February 28, 2013

The Very Senior White House Person who threatened Bob Woodward was Gene Sperling, economic adviser to the President.

Politico reveals the name and presents the text of the email:
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. 
So there's also that conversation, which involved yelling, and we don't have the transcript of it.
I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. 
These Washington folk are fond of clichés — moving the goal posts, forest for the trees, seeing eye to eye. I would lose my mind!
I know you may not believe this...
As a reader, I translate that into I don't even believe what I'm about to say myself.
... but as a friend...
More filler and one more thing that's not believable, but maybe there's a Washington kind of "friendship" that we outsiders don't quite get.
... I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain [sic] with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start....
If "I think you will regret" is supposed to be the threatening part, the accusation is weak. Sperling is bullshitting — blathering the administration's position wordily — but only explicitly saying Woodwood is wrong and predicting that Woodward will ultimately agree that the President didn't "move the goalposts." But I didn't hear the tone and content of the earlier discussion. And Sperling's apology and subsequent verbosity — I'm eliding a chunk of it — suggest that he knows he crossed a line.

The email ends:
Not out to argue and argue on this latter point.
Which of course he just did.
Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.

My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
That sounds pretty meek, but — again — implies that he was awful earlier.

Here's Woodward's response:
Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved...
So, Woodward is conciliatory and seemingly all about maintaining his continued access to Sperling. What happened next that motivated Woodward to go on TV and say he was threatened and that it was "madness"?

Woodward is a master at this game, so let's figure out what he's doing. He said he welcomes a little heat. Then he makes some big heat of his own. Why?

116 comments:

Quayle said...

Then he makes some big heat of his own. Why?

With Lanny Davis piling on, could it be that the Clinton's game is afoot to make sure that Hillary is positioned as the reasonable alternative to the Obama excesses, and not cast as Obama Term 3?

James said...

But why suggest that Woodward would regret his position? If ultimately he was proven wrong the WH could crow about it and Woodward would "regret" his stance? There was no need to preemptively mention the possiblity of regret, unless it was a veiled threat.

ricpic said...

"I think you will regret" is hardly a threat.

I'm much more disturbed by the inability (or unwillingness) of one of our best and brightest to write with clarity.

Hagar said...

"Don't tread on me!"

Or you might regret it!

TMink said...

Maybe, just maybe Woodward is feeling twinges of journalism stirring in his heart. Will his next book be titled "Scammed?"

I know a dead president who would warn the White House to not have Woodward as an enemy.

Interesting times.

Trey

Palladian said...

When someone uses the phrase "My bad" I immediately discount everything else they have to say. I also have to stifle the urge to slap them.

madAsHell said...

My bad ???

Was he dressed in basketball shoes, and shorts??...or a helmet with cleated shoes??

Martha said...

The Emperor has no clothes and lies about everything including his role in creating the Sequester mess as he flies around the country in perpetual campaign mode.

Maybe Woodward cannot take it anymore.

Mitchell the Bat said...

We're a long, long way away from assuring a bandleader that either his signature or his brains will be on the contract.

rhhardin said...

Early digital circuits sometimes were designed with "regretters," an engineer's joke for a module in a circuit design that won't work all the time.

Chip S. said...

There are a few very different ways to say "You'll regret that."

Did he use emoticons?

Marshal said...

If "I think you will regret" is supposed to be the threatening part, the accusation is weak. Sperling is bullshitting — blathering the administration's position wordily — but only explicitly saying Woodwood is wrong and predicting that Woodward will ultimately agree that the President didn't "move the goalposts."

I think this is wrong. He's looking at secondary effects. He's telling Woodward his report will hurt Democrats, some of whom will then treat Woodward as an outsider, which will impair his access. The subtext is why hurt yourself over something that's fake but accurate? Support the narrative!

Bob Ellison said...

Everyone in the news game knew it was Gene Sperling. Why do they continue to play the game?

Everyone in the news game knew it was Richard Armitage. They probably didn't know it was Mark Felt. They knew it was Lucy Page Mercer, though, and Fiddle and Faddle.

They purport to report, but they don't do it.

rhhardin said...

According to etymology, the re- is just an intensive. Gretting would be enough.

You will gret the day.

AJ Lynch said...

I find it funny that little pussy boys like Sperling, Plouffe, Axelrod, Carney use the tough guy act on people and it seems to have worked on a fellow pussyboy like Woodward.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Woodward is a drama queen

Nonapod said...

