TPM: White House staffers warn groups not to spend money pushing public option

Another warning from the White House for liberal groups:

Low-level White House officials have reached out to certain reform groups that have staked their ground on the need for a public option, I’m told, and warned them not to spend any more money advocating for the policy–that it’s just not worth it. That suggestion hasn’t been heeded–at least for now. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America raised over $100,000 to continue running this ad in Iowa after Congress returns from recess.

So, this is where the White House staffers are putting their energy. Brian Buetler, who wrote this piece, is a very good reporter with excellent sources.

But, I’d like to take this a step further: Which groups got called by the White House? And, which low-level staffers made the calls? And, does anyone listen to these White House staffers anymore? Specifically, what about the institutional groups in DC?

Sounds like those groups are heading for another screaming, swearing hissy fit from Rahm Emanuel. That’s his schtick. He did that a couple weeks ago. When Rahm swears, all of Washington must cower. The blogs don’t. But, much of institutional D.C. still does.

Rahm and his cohorts have done enormous damage to this presidency already. The White House staffers don’t fight for what Obama purports to believe in. Instead, they fight and threaten and warn groups that are doing the work to enact Obama’s stated agenda. If only the White House put as much energy into formulating an effective, coherent message as it did to thwart the allied groups, we might make some progress.

So, any groups want to come forward and spill the beans? A couple months ago, it seemed like every group in town cowered before this White House. No one would speak up in fear of not being invited to a meeting or a party. Those days should be long gone. If the groups don’t challenge this White House, this White House will forsake it’s stated policy goals in a second. That’s what we learned from the DOMA battle. And, while that’s we’d expect from a White House run by Rahm Emanuel, it’s not what we were led to believe would happen in a White House led by Barack Obama.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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