Well, as expected, the White House buckled over in fear at the thought of having to piss off the union people, declining to express contempt for the contemptible comments made by Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa AT AN OBAMA EVENT yesterday.
Hoffa called Republicans “Sons of bitches” and urged Obama to let union folks “take (them) out.”
Maybe Obama, fresh from Martha’s Vineyard, thought Hoffa meant “take them out . . . for lobster!” What could be wrong with that?
In case Hoffa didn’t mean taking those Sons of Bitches out for lobster, Press Secretary Jay Carney said the following to try relieve the White House of any obligation to respond.
I understand that there is a ritual in Washington that, you know, somebody says something and you link the associations, and then everybody who has an association with him or her somehow has — has to avow or disavow it.
The president wasn’t there. I mean, he wasn’t on stage. He didn’t speak for another 20 minutes. He didn’t hear it. I really don’t have any comment beyond that.
Well, yes, there is a ritual of taking responsibility for things in Washington, though I understand it’s not often performed.
Carney, as a former reporter who’s still relatively new to high stakes public relations, has this terrible problem. He still has a conscience.
So under withering fire on the Hoffa issue from ABC’s Jake Tapper, Carney, who knows the “civility” White House should condemn Hoffa’s remarks, started babbling.
Mr. Hoffa speaks for himself. He speaks for the labor movement, AFL-CIO. The president speaks for himself. I speak for the president.
And then Carney suggested he was being constrained by senior White House officials who play politics Chicago style.
I think I’ve said what I can say about that.
Having a conscience is a very bad thing for a White House press secretary. Usually, when the chief of staff interviews someone for the press secretary job, the first question he asks is, “Do you still have a conscience?”
If the answer is yes, the interview is over.
I remember dealing with Scott McClellan as deputy press secretary, and I thought when he succeeded Ari Fleischer in the top post he would have big problems because Scott clearly had a conscience. But apparently Karl Rove sent him over to Bethesda Naval Hospital where some of the country’s finest neurosurgeons removed Scott’s conscience, allowing him to say whatever nonsense Rove fed him.
I will say that Tony Snow and Dana Perino had consciences. But it didn’t matter because by the time each of them became press secretary the Bush administration was pretty much finished.
Poor Jay. His conscience was so bothering him today. Finally, he pleaded:
Can we move on?