Chip S. said...

There are a few very different ways to say "You'll regret that."

Did he use emoticons?


"You'll regret that." ಠ_ಠ

gk1 said...

I think Woodward is trying to bait some "journolists" to actually do their jobs and report the obvious. Take obama's dick out of your mouths for a second and report how he's not doing his job and lying his ass off. Sheesh, the election is over, you got your guy safely re-elected, now do your jobs.

Patrick said...

Given the tone of the email, it appears that it was more of a "you will regret it because you will be proven wrong" rather than "you will regret it because we will outfit you with cement shoes and throw you in the Potomac."

Maybe it's code though.

Mitchell the Bat said...

It seems like hardly anyone rues the day anymore.

vet66 said...

So much for "No drama Obama!" Bill; nice try carrying Obama's water. Sperling is an economic advisor in the WH who is doing Obama/Jarrett'd bidding to play on what John Kerry said; "Americans have a right to be stupid." They overplayed their hand and got caught big time. Sperling tried to salvage his credibility by sputtering threats against Woodward like You won't work in this town again...!" You conveniently overlook Obama walking back the hysteria. Big trouble in little WH!

rhhardin said...

Lanny Davis the same thing happened to him, maybe there's a transcript of his remarks on the usage of "regret."

via weasel zippers, and I see the first comment alludes to it.

wyo sis said...

Is anyone ever sincere about anything in politics or media. One of the reasons I could never be a politician is that I can't play the rhetoric game. If you have something to say, say it. Otherwise I'm going to assume you meant it the way you said it, or I'm going to repeat it the way I heard it.
Bunch of weasels.

edutcher said...

If memory serves, Sperling was part of the Ozark Mafia, so this is tamer than usual.

ricpic said...

"I think you will regret" is hardly a threat.

Maybe Sperling learned something during his last go in the West Wing. The Dogpatch crowd was a lot more physical.

TMink said...

Maybe, just maybe Woodward is feeling twinges of journalism stirring in his heart. Will his next book be titled "Scammed?"

I know a dead president who would warn the White House to not have Woodward as an enemy.


No, that was Mortuary Bob's ultimate employer, who wanted to get Nixon because the FCC didn't give her a license for a TV station.

Mortuary Bob's a punk.

BDNYC said...

It's not a threat, but there is creepy groupthink tendency in this administration. They also think science and absolute certainty are on their side, not because they understand their own policy assertions but because they assume their superiority. Everything is an appeal to their own authority, or that of their like-minded peers.

To challenge them to defend themselves is to invite anger. I wonder if there was some presumption that Woodward, as a left-of-center journalist, would tolerate the unprofessional tantrum and be discreet about it. I mean, come on, he works for Obama and is a right-thinking guy who is on the side of all that is good and decent, and maybe he just had a bad day. He's entitled to a human failure and a teachable moment every now and then. Woodward understands that, doesn't he?

It's not like he's a Bushie.

AprilApple said...

The brown nosing is nauseating.

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

I just enjoy the difference between Woodward's language and Sperling's. Both are conversational. But Woodward has actual clarity and gets a point across in a sentence that would have taken Sperling a paragraph to just allude to.

It speaks to someone who takes the idea of expression seriously versus one who does not. Or maybe once one gets involved in politics from a non-journalistic standpoint doublespeak becomes ingrained (though I'm not too sure the newer crop of journalists has escaped that either).

AprilApple said...

After all that ass sniffing and brown nosing, the leftwing juicebox chorus has the audacity to call Woodward a "rightwing turncoat."
Geez the Obama blind faithful are as thin-skinned as Obama.

bgates said...

It seems like hardly anyone rues the day anymore.

Rue the day? Who talks like that?

ThomasD said...

It's not like Sperling put crosshairs on an election map or anything nearly so ominous.

More seriously, this is disgusting, a White House lackey thinks it acceptable to yell at a citizen for half an hour?

Did Woodward put up with this kind of crap from Reagan, or either Bush administrations?

If so it needs to end now.

We are paying these jackholes.

Scott M said...

These Washington folk are fond of clichés — moving the goal posts, forest for the trees, seeing eye to eye. I would lose my mind!

Cliches, like overusing adverbs, are signs of a lazy intellect.

Rob said...

