That’s not just Carney’s problem: The entire Obama messaging operation has been groping for a way to get ahead of the three stories.

As part of an ongoing effort to elicit advice, chief of staff Denis McDonough late last week quietly convened a conclave of former Obama insiders that included David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter, Gibbs — who had been openly critical of pushback efforts — and former White House communications director Anita Dunn. He also sought counsel from Begala, veteran Democratic strategist Tad Devine and longtime Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry.

Their advice, according to a person familiar with the situation, was basically threefold: 1) Get out as much information as quickly as possible on all three scandals; 2) recruit more media surrogates to compensate for a “thin bench” of second-term White House staffers and; 3) find some way to change the subject to immigration reform or other Obama agenda items.