Friday's Washington Post went soft on the Obamacare fiasco with the top headline "Obama offers an insurance fix." Below that, a story by a committee of Juliet Eilperin, Amy Goldstein, and Lena Sun still oddly contained the words "crowning achievement of his presidency." That's a nice way to bury the Obama presidency, but that's probably not the Post's intention.
"The president was contrite, and his admissions were many — he conceded that he was left in the dark about aspects of the crowning achievement of his presidency," they wrote, without any copy editor vomiting. The rest of the sentence about admissions?
[H]e acknowledged that he and his advisers underestimated how hard it would be to sell insurance over a Web site, he could not guarantee that the site would work well for everyone by the end of the month, he allowed that federal government rules were an impediment, and he lamented the political problems he caused for members of his party.
Neither this trio nor the Post writers in the other Obamacare stories in the front section Friday quoted from Obama's admission to Major Garrett of CBS that he was somehow not directly informed about the website failures, raising the idea that perhaps Obama has the incuriosity problem that liberal reporters were always tagging on George W. Bush:
"On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to. Had I been informed, I wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work."
Instead, political reporter/columnist Dan Balz was still touting "cerebral" Obama on A-5, against all evidence: "The cool and cerebral chief executive, whose reliance on smart people and rational analysis has been at the foundation of his often-insulated governing style, has been forced to admit that he and his team vastly underestimated the challenge of implementing the Affordable Care Act."
Balz does have confidence in Obama’s mastery of polling, if not insurance:
Obama’s advisers are keenly aware of the situation. So, too, is the president. His campaign team was steeped in polling, focus groups and research. There is no doubt that those around him are continually monitoring Obama’s vital signs to gauge just how big the problem is. They will be watching the attitudes of independent voters to determine how much is left in the reservoir of good will, which sustained him through difficult periods in his first term.