What do you want to wager that there was an earlier conversation when somebody--Obama? Lew?--said to Sperling, "You'd better get in touch with your little friend Woodward and straighten him out!"?

Tom said...

What does Bob Woodward get out of this discussion that he wants?

1) The most obvious is he's right and wants to be publically right. The administration punched (along with Ezra Klein, et al) and Woodward punched back. I wonder how much more ammo he has.

2) He wants to sell his book and he's hyping the train wreck detailed therein (actual or perceived).


3) The threat irritated him and he's lashing out. I doubt this is case. I'm sure he's gotten a lot worse from a lot tougher people. I don't know if he's an awesome jounalist but he's no push-over. Further, I doubt this is simply a exercise in "let's see how far we can both pee". So I think it's unlikely he's just pissed.

4) He feels like he can improve or change the debate in favor of the outcome he'd like to see. Maybe he's feeling patriotic or his sense of fairness is offended.

5) Maybe the Obama administration simply scares the shit out of him and he's doing what he can to limit the damage.

6) Maybe he just thinks, "I really need to take out another president before I retire for a really nice set of career bookends -- kinda completes the set, huh?"

Lonetown said...

In other words, I'm not saying your a whore, I'm just suggesting you take the money.

Lonetown said...

In other words, I'm not saying your a whore, I'm just suggesting you take the money.

phx said...

It does seem like Woodward's being passive agressive between his conciliatory email and raising alarums when talking with the media.

I agree that Sperling doesn't sound very threatening but that we don't have the record of the conversation previous.

At this point, what difference does it make?

Kristian Holvoet said...

I think the point about welcoming a little heat, and then starting a firestorm is actually a message to the administration. To wit, when you attack the king, you better make the kill. That is what Mr. Woodward is telling the amateurish flunkys currently running interference for the administration.

Tim said...

"Then he makes some big heat of his own. Why?"

The two simplest answers are, 1) the facts are on his side; 2) he's tired of the media swallowing the Obama line as if they were crack whores in dire need of their next hit.

Media supplication to Obama and the Democrats is corrosive to the Republic, not that they care.

AprilApple said...


Seems to me that when you hear a "news" report that slips and slides past democrats culpability, and subtly or not so subtly blanket cliché blames the "obstructionist" republicans, you know this is either basic unprofessional bias, or they are acting and promoting the "news" in this manner to avoid the wrath of the Obama administration.

dreams said...

I have been aware of Gene Sperling since the Clinton years and he has always seem to me to be a forceful and ruthless person which I guess is why he always get selected instead of Roger Altman who is a man so smart and sensible that I wonder how he can be a Democrat.

EDH said...

"part of the DNA of the thing from the start..."

Part Lincoln, part Hitler?

Mark O said...

Without putting oneself in criminal jeopardy, how much more explicit could a writing be if were intended as a threat?

When a powerful person in government suggests one will feel "regret" it is folly to assume it is not meant to chill speech.

Saint Croix said...

The press loves to take juicy quotes out of context. "You'll regret this" sounds like a threat. So that gives the story juice: the White House is threatening our free press.

Of course that's not fair to the White House, but since when does the press give a shit about fairness?

And is the Obama administration guilty of trying to control the narrative? Yes! Guilty as charged! They all try to do that.

What motivates Woodward? I think he's genuinely pissed at the dishonesty of blaming the Republicans for the sequester, which was an idea that came out of the White House.

Good reporting here.

And also Woodward would like to sell copies of his book. This reporting was done last year. Not new reporting! But it's timely because of the sequester, and because Obama wants to blame the Republicans, when (in Woodward's judgment) Obama should be blamed.

And note too that the attacks on Woodward just make him stronger! Attacking Woodward plays into the story that the press is under attack. Duh.

Phil Beck said...

Prof. Althouse concluded: "What happened next that motivated Woodward to go on TV and say he was threatened and that it was 'madness'?"

I don't think Woodward's "madness" comment had anything to do with the (alleged) threat. The "madness" comment seemed to relate strictly to the Obama administration's decision to implement the sequester by not sending an aircraft carrier to the mideast.

traditionalguy said...

Woodward is a voice of the past that speaks with full knowledge and understanding of 40 years of American governance tactics.

He is sending out an alarm that the Obama Gang is not one of us, and that they are going way beyond governance tactics ever seen before.

Woodward believes the truth,, even if partial and delayed for a season, is what News reporters should be selling. He is reacting to a second term Obama using BS propaganda of Big Lies to cover up Big Lies fed to us through the terrified media.

