In her Washington Post column today, Sally Quinn frets that White House security breaches divert attention from Barack Obama's accomplishments. In "Time for accountability at the White House," she writes:
Obama has had some real successes this fall. He did a masterful job of bringing together incredibly disparate positions to craft a strategy for Afghanistan. He put himself on the line and will probably come up with a reasonable health-care plan. He left Copenhagen with at least promises of cooperation from other world powers regarding climate change. But he is not getting credit that he deserves because he is being ill served by those around him who will not step up as needed and take the fall for him.
Real successes, heh? Obama's dithering on Afghanistan justifiably earned him criticism both here and abroad, where England's defense minister and others voiced their concerns. It's impossible to know if Obama's health-care plan, cobbled in backroom deals, is reasonable because so many specifics are still obscure. One thing we do know is negotiations weren't, as promised by Obama, aired on C-SPAN. Moreover, Obama failed to go over it line by line with members of Congress, another promise made and broken. Only in the mainstream media could Obama getting "at least promises of cooperation from other world powers regarding climate change" count as a success.
Then again, what could Quinn have pointed to? Unprecedented spending and debt, nonexistent shovel ready jobs, persistent high rates of unemployment, and setbacks on terrorism hardly qualify as achievements. Perhaps she could have pointed with pride to Obama's decision to end a 22-year-old immigration ban preventing those with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States. Or his naming of the first transgendered woman to be an advisor to the Commerce Department. Or bringing people like Van Jones into government.
Quinn's solution to the purported problem of Obama not receiving adequate credit is for Secret Service director Mark Sullivan and White House social secretary Desirée Rogers to resign. Millions of Americans would agree that White House resignations are called for, but at a much higher level.