The Vapors: What Is President Obama's Problem? (Really, What Is It?)

The Vapors: What Is President Obama's Problem? (Really, What Is It?)

The Vapors: What Is President Obama's Problem? (Really, What Is It?)

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
June 4 2010 8:50 AM

The Vapors: What Is President Obama's Problem? (Really, What Is It?)

A front-page story by Dan Balz in today's Washington Post explains the current political situation in Washington:

At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind. ...seemingly avoidable controversies ...on the defensive.

...surprise and consternation for Democrats....easy ammunition for Republicans...what may be self-inflicted wounds.

Defenders of the administration argue that there was nothing the White House could have done early on to stop the oil that has been gushing from the well in the gulf...

...questions about whether the administration offered possible jobs to Senate candidates...danger that they will affect public perceptions of the administration's competence...

"...incompetently," said John Weaver, a Republican strategist. "...bumbling ...poorly executed...about to define his first term in the minds...angry electorate."

Doug Hattaway, a Democratic strategist, offered a more positive assessment....

...latest setback...Andrew Romanoff, a former state House speaker....

...and the White House said no formal job offer was made, and he did not drop out of the race....sought to end an even bigger controversy....

Democratic strategists said there is cause for concern...reluctant...to speak on the record... questions about...effectiveness...political operation....communications strategy.

...White House press secretary Robert Gibbs...

White House intervention in contested primaries has occurred during many presidencies and is rarely considered unusual or scandalous.

...administration's inability to keep its actions from blossoming into controversies...

...one strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity....

Obama ...focused more closely on reassuring the public that he is working to gain control of the oil spill....an interview with CNN's Larry King...

...passage of major health-care legislation...overshadowed...jobs report...substantial growth ... good news about the economy...buttress their argument...may be overshadowed...the administration's standing.

...constant cable TV chatter...

...report from White House counsel Robert F. Bauer...left unresolved questions...

Gibbs struggled Tuesday...reporters' questions....

Then came Romanoff...three possible jobs in the administration...

...handling of both cases enlarged the story...undermining the administration's pledge to run a transparent operation shorn of politics as usual.

Another Democratic strategist, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity....

Staff writer Michael D. Shear contributed to this report.