Video: White House flummoxed by Feinstein threat

Has a new administration ever looked this incompetent? Dianne Feinstein sounded a note of rebellion in the Senate today, threatening to vote against the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Porkulus Bill if it didn’t focus more on actual and immediate job creation than its current version does. When asked whether the Obama administration anticipated this or could give Feinstein those assurances, spokesman Robert Gibbs looked lost (via Melissa Clouthier):

Feinstein hasn’t yet committed to voting against the bill, but she’s not exactly supportive either, and it’s a bad time to start losing Democrats. As David Gregory’s question subtly references, Barack Obama has accused critics of the plan for supposedly playing petty politics. Does Obama include Feinstein in that group? Gibbs has no germane response except babbling some tired slogans that have already failed to convince people that Obama knows what he’s doing.

Obama has already flunked this test of his administration. He needed to understand that Nancy Pelosi would be his biggest problem in seeking bipartisanship. She has torpedoed any chance Obama had of gaining significant Republican support, and now he may not have enough votes to avoid a filibuster of the stimulus package, let alone get bipartisan cover. Feinstein has now stripped him of the “mean Republicans” cover, too. It’s a disaster for the new administration.

Update (AP): Via Breitbart, here’s the full clip of Feinstein’s statement, in which she makes clear that it’s the tax cuts, not the spending, that’s scaring her off. The longer this drags on the more it reminds me of the failed amnesty bill, where every move to placate Republican hardliners alienated Democratic amnesty shills and vice versa until the whole thing collapsed. According to Mark Hemingway, roughly a dozen Democrats are unhappy with the bill in its current form. Is this compromise simply unworkable?

Update (Ed): Major Garrett and Fox, not David Gregory and NBC. Sorry about that — I could have sworn ….