Woodward needs our support. He is doing this for us at his risk.

rhhardin said...

The White House’s escalating war with Bob Woodward has major ramifications for all involved — not least the president whom Woodward believes wouldn’t approve of his own aides’ tactics. abc

There are lots of things wrong with that, starting with "whom."

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

As for what Woodward wants. Could it be that he is just an old school journalist? That he is disgusted by the sycophantic nature of the current press (and that it took him so long to take a stand because he was inclined to like team Obama at first). And that he is disgusted how Obama seems to be living out the words that so many journalists derided Bush for saying (about a damn war): you're either with us or you're against us. But here the "against" is demonizing citizens rather than enemy combatants and foreign nations.

Renee said...

"There was no need to preemptively mention the possiblity of regret, unless it was a veiled threat."


Maybe the threat wouldn't be coming from the writer, but the response was a FYI that someone else is make Woodward regret it.

Even in local politics things get ugly quick, I can't imagine how things are in Washington D.C..

Shouting Thomas said...

To answer your question, Woodward is trying to create controversy and argument.

That's what draws readers, right?

Endless political fighting seems to have endless appeal in the media.

Witness this blog.

Lem said...

I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening.

It suggest the subjects are closer than they even appear.

The importance of what?

What could be more important than reporting the news?

DADvocate said...

Sounds like Woodward is genuinelly concerned about Obama's actions and is trying to get him to change course using the tools and weapons he (Woodward) has available.

garage mahal said...

Woodward needs our support. He is doing this for us at his risk.

LOL.

Quayle said...

I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening.

This is a master ego stroker skillfully drawing out his source.

Dante said...

This particularly exchange was corroborated with an email. Who knows what else has been said.

I've read many articles about Obama controlling the press, working around them. Perhaps this is self preservation, or perhaps if the actuality of what's going on were known, we would all be incensed.

Like Benghazi.

AprilApple said...

What's sad about Obama is that his propaganda is stale.
He's out there saying "we can't cut our way to prosperity" even though we all know the sequester was his idea. The left live and breathe to cut military spending and hike taxes. Obama thinks we can tax and spend our way to prosperity. Yo Obama - Is that Paul Krugman's dick in your ear? Oop. No, it's Jack Lew. Frightening... Frightening man. It's his.
All this tax and spend has worked out so well so far.. so...

Peggy Noonan pens Government by Freakout

Obama comes out and parrots what Noonan says, but twists it and blames others. Whining about how we must stop jumping from crisis to crisis. He's a hack-- a lair - just like the fawning idiots who obey and adore him. Obama can never and will never take responsibility.

Then Obama comes out and pathetically states “its time to govern.” Oh shut the fuck up.

Lem said...

He said he welcomes a little heat. Then he makes some big heat of his own. Why?

The obvious answer is Woodward is writing a book and heat creates buzz and buzz sells books.

Kelly said...

During the fall I heard a radio interview Woodward did promoting his book. He sincerely believes that the sequester, "will take a generation to recover from".

In a nutshell, that is why he is doing this. I don't agree the cuts are harmful, but Woodward is a true liberal believer that feels the blame should be put on Obama.

Tibore said...

And the liberal as well as the media love affair continues... :-/

Jim Treacher said it best:
"Remember: They're not attacking Bob Woodward because they think he's lying. They're attacking him because they think he's telling the truth."

Lem said...

Its a book PR stunt.

Saint Croix said...

The "madness" comment seemed to relate strictly to the Obama administration's decision to implement the sequester by not sending an aircraft carrier to the mideast.

The sequester cuts seem to be a lot like the cuts a city does. Cut services to the public so that the public gets mad about the cuts. Cut library hours, cut school days. Obama is attempting to do this on a national scale. "No, sorry, can't send that aircraft carrier, it's the sequester."

I think Woodward is offended that this sort of game is being played at a national level. What he sees as "madness" is really a sort of small-mindedness. Obama isn't thinking of national security, or how to balance the budget. He's thinking, how do I win? How do I defeat my enemies?

William said...

Who would be more likely to win the Pulitzer: The reporter who established that Menendez had sex with an underage prostitute or a reporter who discovered that, say, Chrystie had his lunch paid for by some road contractor. All honor and repute go to those journalists who report on Republican improprieties. There's no glory or best seller to be had reporting on Obama's fumbles. That's what he meant by his regret remark. The fact that Wodward's family dog was found hanging dead over the front door was just a coincidence that had nothing to do with the current contretemps.

