Many political observers said the string of bad news reports and a public gaffe about the economy by Barrack Obama last week made for one of the worst public relations stretches suffered by a president in recent memory.
The week started with the White House trying to do damage control on the poor jobs numbers, and ended with the president's ridiculous remark about the private sector "doing fine," a gaffe he later back-tracked on later in the day. The dismal economic news was sandwiched between two other major news stories a huge defeat for a union and Obama-endorsed candidate in the Wisconsin recall election and the leaking of classified security information, something Obama vehemently denied his office knew anything about but managed to arouse suspicions anyway.
Even a popular feature page of the New York Times has been giving the Obama camp fits of late, thanks to Journalist Edward Klein. The fact that Klein's blockbuster book Amateur: Barrack Obama in the White House has been anchored in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list for the last three weeks is no doubt giving the White House fits. It also tells us how hungry people are to know about the person who has been occupying the White House for almost four years.
Klein's book begins with an exchange between Obama and Tim Geithner, the president's newly-appointed Treasury Secretary at the time. Geithner, in an attempt to inflate Obama's ego during the height of the economic crisis, said "Your legacy is going to be preventing the second Great Depression."
The president's response, "That's not enough for me."
Keep in mind that on Oct. 30, 2008, just days before being elected president, Obama promised a crowd of cheering young adults at Missouri University that "We are five days from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
That statement puzzled many at the time but now, after nearly four years of Obama, not so much, at least for conservatives. In economic terms, the "fundamental transformation" has included a massive failed stimulus program which cost $787 billion, ($10,038 for each American family); and Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office now says will carry a 10-year price tag of $1.76 trillion.
While economic figures are on the record for everyone to see, it's Klein's book that shows us more about the power brokers in the White House. We learn why some of the president's top senior aides, including former press secretary Robert Gibbs and former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, quit their jobs early and how once-close allies like the Rev. Wright, Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy, were abruptly thrown under the bus by Team Obama.
First lady Michelle Obama does not come off well in the book. Klein paints the first lady as a possessive person whose jealousy of her husband, and "obsessive behavior" are the talk of the White House.
The first lady's issues with Oprah Winfrey are also examined. Oprah is quoted as saying that "Michelle hates fat people and doesn't want me waddling around the White House."
With all these juicy tidbits, you'd think the talk shows would be banging at Klein's door for an interview to get more dope. But then again, it's not unusual for liberal press outlets to avoid casting any negative light on Obama.
As for Klein, he shouldn't hold his breath in expecting a Christmas card from the Obamas this year.
By Jim Zbick