A few days before, Obama erased any doubt. He opened his weekly Oval Office senior staff meeting by informing the group which included Jarrett, Axelrod, Senior Adviser Pete Rouse, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel of his plans to go public.
“He made his position clear, and no one dissented,” said a senior administration official.
“[But] he felt that to fail to address it would be a glaring and untenable omission,” said the official, who was directly involved in the talks. “And that’s how the decision was made. There was no [other] meeting or big internal debate.”…
Despite press reports to the contrary, none of them counseled Obama to dodge the issue — not even Emanuel, who knew well that the issue could be used a cudgel against moderate and conservative Democrats he helped elect as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 and 2008 cycles.