Original Mike said...

Not surprised at all. Sperling is a hack. Always has been. As I posted in a different thread, I saw an interview with Sperling a couple of days ago. He was asked about giving agencies transfer authority so that managers closest to operations could decide where to cut. He was opposed, but could not articulate why. His answer boiled down to a phrase Obama has used ("no easy off ramps").

Saint Croix said...

Do we have an Obama is like Nixon tag?

AprilApple said...

Obama henchman David Plouffe: Bob Woodward should be put out to pasture

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I'd like to think that this is a turning point in the ongoing media fellatio, but who knows.

It is probably just a blip, with some particularly egregious and blatant lies by Obama being too much even for his media whores. But perhaps not. After all, President Foodstamps has been re-elected, and some "journalists" may be thinking ahead to a post Obama world.

Isn't it wonderful, just to type out those words? "Post Obama World."

madAsHell said...

So.....Sperling drew the short straw like Susan Rice.

I wonder if he will send pictures from under the bus.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

To answer your question, Woodward is trying to create controversy and argument.

That's what draws readers, right?

Endless political fighting seems to have endless appeal in the media.

Witness this blog.


Shout, if Ann went back to making the focus of the blog her blissed-out married life, you would be the first one gone.

PatHMV said...

Perhaps it's simply that subsequent comments from Sperling cast a new contextual light on his earlier comments, rendering them less ambiguous and more threatening.

Kit said...

Faux-drama to the faux-drama queens.

DADvocate said...

Obama is a narcissist. He cares nothing about other people beyond using them to meet his needs.

From the 7 Deadly Sins of narcissism:
5.Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
6.Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
7.Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

AprilApple said...

The Obama administration and the democrats need the media crutch. When it's not there, they throw a tantrum and level threats.

The Obama administration is just one manufactured crisis after the other. Never let a crisis go to waste, especially when you can manipulate an already unprofessional press to do say what you want.

oh wait "It's time to govern". lol.

Shouting Thomas said...

Shout, if Ann went back to making the focus of the blog her blissed-out married life, you would be the first one gone.

Well, that might depend on whether she included pics and video.

Say no more... Is she a sport?

sonicfrog said...

Journalists love to become a part of the story, especially when they can control it (and it's not negative), and Woodward is the top name for this. He is the Jedi Master. We know his name because he became part of the story that brought down a President. Michael Isakoff is not nearly as well known because he buried the story that brought down another President.

Saint Croix said...

Interesting that Woodward is so prominently a part of this story. "Woodward at War", for instance. Whoever dreamed up that title was doing a smear on Bob Woodward.

It's a "battle".

No, it's a disagreement. (Leave it to NPR to label the fight with the softest possible voice!)

Why cover this like it's Obama vs. Woodward? Is Bob Woodward running for office? Is he even a partisan hack? Since when?

Is Bob Woodward attacking Obama? Or is he reporting the truth? That's an important question, I would think. And yet all these media outlets are only interested in the attack. They seem to have no interest in whether the charge is true or not.

chickelit said...

Saint Croix writes: I think Woodward is offended that this sort of game is being played at a national level. What he sees as "madness" is really a sort of small-mindedness. Obama isn't thinking of national security, or how to balance the budget. He's thinking, how do I win? How do I defeat my enemies?

I agree.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Shout, if Ann went back to making the focus of the blog her blissed-out married life, you would be the first one gone.

Well, that might depend on whether she included pics and video.


Oh, but she did...

Jay said...

When you attack leftist hacks like Lanny Davis, you are so far out of the mainstream it isn't funny.

This WH is pathetic.

Writ Small said...

These Washington folk are fond of clichés — moving the goal posts, forest for the trees, seeing eye to eye. I would lose my mind!

Good one.

AReasonableMan said...

I assume Sperling leaked these emails because they very effectively make Woodward look histrionic. Woodward should man up.

edutcher said...

They do?

All that people are going to remember is, "You're gonna regret this".

Tibore said...

Also:

"He said he welcomes a little heat. Then he makes some big heat of his own."

So... long gone are the days when journalists were supposed to shed light, not heat. How is it that he's the victim here yet still unlikeable? Oh, it's because he's part of the current media, that's how.

