Revelations abound near end of Obama’s term
Though it should not be unexpected, there are always shockwaves near the end of presidential administrations when someone lifts the veil and we are reminded of the way politicians really think and behave. This time around, the revelations came from Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who spoke at length with The New York Times Magazine about the duplicitous nature of his boss.
Obama has little respect for the press corps that follows him so adoringly. In fact, Rhodes said of the journalists, “They literally know nothing,” which was why it was so easy for the administration to create an “echo chamber” during the effort to sell the Iran nuclear deal in which the Washington press corps “were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
Rhodes painted a picture of himself and his boss that leaves little doubt there was more importance placed on creating a storyline and burnishing a legacy than on doing what was best for the country. Facts that did not serve the storyline were deleted; White House-approved talking points that did serve the storyline were distributed as quickly as possible via social media.
Obama has no more respect for Hillary Clinton than he does for any of the rest of his long-time foreign policy advisers, which he and Rhodes dubbed “The Blob.”
Of course, an apparent tell-all like the Rhodes interview is also part of the show. Obama and company are receiving the attention they crave and applause from the usual suspects for going “behind the curtain” and “telling it like it is,” while keeping their most despicable politicking and gamesmanship safely hidden. His timing is perfect. Obama knows he will get away with being considered little more than a rascal by those clinging to the notion that his presidency really was about hope and change; and he knows those who have come to despise him may be tempted to give him some credit for admitting that – surprise! – the politician who managed to win the highest office in the land is always playing the game, and thinks more highly of himself than of anyone else.
What a shame we do not demand better.