A Baffled David Alexrod
by Charles Lemos, Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 11:53:39 PM EST
“For me, the question is, why haven’t we broken through more than we have? Why haven’t we broken through?” - David Alexrod, Senior Communications Advisor to the President
Given the rah-rah-rah Rahm is God pieces in the Washington Post as of late that left even the Dean of the Beltway David Broder scratching his head, it's rather refreshing to see Mark Leibovich of the New York Times take a more balanced and nuanced look at David Alexrod and the lost narrative of the Administration.
The article also provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the Obama White House. We learn that Mr. Alexrod is often at the President’s side, that he sits in on policy and national security meetings and that he is routinely the last person the President talks to before making a decision. That certainly speaks to the comfort and trust the President has in David Alexrod and reflects the measure of his power and influence.
Another insight into the Obama White House comes via a curious quote courtesy of David Gibbs, the White Press Secretary. The affable Alabaman notes that “the list of people who have to deliver bad news to the president is very small" with David Alexrod first on that list and the Press Secretary "probably second.” The quote is somewhat of a non-sequitor in the story nestled between Mr. Alexrod's deep loyalty to the President and the concerns of his friends over the grind of the job and his diet. The Gibbs quote, however, does seem to confirm other reports that Team Obama is perhaps at best a tight-knit, tight-lipped quintet.
Still the most telling part was learning that Mr. Alexrod expresses "bafflement" that the Administration’s efforts to stimulate the economy in a crisis, overhaul the healthcare system and prosecute two wars have been routinely framed and have been met by conservatives and their echo chamber in the media and policy establishment as the handiwork of a big-government, soft-on-terrorism, socialist ideologue. It's as if he's Rip Van Winkle having awaken from a forty year slumber and missed the radicalization of the Republican party. At some point, one has to take them at their word and act accordingly.