MSNBC’s Chuck Todd this morning laid blame directly at the North Portico doorstep for President Obama’s failure to install his favored candidate, Larry Summers, as Fed Chairman, saying the effort was aborted after a “somewhat inept” performance by the White House.
The withdrawal by Summers from contention from the post – done after it became clear he could not rally Senate support for his nomination – is the second major legislative defeat for the president just this month. Obama, by most accounts, was headed for failure on a resolution supporting the bombing of Syria before he abandoned that effort and struck a deal with Russia to supposedly have Syria willingly hand its chemical weapons over.
Appearing on the Morning Joe program, Todd said the White House Summers into the arena without proper political backup, resulting in him becoming a “piñata” for his opponents on the Left.
There is a little bit of internal finger-pointing on how they handled the Summers issue. You know, why did they let it get so public? He was put out there, arguably by his advocates in the White House, sort of put in the public purview, but didn’t have a support network of folks – a sort of a War Room, if you will – to defend him from shots. They had to know this was coming, this was not a surprise.
When you look in hindsight, if they really wanted Larry, then how they went about it was wrong and it was a bit inept. There should have been a more concerted effort. They knew who some of the potential roadblocks could be in the Democratic side. They should have been working that a little bit harder behind the scenes before they went so public and allowed him to become a piñata on the Left.
Obama’s influence on Capitol Hill has declined to the point that he has so little “political capital” he can’t punish Democrats for opposing Summers, Todd said.