In which we finally learn who was at fault for the Paris no show

In a rare act of contrition, the White House actually stepped up shortly after missing the Paris rally and said that they screwed up. Fair enough. But you knew that wasn’t going to be good enough… this is the media, and we have sacred cows that need roasting. Who was at fault? At what point was the decision made not to go, and who made that call? Up until now we’ve just been left to speculate.

But that all ended this morning. The President’s Chief of Staff showed up on the Today show and placed the bell around his own neck.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Tuesday took the blame for the administration’s failure to send a high-level official to the rally against terrorism in Paris earlier this month.

“That rests on me. That’s my job,” McDonough said on NBC’s “Today.”

He reiterated that the administration regretted not sending a high-level representative, and lamented that the firestorm overshadowed progress they made in their intelligence partnerships with allies.

Until now, no single White House official had taken the blame for the absence.

Really? You’re going to send out your Chief of Staff to take the fall more than a week after the event? But then, I’m sure that’s something we can all relate to. No matter how much you may have wanted to go to the rally, how could you possibly do it if McDonough didn’t stop by the office and tell you when and where you needed to be?

So, to recap, we have thus far heard that:

– The Secret Service was never even asked to look into the requirements for a possible trip.
– Unnamed “White House aides” were “caught off guard” by the size of the event and didn’t think to ask.
– Nobody ever talked to Biden about it.
– Holder was in Paris but was busy at a meeting, even though everyone worth meeting with was at the rally.
– Kerry was in the wrong country, but made up for it with a great big hug and a backup band.
– And now Denis McDonough has such tight control of not only the staff, but the President’s schedule as well, that he is the only one accountable for anything taking place.

It’s a bold new world of administrative management. So will Mr. McDonough be receiving any sort of strongly worded letter for this breakdown in operations? Probably… but he’ll be tasked with writing it himself.

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