Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief Edward Luce has posted a very good video interview and an analysis of his exchange with Center for American Progress President and former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.
The robustness of Podesta’s critiques of the White House’s performance is growing. Podesta strongly encourages the Obama team to use his cabinet officials in a way that the White House is now not doing.
Podesta says that the White House has lost the narrative in the country and that this needs to be fixed. He said that this problem can’t be fixed “by one speech once in a while.” More needs to be done.
Podesta also says that politics in America today “sucks”.
Here is Luce’s intro and Podesta’s comment about serious trouble ahead:
Barack Obama, US president, has lost control of the political narrative and needs to make more use of his cabinet in order to regain it, says John Podesta, the man who headed the president’s transition team.
“My friends in the White House would agree with this, that they lost the narrative,” Mr Podesta said in an interview for View from DC, the Financial Times‘ video series from Washington. “Clearly that needs not one speech once in a while: it needs, I think, to be constantly reinforced. And not just by the president, but by his entire team?.?.?.?He’s got a terrific cabinet. Use it. Get out into the country and use it.”
Mr Podesta, who was also a chief of staff to Bill Clinton, drew parallels with the former president’s difficulties in his first two years, which culminated in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress following the failure of healthcare reform.
When asked whether the failure of this latest attempt at healthcare reform would result in a similar electoral “massacre” for the Democratic party at the mid-term elections in November, he said: “I subscribe to that view.”
– Steve Clemons