Ron Suskind's new book, "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President," which details the many leadership problems in the Obama White House, has earned the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist the wrath of the Obama propaganda machine. The White House has launched a series of vicious attacks on Suskind, accusing him of plagiarism, fabulism, and mis-quoting sources. And to Obama's rescue has come Karl Rove, who has accused Suskind of mis-quoting him in previous books, including the 2004 book about the Bush-Cheney White House, "The Price of Loyalty," which mainly dealt with the shoddy treatment that Bush's Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, received from the likes of Dick Cheney and Rove.
This editor spoke to Suskind while he was writing "The Price of Loyalty." Suskind was spot on in his book and the quotes attributed to Rove about how the White House could create its own reality and if they didn't like the outcome, they could change the reality in thirty minutes because of the control they had on the media, sums up Rove's spin doctoring. Rove's media machinations combined the traditions of Joseph Goebbels and Rupert Murdoch.
I told Suskind that what he was hearing about the Bush White House was exactly what I was hearing from sources inside the Bush administration. It is ironic that current White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer used Rove's criticism of "The Price of Loyalty" and other Suskind books critical of Bush to hammer the author over "Confidence Men." It is just further proof that there is really not a dime's worth of difference between the Bush and Obama administrations.
The Obama White House is furious that Suskind was able to get former White House communications director Anita Dunn to admit that the initial Obama White House of chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, National Economic Council director Larry Summers, and political adviser David Axelrod was a font of male chauvinism. Dunn is quoted: "this place would be in court for a hostile workplace… Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women." Suskind produced the tape of his interview of Dunn for The Washington Post to counter the White House's and Dunn's claims that she was misquoted. I believe Dunn was referring to a different sort of male hostility in the workplace, not the sort commonly encountered by women from the typical male chauvinist boors. But more on that later.
The White House has pointed to some small factual errors, such as Pfeiffer being referred to as a White House deputy press secretary, Summers having to obtain Senate confirmation as Obama's chief economics adviser, and Axelrod described as Obama's 2008 campaign manager. Minutiae to be sure but in an age when publishers spend very little time and effort on editing, such errata can be expected and it can be fixed post-publication by a simple errata sheet, something commonly found in books by major authors published decades ago.
Coming on the heels of the Suskind book is a report by the website Gawker.com and an anticipated story in The New York Times about Obama's suffering from clinical depression and that he is toying with the idea of not running for a second term. Now, what was one of the first media outlets to report on Obama's depression and ambivalence about a second term? From WMR, October 11, 2010:
"WMR has learned that Obama's paranoia and severe depression over his correct belief that certain interests are out to get him have been mitigated by First Lady Michelle Obama and domestic policy adviser Valerie Jarrett. Mrs. Obama has been telling Obama that he should forgo a second term because he is "too good for the American people" and he has a future role on a 'bigger world stage.'
It is also being reported from White House sources that Hillary Clinton plans to run against Obama in 2012, something WMR previously reported. The reports that Obama has offered Mrs. Clinton the vice presidential position in 2012 is both an attempt at defusing the reports that Clinton, backed by her husband Bill Clinton, are planning a primary challenge to Obama and an attempt to send a message to Biden, who is considered by Obama to be working with the forces arrayed against him.
On August 27, 2010, WMR reported on the Obama-Clinton intrigue: 'Informed sources in Washington, DC have told WMR that President Obama has been personally told by a delegation of top Democratic Party financiers that unless he radically changes his economic policies they will bolt from him for another Democratic candidate in 2012. The Democratic money moguls conveyed the warning to Obama in Martha's Vineyard, where the president and his family are spending their vacation. There are various factions within the Democratic Party that see different scenarios to bail out what many Democrats see as an administration in deep trouble with the electorate. One would have Secretary of State Hillary Clinton move up to replace Vice President Joe Biden on the 2012 ticket with Senator John Kerry becoming Secretary of State. However, WMR has been told that Clinton personally loathes Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and may not want to be part of the 2012 president ticket playing second fiddle to Obama. WMR has also learned that Obama's reported 'severe narcissism' has a number of his cabinet officials and top Democratic fundraisers perplexed. Obama's refusal to change course because of his ego was discussed at the recent annual Bohemian Grove conclave in northern California, which brings together influential businessmen and politicians from both parties. Top U.S. business leaders openly complained about Obama's economic policies, with some stating that Obama is, for the business community, the worst president in anyone's lifetime. They also complained about White House gatekeepers like Emanuel and policy advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod who are preventing access to the Oval Office."
WMR independently stands by our original reporting on the dysfunctionality of the Obama White House but welcomes the vindication of our reporting in Suskind's new book and the reported New York Times investigation of Obama's mental depression.Obama White House "Boy's Club"