Obama’s Excuse Machine

Sad-Obama1Harry S. Truman had a sign on his desk declaring, “the buck stops here.” Barack Obama’s updated version would be a Jay Carney bobblehead that mutters, “I would refer you to the Treasury Department so as to determine the status of said buck.”

Six years late, the press is discovering that Obama has little to offer but blame. In today’s National Journal longtime AP reporter Ron Fournier dubbed our chief executive “the superhero of excuses”:

Rather than change Washington’s culture of polarization, zero-sum game politics, and spin, Obama surrendered to it almost immediately. On health insurance reform, government debt, and loosening immigration laws, Obama shares blame with obstinate House Republicans for fumbling potential compromise. On climate change and gun control, Obama knew (or should have known) his rhetoric was setting up voters for disappointment. Rather than roll back Bush-era terrorism programs that curb civil liberties, Obama deepened them.

This White House handles every failure as a lab project for a juco crisis communications class. Never thinking to actually fix the underlying problem, they passively hope the press doesn’t report on it. On the rare occasions the mainstream media does dig into the scandal of the week, the administration drops the issue into Obama’s excuse machine:

  • Monday: Relevant Cabinet secretary vaguely admits that “mistakes were made,” though no blame is shouldered or assigned.
  • Wednesday: President Obama claims that he only learned about Crisis X “from the papers,” that he’s “mad as hell,” and will “get to the bottom of it.”
  • Thursday: When Jay Carney is asked for more details he mocks the reporter and refers the others to some executive sub-department.
  • Friday: Carney insists that he “couldn’t possibly comment further until the investigation is over” on the second Wednesday of November. Incriminating documents released at 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: GOLF!
  • Following Monday: White House launches messaging campaign on an unrelated feel-good initiative. Michelle posts photo on Twitter, leading to three days of press debate on her daring belt/shoe combo.
  • Following Thursday: Jay Carney mocks further questions about Crisis X since it is “old news.”
  • Following Friday: At a fundraiser, Obama blames America’s problems on a recalcitrant GOP obsessed with “phony scandals.”

A Republican administration would never get away with such a transparent and clumsy PR strategy. It only works for Obama because the press wants to believe his excuses.

  1. Larry3435

    You missed one step:

    Later Thursday:  Some low-level official, who had already announced his retirement, leaves a day earlier than planned.  The press debates whether this meant that “heads had rolled,” thereby solving the problem and putting and end to the crisis.

  2. Nick Stuart

    The Fournier quote shows the MSM is still in full water-carry mode for BHO. Those “obstinate” Republicans learned very quickly that there is no such thing as making a deal with Obama.

  3. Old Bathos

    The strategy evolved to make use of a compliant media.  Remember how effectively Lanny Davis sold the idea that  a reporter could not mention a Clinton scandal unless there was a new development otherwise it was “Clinton-bashing”? It was a demand to drop and forget that for which accountability or candor was never effected.
    In contrast, Republican scandals are repeated daily (remember the silly super spy Valery Pflame non-scandal ) even if the editors have to resort to front page “analysis” articles about the effect of the scandal on this or that.
    Jay Carney has become a disgusting personage but his moral devolution is driven by the inherent pressure of the job and the complete lack of natural accountability from the press. The temptation to disgrace the office to win the current spin battle is overwhelming if it appears consequence-free.  
    I always had low expectations from Obama, Peosi and and Reid. I am genuinely surprised that the rest of the Democratic Party and it’s media wing have exhibited no character or conscience.

  4. Instugator

    Ace of Spades has the complete lowdown on the Obama Accountability Process.

    From Ace Of Spades HQ:

    1. He’s “mad. Or “angry.” Or “madder than hell.” Or even “apopleptic.” Obama vows he’s much, much angrier than you are — “no one is angrier than I am” — despite having no appearances of actual anger. Rather like a very controlled, uptight WASP Hulk.

    2 He vows to “get to the bottom of this.” He says this in a way to suggest that he, personally, will be getting to the bottom of this. Of course he doesn’t. Within a week he’s playing golf and parcheesi with the White House motor pool.

    3. Despite pronouncing this newest scandal extraordinary, he then demands that we… allow the routine, ordinary Bureaucratic Process to fix everything.

    Yep, between that and stonewalling for the requisite 365+ and then declaring the scandal “Old News” O has the reconciliation process down pat.