Seeing Red said...

Makes one wonder what signs Woodward really sees?

AReasonableMan said...

edutcher said...
All that people are going to remember is, "You're gonna regret this".


Probably wrong on this, like so much else.

This is the Corner's view, which jibes with mine.

Michael said...

These people are all slime. Vile. Emailing back and forth, withholding this and proffering that, scratching this back for that back. Up there in that disgusting city that Kennedy rightly claimed possessed the business ability of the south with the charm of the north. It has become truly dreadful.

Congress should meet every other year.
Congress should meet outside of Washington every fourth year. A minimum of 300 miles from a Palm Restaurant which axiomatically would put it 300 miles from a place to acquire Gucci loafers.

Michael said...

These people are all slime. Vile. Emailing back and forth, withholding this and proffering that, scratching this back for that back. Up there in that disgusting city that Kennedy rightly claimed possessed the business ability of the south with the charm of the north. It has become truly dreadful.

Congress should meet every other year.
Congress should meet outside of Washington every fourth year. A minimum of 300 miles from a Palm Restaurant which axiomatically would put it 300 miles from a place to acquire Gucci loafers.

Amartel said...

I'm not buying Woodward's sudden realization that OFA just might possibly for the first time be exploiting a crisis for political gain and lying to the American people. It's not like the first term/campaign of this administration had any shortage of appalling underreported crisis exploitation, corruption, and general all-purpose bumblefuckery.
So why now?
Because the Republicans might be gaining some traction. Maybe. If the Stupid Party doesn't fuck it up, of course. When better to ride in as the voice of reason and centrist wisdom? Keep the baggers and wingers on the fringe where they belong while reeling in the Dear Leader. Also, nothing wrong with a little reminder to everyone that Mr. Bob Woodward is Relevant and Important. And super Tough. Don't tangle with Bob!

David said...

Sperling has been the birth father of a number of spectacular policy failures over the years. That makes no difference. He continues to be given positions of high responsibility. It's the Washington way.

CEO-MMP said...

No, that's Kevin Hasslett's view of it, and he's a sissy economist who worked for Romney (and was crucified by various media outlets for it).

But hey--if he wants to defend dems, let him. Same with you.

traditionalguy said...

The extermination of the balance job of opposition parties in American governance, be they GOP, Tea or Clintonian Dem, is what Woodward is warning us about.

We need to quit slandering Woodward for Obama's benefit. He has the credibility to be listened to.

The Obama Gang wants us all disarmed and without a viable political opposition party for The Great Day of dollar devaluation and ensuing chaos.

Jake said...

Are you saying that people who speak in metaphors should shampoo your crotch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV8XOI5McNM


DADvocate said...

Obama isn't thinking of national security, or how to balance the budget. He's thinking, how do I win? How do I defeat my enemies?

Exactly. This is how a narcissist thinks. It's all about them. Everything and everyone else is inconsequential. The only use a narcissist has for others is to use them to promote themselves. Whoever else gets hurt in the process doesn't matter.

This is how Obama can shrug and walk away for Benghazi so easily. He truly doesn't care Ambassador Stevens or any of the others. He just needs to make himself look good at any cost.

Tom said...

Maybe Obama's madness is the elevation of Chicago politics to the national level. The country pretty much accepts that Chicago is a corrupt, nasty place where the political machine operates much like the early 19th century. We don't like it but it's really up to Chicago to fix it. But one thing for sure, anyone who pays attention to governance, which is certainly the case with Woodward, knows what Chicago is. And though the federal government has done some silly and rotten things in the past, is still isn't Chicago... yet! There has to be a line somewhere in order for America to remain America. For Woodward, this may be it.

Nathan Alexander said...

So how is it the same people who freaked out over the ominous threat of descending police state of Ari Fleischer's "people should watch what they say", can insist that "you will regret it" is no big deal?

Oh, that's right: crass hypocrisy, the signature of the Low-Information Party (Democrats).

Hyphenated American said...

If Obama lost Woodward...

Valentine Smith said...

I'm guessing the email was cover for the ugliness of his verbal assault on Woodward. Release the emails and Sperling can assert that they're benign, hardly measure up to the kerfuffle they've caused. Nothing in the world more infuriating than a cowardly thug.

Valentine Smith said...

And I'm guessing Woodward didn't tumble to it until later and than decided to go public.

phx said...

