The Thinker: Rich Galen


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O's Not Wild About Harry

Rich Galen

Monday November 10, 2014


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  • You know the old saying: "A victory has a thousand parents; but a failure is an orphan."

  • Democrats in Our Nation's Capital are busily trying to hang each other's name over the door of the orphanage that was built over the past two years and officially opened for business last Tuesday night.

  • Not to rub it in too much but the Obama-led Democrats lost control of the U.S. Senate (by far more than anyone thought), saw the largest GOP majority in the U.S. House since Herbert Hoover's election in 1928 (although we know how that turned out), and a two-seat pickup in Governors officers (when the GOP was slated to lose as many a net three).

  • Many in the mainstream media have spent the past five days writing and talking about how a fractured Republican Party - the establishment Rs vs. the Tea Party - can possibly function in the next two years.

  • That, of course, is not the story. The story the relationship between President Barack Obama and Harry Reid's (D-NV) depleted Democratic Caucus in the U.S. Senate.

  • If the past week provides any clues - to the extent that any relationship exists, it's bad.

  • On Tuesday night one of Harry Reid's top aides, David Krone, went public about how difficult it was to run campaigns:
    "I don't think that the political team at the White House truly was up to speed and up to par doing what needed to get done," Krone said.

  • According to the Washington Post, Krone spoke on the record in the Leader's office saying things like:
    "The president's approval rating is barely 40 percent. What else more is there to say? .?.?. He wasn't going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I'm sorry. It doesn't mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn't good."

  • Obama's White House would not agree to let loose of the Democratic National Committee's fundraising lists (built on the back of the Obama campaigns) finally releasing about $5 million late in the go.

  • Five million isn't chicken feed, but when you consider that over $3.1 BILLION was spent on this election cycle � if not chicken feed, it is chicken you-know-what.

  • And, in case you think Krone was off the reservation, The Hill newspaper reported that "Reid's communications director, Adam Jentleson, retweeted multiple links to the story" suggesting strongly this was an authorized attack on the White House.

  • Then came the Friday lunch at the White House where, according to an Associated Press report Reid "barely said a word." The Hill reported he was described as "staring, stone-faced, into the distance."

  • That wasn't the only drama at the luncheon. When the discussion turned to immigration, Obama made it clear he wasn't waiting for the new order to take control of the 115th Congress before unilaterally acting.

  • The AP reported:
    "At one point as House Speaker John Boehner was making an argument on immigration, Obama responded that his patience was running out and Vice President Joe Biden interrupted to ask how long Republicans needed. Obama angrily cut Biden off."

  • Biden has been a creature of the U.S. Senate his entire life. He was elected when he was 29. The Constitution requires Senators to have reached their 30th birthday, which Biden did before the next Congress opened.

  • Biden is, by definition, a deal-maker which is why he has been largely absent from the halls and hideaway offices in the Capitol. Harry Reid didn't want Biden opening channels of communications to Republicans and Obama didn't have the patience to battle Putin, Ebola, ISIS, and Reid.

  • If Obama and Reid were at all interested in advancing legislation while not caving completely to the GOP majorities they would allow Biden's staff to take the dust covers off the furniture in the VP's suite in the Capitol and let him do his thing.

  • Reid may or may not survive as Democratic Leader. Obama has two years left to try an salvage something of his Presidency.

  • Since he was inaugurated, Barack Obama has demonstrated a range of emotions toward the Congress ranging from disdain all the way to contempt.

  • The lunch at the White House had all the earmarks of a dysfunctional family meeting for Thanksgiving - and the family is the Democratic Party.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Washington Post, The Hill newspaper, and the Associated Press.

    Also a Mullfoto from our new supermarket in Old Town.

    -- END --

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