  5. Instugator

    Old Bathos:

    Jay Carney has become a disgusting personage but his moral devolution is driven by the inherent pressure of the job and the complete lack of natural accountability from the press. 


    Please, Beltway Jay was amazed at the sheer gumption of Baghdad Bob and made a vow to emulate him perfectly – should he ever be given the job of WH Press Secretary. The man is simply living his dream – don’t be a hater.

  6. Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    Instugator: Ace of Spades has the complete lowdown on the Obama Accountability Process.

     I saw that great Ace post about an hour after I posted this. As usual, he nails it.

  7. genferei

    Don’t worry about Jay. After his time in public service he’ll be well placed to accept the GOP’s invitation to moderate the 2016 Presidential Debates.

  8. Chris Campion

    What President would admit he learned something from the newspapers, especially the VA issue, which he’s publicly and repeatedly made statements on even when he was a Senator?

    It’s like learning that you drove your car into a brick wall from the EMTs.  Who’s behind the wheel here, Barry?  Or is this another 3:00AM phone call that Hillary wasn’t able to roll herself out of bed to answer?

  9. Caleb J. Jones

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Six years late, the press is discovering

     Six years late, the press is discovering…

    Blarney! What is actually happening is that it’s time for this dynast to relinquish his hold on power so that his anointed successor may ascend to the throne. From here out it will be “trash the one” to advance his successor. It has always been thus. This is nothing new. Obama must die so that his successor may live. Of course, “die” in the preceding sentence is metaphore. He, of course, will live to give gazillion dollar speeches here and there. Like the Kennedys, we will never see the end of his holiness, BH Obama.

  10. John Davey

    As with all blame avoiders /truth deniers, the true difficulty comes after so many balls / chainsaws have been tossed into the ongoing juggling act.  The sleight of hand of painting ongoing questions about something they’ve been avoiding as ‘old news’ is true artistry. It belongs in The Louvre, or should be course material at the National Blame Shifting War College. True mastery.
    It brings a tear to the eye. On so many levels.

  11. Yudansha


    Don’t worry about Jay. After his time in public service he’ll be well placed to accept the GOP’s invitation to moderate the 2016 Presidential Debates.

     It’s worse even than that!  He’ll be given a very well paid and high-profile position as a political pundit and he’ll have full credibility as an objective analyst.  The fact that he’s spent years as a paid (and transparent) liar will disappear down the memory-hole.

    See: George Stephanopoulos.

  12. Manny

    This has become the most amazing thing, a president who is completely and utterly clueless. It’s every issue now: Benghazi, IRS scandal, Obamacare startup, VA hospitals, shovel ready jobs, the Iraqi base expiration, Afghanistan war. Does he actually live in the White House or does he live at a golf course and occasionally meet at the Oval Office? This man is a walking joke.

  13. DocJay

    You forgot the part where his domestic critics have their lives destroyed.

  14. tabula rasa

    The Republic (age 225, and veteran of several wars) weeps as it waits in line to see a VA doctor.

  15. Fricosis Guy

    It is hard to believe that he only plays once a week or less, but the Obama Golf Counter confirms.

  16. Ford

    ‘Nothing to see here, move along.’- Frank Drebin
    Nothing To See Here – Naked Gun – YouTube

  17. 3rd angle projection

    The dude is a community organizer. He had a cup of coffee or two in the Illinois State House and barely smelled the coffee in the US Senate.

    He is perhaps the most unprepared man to occupy the Office of the Presidency.

    And of course, it doesn’t help being immature, surrounded by immaturity.

    It’s really quite stunning how far he has gotten. And he’s not done.

  18. 3rd angle projection

    may 21 2014

    Yesterday’s schedule. Not very rigorous, to say the least.

  19. Chris Campion

    3rd angle projection:

    Yesterday’s schedule. Not very rigorous, to say the least.

     It doesn’t have to be – he’s smarter than all the analysts that work for him, remember?  

    I’m not sure I’ve seen a public figure more in need of a rude slap to the back of the head than our languishing “president”.  That kid is lost.

  20. Big John

    Remarkable how the candidate who successfully sold himself as the one who cares more about regular people governs with so little regard for the regular people who are mauled and shredded by his overt policies and by his inattentive management.

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