Let’s connect a trio of dots. One, James Carville called for PANIC! in the Obama White House, and for Obama to fire some people. A matter of hours later, this story shows up in Politico, about whether White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is the man to blame. That’s our second dot.
Increasingly, Daley is being called out for the stumbles on his watch — small (restricting physical access to his office), medium (ticking off congressional leadership by dispatching subordinates to deliver bad news) and large (miscalculating House Speaker John Boehner’s capacity to reach a “grand bargain” on the debt ceiling).
But the grumbling about Daley has intensified in the wake of a seemingly insignificant political sideshow – his mistaken assumption that Boehner had given him tacit approval of Obama’s request for a Sept. 7 jobs speech to a joint session of Congress. He hadn’t. And Daley and Obama were forced into an embarrassing about-face.
Chicago pol versus Chicago pol. Delicious. And the bare knuckles brawling to come may drive one of the Obama team’s few reasonable members out of the game.
Walter Russell Mead weighed in on Carville’s advice, specifically the wisdom of his suggestion that Obama unleash indictments to bolster his poll numbers.
Carville totally overlooks the dramatic and swift economic consequences if President Obama took his advice and fired his economic team, launched prosecutions against prominent bankers and Wall Streeters while barnstorming the country doing Huey Long impressions when world financial markets are already on edge.
The result would show Carville what real panic looks like as stock markets collapsed worldwide, business confidence crashed, and the global economy went into a recession that dwarfed what we saw in 2008. That recession wouldn’t be President Bush’s fault; it would be seen by voters as an avoidable economic catastrophe brought on by a President who went off the rails.
I think Mead is right. I also think Carville isn’t stupid enough to think his advice will help Obama, or that he is actually overlooking anything.
That brings me to my third dot to connect: That James Carville is and will always be a Clintonista.
Barack Obama has brought the Democratic Party to a state of cold civil war.
And we’re gonna need a much bigger bus.