Exactly. This is how a narcissist thinks. It's all about them. Everything and everyone else is inconsequential. The only use a narcissist has for others is to use them to promote themselves. Whoever else gets hurt in the process doesn't matter.

This is how Obama can shrug and walk away for Benghazi so easily. He truly doesn't care Ambassador Stevens or any of the others. He just needs to make himself look good at any cost.


This is just fantasizing. You repubs and your fantasies!

Freder Frederson said...

But I didn't hear the tone and content of the earlier discussion.

So what? Woodward claimed that the "threat" was in the email. Now we have the email (and Woodward's response--which was basically "don't worry about it"), Woodward seems like a big drama queen.

Patrick said...

Woodward claimed that the "threat" was in the email. Now we have the email (and Woodward's response--which was basically "don't worry about it"), Woodward seems like a big drama queen.

No, he just knows that this will give him (Woodward) some ink/pixels for a few days, help out with book sales. He's not threatened at all, but he's into it for pub, not drama.

edutcher said...

AnUnreasonableTroll said...

All that people are going to remember is, "You're gonna regret this".

Probably wrong on this, like so much else.


Sure, Troll is the expert on wishful thinking.

Most people remember the headline and never get around to the retraction.

This item will not get the press the original did.

This is the Corner's view, which jibes with mine.

Which only vindicates the proposition the NRO is not what it once was in the eyes, hearts, and minds of many Conservatives.

Patrick said...

This is how Obama can shrug and walk away for Benghazi so easily. He truly doesn't care Ambassador Stevens or any of the others. He just needs to make himself look good at any cost.

This is just fantasizing. You repubs and your fantasies!


I don't know, phx. I don't doubt that some on the right were overwrought about Benghazi, although it was a US Ambassador that was killed, in addition to the servicemen. I think it is fair to say, at the very least that the President was, uh..underwrought. The events didn't seem to bother him as they were happening, and really, he hasn't done much about it.

chickelit said...

phx countered: This is just fantasizing. You repubs and your fantasies!

OK, so when beside admitting "taking a shellacking" after the 2010 midterms has he spoken the unvarnished truth about making mistakes?

You guys could staunch a whole lot of criticisms about your guy if you just for once took him off a pedestal.

vbspurs said...

Tom wrote:

5) Maybe the Obama administration simply scares the shit out of him and he's doing what he can to limit the damage.

Woodward understood from the beginning that Obama and his crowd at 1600 Pennsylvania had the right views (given his leanings), but the wrong temperament for the job. By massaging messages coming for the White House, and making sure the public would be presented with stories that would present this President as under siege from opponents, the Fourth Estate felt Obama et al would have the time to grow into the job -- like they did with Kennedy, who was as green as they come, but had the press deeper in his pocket than even Obama does.

Unlike Kennedy, Obama doesn't have the personal rapport with many in the press to be able to press points, forcibly or not. And since everyone knows bad managers hire much the same in their workers, he has a cadre of similar egos around him.

(There are many in the Clinton Administration I didn't like, but I could point to a few I did like, and thought were well-intentioned -- Lanny Davis, being one. Try as I might, I cannot mention ONE NAME which inspires confidence in the entire Obama Administration. It is chilling)

Woodward is like many journalists, as sonicfrog said: they like to control the narrative.

Grudges, cries of revenge, 30-minute rants on the phone are all par for the course in Washington. A veteran of the game like Woodward knows that. So why is he making all this public?

Because the narrative now is "the Administration is overplaying its hand by attacking their minders". The sequester drama makes them look as weak as BEFORE the election. And like many weaklings, they bite those nearest them, their champions, their enablers, their loved ones.

"Why hasn't he evolved" has irrefutably become "Look what he's evolved into".

Cheers,
Victoria

DADvocate said...

This is just fantasizing. You repubs and your fantasies!

First, I'm not a repub, not that a simple minded dumb ass like cares or can fathom indempendent thinking.

Second, Obama's your fantasy and you can't accept reality.

phx said...

First, I'm not a repub

I can't tell you rightwingers apart...you all look the same to me!

phx said...

not that a simple minded dumb ass like cares or can fathom indempendent thinking.

Were you trying to say indumbpendent thinking by any chance?

Peace Dadvocate. None of this is personal. Let's have a drink sometime.

James said...

Right, because they're both obviously 100% sincere with all of these emails and there's no need to read between the lines. Great analysis, Ann!

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