Can anyone imagine a top Bush 43 adviser, say Karl Rove, telling a reporter that his boss couldn't attend an important American historical anniversary event because "he's too busy trying to save the Republican Party"?
Dan Pfeiffer is "Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications." Today, in response to a tough but fair question tweeted by Ron Fournier at the National Journal, Pfeiffer said that President Barack Obama wasn't attending the ceremonies surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because "there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party." The exchange would surely generate a great deal of press coverage if it involved a conservative or Republican presidential adviser, but the only story other than at Fournier's National Journal was at the Hill, a popular burial ground for such stories. The Fournier-Pfeiffer exchange, with some external razzing, follows the jump (HT Twitchy):
Criticism and sarcasm, both deserved, arrived in return:
That was followed by the succinct restatement of the White House's priorities:
Just imagine if a Republican ever intimated, as Pfeiffer clearly did, that the success of an important project is primarily about the well-being of his or her party more than it is about the well-being of the nation as a whole. The establishment press would not ignore it, as it has mostly ignored the above exchange. An Associated Press national site search on Pfeiffer's name returns nothing relevant). A Google News search found about five relevant entries, , with Fournier's National Journal and The Hill item being the only establishment press outlets.
The episode certainly betrays how poorly equipped one of the White House's key players is to deal with legitimate challeneges from the press.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.