama says he accepted Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki’s resignation with “considerable regret”: http://apne.ws/SYgfhQ

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obama-plans-serious-conversation-shinseki

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Aloha, losers!

Christien on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Obama is claiming he knew nothing of the scheduling fiasco. What has this administration been doing for six years?

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 A

Golf

sandee on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Technology and management is the answer….

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Obama to vets: “If you like yo appointment, you can keep yo appointment.”

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The VA has been a success under Shinseki?

Wait, ok, what have we been talking about the last 2 weeks? All the failures of the VA? People dying while waiting for care?

Seriously, what reality is Obama living in? I must be living in a different one.

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I’m sure PBS will offer Shinseki a job as long as he promises to keep his mouth shut.

viking01 on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Barack Obama
5m
President Obama says Eric Shinseki saw his own leadership at the VA as a ‘distraction’ from solving the department’s issues – live video
End of alert
===============

Barack Obama
9m
President Obama says Sloan Gibson will become acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in place of Eric Shinseki – live video

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Shinseki is out?…Shinsecki is OUT?

portlandon on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

It’s just her way of saying she won’t hold Obama responsible for fixing the problems she twice voted for him to fix.

rogerb on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I’m glad you can speak/read coolrepublicese.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Shi ne.

Christien on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The question that will not be asked.

“Who turned off the buttons on the Vista computer program that prevented any one from knowing the true facts on wait times and appointments.

Seems it was turned off at headqts… Washington D.C…..

Who, What, When, Where.

Now the cover up is going to grind it out until after Nov. elections.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Part of the problem is that the VA gives healthcare to veterans who were not injured in combat. There’s no reason that the government should provide healthcare for retired or other vets who weren’t injured in combat.

jim56 on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Last question: Is there political scapegoating in firing Shinseki while keeping Sebelius?

Obama: blah blah blah.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

David M. Drucker @DavidMDrucker · 45s

Based on Shinseki’s speech this morning, strikes me that Obama told him he could resign or be relieved. #VA

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Nothing sticks to Obama.

He is the magic negro.

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Shinseki is out?…Shinsecki is OUT?

portlandon on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Toast.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Do we need more money from Congress…? How are we going to get Congress to deliver..?

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

“Obama is showing real leadership, something you RethugliKKKan NASCAR-loving nutters know nothing about. He stuck by Shineski right up to when he stabbed him in the back.”

-TheseAreMyLipsOnDebbieWassermanShultz’sCopiousAss

Chuck Schick on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Bush did it…

sandee on May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Frank Thorp V @frankthorpNBC · 39s

Pres Obama on VA scandal: “”I will leave it up to Justice Dept to determine if there is criminal wrongdoing”

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The balls on this guy, suggesting he and Shinseki didn’t know about the problems right after saying he was aware of them as senator. BS.

changer1701 on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Good job, Ricky…?

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Obama is waving his left hand, so he’s really sincere about this.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The VA has been a success under Shinseki?

Wait, ok, what have we been talking about the last 2 weeks? All the failures of the VA? People dying while waiting for care?

Seriously, what reality is Obama living in? I must be living in a different one.

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM

That’s his shout-out to the LIV’s.

They’ll buy what he’s selling.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller · 32s

Obama: “The distractions that Rick refers to are in part political”

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Just another distraction…

albill on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

POTUS didn’t know about this problem….had not heard anything….computers used in VA date back to the nineties….

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Even computers in the 90′s could handle excel spreadsheets. That dog don’t hunt.

I guess the bureaucrats in the VA should have spent more money on updating their equipment than having “conferences” in Hawaii or the like, huh?

Meople on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

jim56

Just a note: airbore traning, jumping out of airplanes, or LittleCreek Va. and three weeks in the Great Dismal Swamp,
or on and on,,, getting throw over board from a carrier in a typoon ,,,

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Frank Thorp V @frankthorpNBC · 30s

President Obama: “We’re going to need a new VA Secretary, Sloan is acting (secretary)…”

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

I guess the YouTube angle was going to work here….

Electrongod on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

The balls on this guy, suggesting he and Shinseki didn’t know about the problems right after saying he was aware of them as senator. BS.

changer1701 on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Ditto. Unbelievable. He’s been whining about this for at least seven years. He fell asleep at the wheel fundamentally transforming the country.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Does Shinseki at least get a retirement beret?

malclave on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

We are witnessing the future of ObamaCare…

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

was wasn’t

Electrongod on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Yeah! The VA office can go back o vein efficient again.

coolrepublica on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Yes, I know…individuals such as yourself like it
when people get paid vast salaries to be dangerously
Incompetent….

look at HotAir, they, (and we) continue to be subjected
to your Delusional postings….

