Douglas Wilder to Obama: It's time to clean house and start firing people

A strange piece, not because his basic idea is wrongheaded but because the advisor he singles out for immediate termination is Tim Kaine. Of all the satellites in orbit around The One — Rahm, Axelrod, Jarrett, Geithner and the economic team — the guy who needs to be liquidated post haste for losing Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts is … the chairman of the DNC? Memo to Wilder: It ain’t Tim Kaine who saddled national Democrats with double-digit unemployment and a health-care initiative that’s now almost -13 in net approval. He actually goes so far as to lament that Kaine’s record as Virginia’s governor will be a national issue for Republicans in November, which is so far removed from reality that I have to wonder what his real agenda is.

My guess? He wants to blame Rahm and the rest of the inner circle by name but doesn’t quite have the stones to do it, so we get this weak tea instead:

The need is becoming more obvious by the day: He must overhaul his own team, replacing the admittedly brilliant advisers who helped elect him with others more capable of helping him govern. Getting elected and getting things done for the people are two different jobs…

The changes must go much deeper. Obama’s West Wing is filled with people who are in their jobs because of their Chicago connections or because they signed on with Obama early during his presidential campaign.

One problem is that they do not have sufficient experience at governing at the executive branch level. The deeper problem is that they are not listening to the people.

Hearing is one thing; listening is another…

It would be a grave mistake for the president and those around him to misread the current polls and analyses. They suggest that 1) the American people do not like the direction in which the country is heading; 2) they do not believe that either Democrats or Republicans are showing that they get the message and are doing the business of the people; 3) they hold Congress in very low regard; but 4) they really like the president. Yet, they keep going to the polls to rebuke him resoundingly every chance it is presented.

For a more proper treatment of how Obama’s core team is ruining his presidency, read this zesty Steve Clemons piece or Andrew Malcolm’s roundup of newfound naysaying about the Chicago squad at the LA Times. The fingerpointing at Rahm, in particular, for having mismanaged the ObamaCare process in the Senate is growing too. Exit question: Time to start a pool on when Emanuel is forced out in favor of, oh, say, Tom Daschle? I’ll take May 15th, just because.

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