A triple helping of scandals and five years of arrogance on the part of the president and administration are coming together to mark a turning point in relations between this administration and the Washington political establishment. The special protection that Barack Obama has enjoyed for five years may be coming to an end.
The town is turning on President Obama â€” and this is very bad news for this White House.
Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama â€” and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.
Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on â€” so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up.
Vernon Jordan, a close adviser to President Bill Clinton through his darkest days, told us: â€œItâ€™s never all right if youâ€™re the president. There is no smooth sailing. So now he has the turbulence, and this is the ultimate test of his leadership.â€ Jordan says Obama needs to do something dramatic on the IRS, and quick: â€œHe needs to fire somebody. He needs action, not conversation.â€
Obamaâ€™s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.
This White Houseâ€™s instinctive petulance, arrogance and defensiveness have all worked to isolate Obama at a time when he most needs a support system. â€œIt feel like they donâ€™t know what theyâ€™re here to do,â€ a former senior Obama administration official said. â€œWhen thereâ€™s no narrative, stuff like this consumes you.â€
Republican outrage is predictable, maybe even manageable. Democratic outrage is not.
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