Ed Driscoll

Car Wreck at the White House

Even Dana Milbank, one of the president’s many palace guards at the Washington Post, is forced to write today, “It has been a Junius Horribilis for President Obama:”

Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.”

Could it get any worse?

Early Monday morning, Obama learned that it could. His aides delivered the news to him that his commerce secretary had been cited for a felony hit-and-run after allegedly crashing his car three times over the weekend. In one incident, the previously obscure Cabinet officer apparently rear-ended a Buick, spoke to the car’s occupants, then hit the vehicle again as he left.

Thus did Jay Carney, the oft-besieged White House press secretary, have another briefing carjacked by bad news. And Carney, who either didn’t know the details of the bizarre episode or wasn’t at liberty to divulge them, had to execute a full range of defensive maneuvers.

“I can simply tell you that he was engaged, as has been reported, in a couple of traffic incidents,” Carney began, as if the secretary, John Bryson, had been photographed by a speed camera or two. Bryson “suffered a seizure, was hospitalized. But beyond that I’ll refer you to Commerce for the details.”

“Is the secretary healthy and fit to serve?” inquired Ben Feller of the Associated Press.

“I would refer you to the Commerce Department.”

By the way, just a reminder, when Milbank writes that it’s been “a Junius Horribilis for President Obama,” the month still has three more weeks to go…

Oh, and incidentally, speaking of John Bryson, the president’s heretofore little-known Commerce Secretary, he’s yet another member of the administration that brought you Government Motors — who doesn’t drive Government Motors:

Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the San Gabriel Police Department.

After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson’s car and called 911 to ask for police assistance.

Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue.

There authorities found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car.

On the other hand,  he drives, which puts him one up from Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary who shortly before his boss took office, vowed to bring European-level gas prices to the US — but relies upon his wife to ferry him from place to place — in a gas-guzzling BMW 325i.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote in 2010:

Like most Americans on the West Coast I began buying Japanese cars after a host of mishaps with American brands — chronic alternator failures on a Chevy S-10 pickup; a Chevy Malibu whose brakes lasted about 10,000 miles, and whose air conditioner went out every six months; a Dodge Dakota whose electrical system failed three times, twice on mountain roads — once in a rain storm, the other at night … and so on. Like millions of others, I reluctantly started buying either Hondas or Toyotas. But suddenly in this new pod world, I am noticing cars are now becoming political statements — and buying them a political act. Toyota has been demonized over what empirically seems to be an isolated accelerator problem. The subtext, however, is that the now number one automaker threatens U.S. union jobs and the now federal GM brand. Indeed, buying a GM product is becoming patriotic, at least more so than Ford, which did not participate in the federal bailout. Indeed, the evil GM Corporation of Michael Moore’s fantasies within a year has transmogrified into something akin to Social Security or Medicare. What will Palo Altoans or Carmelites do with those Priuses? A year ago, they were signatures of environmental caring, replete with Obama bumper stickers and fading  “No blood for oil” slogans. Now, however, are not they anti-American, anti-union, anti-Obama administration, anti-consumer, pro-corporate greed fetishes?

It’s one thing to foist Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Editions on the American people…but you fellas on the left go first, OK?