Sunday, March 18, 2007

Norm Coleman still needs to be concerned with Political Sensitivity

Just over a year ago -- March 14th to be precise -- Norm Coleman gave President Bush a little push.

As GOPWingman reported in his blog :

Saying the White House has been afflicted by a political "tin ear," Sen. Norm Coleman on Tuesday called on President Bush to bring in a new team.
"I have some concerns about the team that's around the president," said Coleman, a Minnesota Republican with close ties to Bush. "I think you need to take a look at it."
[snip]
“All of a sudden we’re hearing the phrase ‘tin ear,’” Coleman said in a telephone interview. “That’s a phrase you shouldn’t hear. The fact that you’re hearing it says that the kind of political sensitivity, the ear-to-the-ground that you need in the White House, isn’t there at the level that it needs to be.”
Coleman declined to specify which staff members should be replaced, or what new people should be brought in. He said he hadn’t talked to Bush or anyone at the White House about his concerns. “Ultimately the president has to make a decision about his team,” Coleman said. “And the president knows what he needs. I think it’s obvious to those on the Hill - and it’s got to be obvious to those at the White House - that we’re skipping too many beats nowadays. We’re not operating at the highest level of political sensitivity that you need.”

Emphasis added.

Since Coleman did not specify who he was referring, the conjecture could be that he was referring to someone who is now gone or the individual(s) could still be there.
Scott McClellan (announced resignation 4/20/06), Andy Card (announced resignation 4/28/06), and Don Rumsfeld (announced resignation 11/8/06) are gone, but Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Condi Rice and many others are still there.

It’s time that Coleman re-evaluates the situation of March, 2006 versus today, and asks if the changes that have occurred have made improvements and if further changes are needed.

First let’s acknowledge that Bob Gates has been a breath of fresh air.
He was the guest on today’s Face the Nation. While he is staunchly implementing Bush’s Iraq policy, yet he seems to be concerned with military readiness as he cited concerns about Afghanistan, Iran and Korea. Further, his response to the Walter Reed situation and sending handwritten notes to families of the fallen soldiers is a far cry from the Rumsfeld era. Gates is also reviewing the intelligence gathering mission of the military.

So, Gates proves that change can be good.
But Bush is still being plagued by “ political sensitivity” from his leadership team and the root of the problem is Rove. From Plame-Gate to the Gonzales-Eight, Rove has been at the instrumental in furthering problems and not resolving them. Rove did see a demotion of sorts when McClellan was replaced as reported by USAToday Rove remains a deputy chief of staff, but sheds his policy development role to focus on strategic and tactical planning, including the November congressional elections, the White House said.
We know how those November elections turned out and the other major issues such as Social Security reform and simplifying the tax code do not appear to be any closer today than they did in November 2004.
If Rove’s “expertise” is campaign strategy, why does he need to be in the White House today? Don’t worry about Rove finding a job once he resigns … I’m sure that fellow-Texan Bob Perry of Swift Boat fame would find a job for him in Mitt Romney’s campaign.
But then again, if Romney is smart he’ll be mindful of Ron Suskind story of what other Republican operatives think of Rove : “Where’s Karl? we’d wonder. The line was always ‘Oh, he’s out ruining careers.’ "

Some may think that Gonzales should resign … I would not object … but the question should be: did Gonzales initiate the Firing Fiasco or was he just the “unwitting bystander” from Rove’s action plan to create an everlasting Republican majority?

Discussing the US Attorney dismissals, Coleman has commented that he was "deeply concerned about how this whole process has been handled."
If he wants Minnesotans to support him in the next election, he needs to be more than just “concerned”.
He also needs to understand that his election will be for six years … long after Bush, Rove, Gonzales, etc are gone.

Cut your losses now, Norm … speak up now as there is still 21 months left in your (and Bush’s) terms to address the issues that need action.

1 comment:

DAV said...

say the bloggers from CubeZoo and I have started getting together for coffee. Wanna join us?