Daily Archives: March 7, 2010

White House Puppeteer Defensive About Loyalty

Message Maven Finds Fingers Pointing at Him.  NYT.  Yes, that would be David Axelrod, White House Senior Adviser to President Brack Obama. 

Things are not looking so hot for the current president, and by default, the people he surrounds himself with, primarily Axelrod.    

Critics, pointing to the administration’s stalled legislative agenda, falling poll numbers and muddled messaging, suggest that kind of devotion is part of the problem at the White House. Recent news reports have cast the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, as the administration’s chief pragmatist, and Mr. Axelrod, by implication, as something of a swooning loyalist. “I’ve heard him be called a ‘Moonie,’ ” dismissed Mr. Axelrod’s close friend, former Commerce Secretary William Daley. Or as the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, joked, “the guy who walks in front of the president with rose petals.”

Now that is an interesting description, the rose petal thrower.  But Axelrod fumes at the fawning analogies.  But if there was not the least bit of truth to it, there would be no concern expressed when the sensitive issue was raised, right? 

In an interview in his office, Mr. Axelrod was often defiant, saying he did not give a “flying” expletive “about what the peanut gallery thinks” and did not live for the approval “of the political community.” He denounced the “rampant lack of responsibility” of people in Washington who refuse to solve problems, and cited the difficulty of trying to communicate through what he calls “the dirty filter” of a city suffused with the “every day is Election Day sort of mentality.”

Why the every day is Election Day mentality in the White House has been blatantly obvious since the election was over with in 2008.  Yet the greatest offenders seem to have forgotten they should stop the campaigning ad nauseum, and get to the business of governing.  A practice unheard of at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue these days. 

Mr. Axelrod is often at the president’s side; he sits in on policy and national security meetings and is routinely the last person he talks to before making a decision. He directs the administration’s external presentation, overseeing polls, focus groups and speeches and appearing on the Sunday shows.

Goodness, does this man ever let Obama out of his sight?  Or would Obama be crippled without his third leg.  

The man orchestrating the presentation and controlling the script is also known as a puppeteer in a different occupation.  The person who pulls the strings of the puppet and controls his every action and words.  Like Geppetto and Pinocchio.  Hard at work.   


“Geppetto and Pinocchio.”
Image courtesy of http://www.ssqq.com/halloween/halloweenbest2007.htm.

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