If you were no longer here, we’d still have Koch
and Weed….so I see your point….

ToddPA on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Lying sack of shyte…

Seven Percent Solution on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

My guess is Mrs. S told him to quit.

Christien on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Veterans Affairs hospitals secret waiting lists allegations
1m
President Obama says ‘distractions’ Eric Shinseki referred to while submitting his resignation were ‘in part political’ – live video

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

It’s just her way of saying she won’t hold Obama responsible for fixing the problems she twice voted for him to fix.
 
rogerb on May 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

 
I’m glad you can speak/read coolrepublicese.
 
Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

 
It’s pretty easy after you read a few posts. There are different variations of four to six responses, and that translation is probably good for at least half of them.

rogerb on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Did O’bama blame Bush for his having to accept Shinseki’s resignation?

Del Dolemonte on May 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

No, he blamed Bush for the decision to hire Shinseki in the first place:

“Had Shinseki not been such a vocal critic of Bush, I never would have appointed him to this job for which he was so clearly unqualified.”

AZCoyote on May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Shinseki was an AA hire solely for the following reasons:

1. He criticized Boosh.

2. He’s Asian.

3. He’s from Kaua’i.

Del Dolemonte on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

He didn’t have the balls to fire him. No political fallout for Obozo. He wasn’t the bad guy, Shinseki did it for him. Pu$$y.

Patriot Vet on May 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

There could have been some political fallout for Obama if the GOP had been a little more vocal and insistent on Shinseki being fired. Shinseki’s resignation might then have been viewed a bit more like Obama’s polite way of firing him under intense bipartisan pressure. And Obama would have appeared weaker politically for having acquiesced to Congressional demands.

But the GOP played the game Obama’s way, and he’ll be able to manage this crisis with media complicity– exactly the way he managed Sebelius’s “resignation.” Boehner gets no points for fence straddling on this one.

Best thing the GOP can do now, politically and for the vets, is up the ante. Demand of Obama more firings, investigations, and changes in the system (I’d go for abolition myself).

Most of us understand that nothing really is going to change until the regime changes. But the GOP could exact a much greater political price from these incompetents. Steal a few pages from the Democratic playbook and start the nonstop Sunday talk show railing against the Democrat “culture of corruption.” And why hasn’t even one of them pointed out that the VA is Obamacare writ large for all of us?

de rigueur on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

He is going to ask for more money………..end of story.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Scandal Over.

Next?

chuckfinlay on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Barack Obama
17s
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Eric Shinseki’s resignation: ‘While we are eager to see the President finally engaging on this issue, this has never been about a single person or a single resignation’ – @NBCNews

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Epic fail.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM

We know this administration will take of those in the field…

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM

The balls on this guy, suggesting he and Shinseki didn’t know about the problems right after saying he was aware of them as senator. BS.

changer1701 on May 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Ditto. Unbelievable. He’s been whining about this for at least seven years. He fell asleep at the wheel fundamentally transforming the country.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

He hasn’t read the section of the newspaper yet where it’ll tell him that he campaigned on this.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller · 59s

Obama says firing Sebelius would have been a distraction

https://twitter.com/LeoShane
Leo Shane III @LeoShane · 18s

By a great writer … MT @starsandstripes: Background on Sloan Gibson from when he was tapped for No. 2 VA position: http://www.stripes.com/1.240483

canopfor on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Why nothing sticks to Obama.

Bigbullets on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

“We’ve got to deal with Congress,” Obama said to explain that Shinseki would likely be distracted by Congressional demands for his resignation. This is the same Congress that increased the VA budget by 78% over the past six budget cycles.

Wrong approach you rat-eared lummox. You should be working with Congress to fix the problem instead of “dealing” with them. And putting the number 2 guy in charge doesn’t change the dynamics- Sloan Gibson should be shown the door today too. You need a fresh start at the top of the VA. Now!

They were tongue-in-cheek suggesting that Mitt Romney should be called in to fix the VA. It isn’t a bad suggestion given Mitt’s reputation for turning around companies and the Olympics. But of course that would be politically DOA.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Big shocker…

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Maybe Hillary could come back and clear up this problem…she takes care of her people….?

d1carter on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Of course he accepted the resignation “with regret”….he despises our military. The CF that is known as our VA efficacy is a feature, not a bug.

herm2416 on May 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

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