Report: Democrats Tell POTUS He Needs to Start Firing People

Daniel Doherty

12/2/2013 1:30:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

Why? Because he must start showing the American public that he is taking responsibility -- i.e., holding his team accountable for their incompetence and negligence following the launch of the (still broken) Healthcare.gov website:

Former administration officials and Democratic operatives say President Obama is ill-served by his current White House staff and must reboot his second term team following the disastrous ObamaCare rollout.

First-term insiders argue the White House’s weakness was defined by a lack of preparedness, messaging blunders and failure to keep the president informed.

They say Obama’s team lacks depth after the departures of longtime advisers David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Robert Gibbs and Patrick Gaspard, and suggest new people must be brought on

“You basically have [White House senior adviser Dan] Pfeiffer and [deputy chief of staff] Rob Nabors running the show politically, and that’s it,” one former administration official said.

Democrats knew the Obamacare launch was coming; after all, they had four years to prepare for this seminal event. And yet they completely blew it. How? One reason, an insider tells the Hill, is because the president really didn’t know “how bad things were,” or something:

Ahead of the healthcare rollout, some argue that too much information appears to have been kept from Obama. He has said he was not aware of the debacle developing on the ObamaCare website even though warnings were coming in from consultants.

“The thing that pisses me off the most is there was a conscious decision not to tell the president how bad things were, and he was not well served by that,” the first former administration official said. “It would have been nice if he would have known how much crow he had to eat ahead of time. No one likes surprises.”

A better political strategy and messaging could not have solved all of the problems the White House faced with ObamaCare since its rollout on Oct. 1.

Spin could not have obscured error messages on an inadequate website, nor made people feel better upon learning that their health insurance plan had been canceled, despite assurances to the contrary.

Even if the president didn’t know the rollout was going to be a spectacular failure -- a big if -- I can see why party insiders want the president to start firing people. Immediately. The Affordable Care Act will almost certainly define his legacy. How, then, could White House staffers have allowed the rollout to go ahead as planned, especially if all the warning signs indicated that launching Healthcare.gov on October 1 was going to be a major bust? Someone must be held accountable, Democrats seem to be arguing, and surely it can’t be the president himself.

Then again, as Ed Morrissey notes, how many government employees were fired in the wake of the Benghazi terrorist attack -- or after the scandals at the NSA and IRS surfaced? Even Lois Lerner wasn’t fired, but placed on paid “administrative leave” the day after she pleaded the fifth before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. What kind of message did that send? Not a good one, obviously. Thus the president would be wise to heed the advice of members of his own caucus; failing to do so would simply make matters worse.