Putting aside the fact that the federal exchange is much larger to start than anyone anticipated, because so many Republican governors opted out of creating their own exchanges, and that the demand has been strikingly high, I view the problem in a broader way. It is the larger failure of public administration that has been endemic in the Obama White House, and is probably the president’s most significant weakness…

Burwell is now, commendably, at OMB, and Koskinen has been nominated to be IRS commissioner. But of course, Koskinen, if and when confirmed, will only underscore the White House’s failure here. Obama failed to fill the key post of IRS commissioner for FIVE YEARS. A savvy commissioner, in place early on, would have understood the potential train wreck ahead over the long-term IRS mishandling of 501(c)4 and (c)6 applications, and would have set up a process to create a bright line both to eliminate or ameliorate the political abuses of the tax code by groups like American Crossroads GPS and to give the career staff the clear guidelines they needed. And an experienced executive-branch veteran and public-management expert inside the White House would have seen the problems emerging with HealthCare.gov and begun the urgent management repair work earlier…

Some would argue that Eisen’s stiff restrictions on lobbyists entering the administration is to blame here. There is no doubt that a number of qualified people were kept out or frightened away by the restrictions. But there were plenty of qualified people remaining in the job pool. It was the remarkable lack of concern with managing the government, seeing the effective implementation of the laws as important as their passage, that is the key here. And the buck starts and stops with the president.