John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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The Great Seduction

Posted on June 2, 2009
The Great Seduction

The Obama Administration is cleverly and carefully seducing the powers that be in Washington D.C., just as they make remarkable strides in expanding the power and scope of the federal government.

Just about the only force that stands in the way of a complete capitulation --interestingly and ironically – are the Chinese, who are worried about costs of the Obama spending spree (they want to get paid back some day).

The national media is puddy in the hands of Mr. Charisma.

The face for the press is Robert Gibbs, but the man behind the strategy is Rahm Emanual, the Chief of Staff. Both Emanual and David Axelrod work the press at a level not seen in Washington since the days of Thomas Jefferson.

I am sure it has not gone unnoticed that Brian Williams of NBC got to spend more quality time with the President and his family “behind the scenes” than most of the Congressional leadership will ever see POTUS and company.

Payback for fawning coverage during the election? You betcha. You kind of wonder why George Stephanapolous even tries to play it straight any more.

Williams and company, in a desperate search for some solid ratings numbers in the face of a slowing (collapsing?) economy and declining (collapsing?) advertising revenue, seems more than willing to sacrifice any bit of objectivity in order to get Barack the Great in front of his viewers.

If fawning is what it takes, by God, fawning is what we will do!

The Great Seduction reaches beyond the press into the ranks of the Republicans.

The latest example comes with the pilfering of Congressman John McHugh, an Upstate New York Republican, to be the new Army Secretary.

Short story. I once, on behalf of the Speaker, tried to get Mr. McHugh to vote for a budget resolution that he found to be lacking in the necessary departments to keep his constituents happy. Over a drink, he happily and politely told me that his constituents were more important than the Republican leadership, and he then happily voted against the resolution (or not so happily, if memory serves).

My whipping experience, notwithstanding, McHugh is a good choice for Army Sec. He is a great guy, and has developed a real expertise in the field. Sadly, he comes from a seat that would have been easily retained had he stayed in Congress, but offers real challenges now that he is gone. But that is all part of the plan.

McHugh was a voice of reason and now he has gone over to the Obama team.

Utah Governor Huntsman, same thing. He was such a threat that they sent him to China.

Ray LaHood, another reasonable voice for the Republican Party, and now a happy member of the Rahm squad.

We are witnessing the great seduction.

In the movie “All the President’s Men,” there was a great scene where “Deep Throat” tells Woodward: “They wanted to run against McGovern. And who are they running against.”

Obama wants to run against Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. And who is he running against, currently?

Not to say that either Obama or Emanual are the reincarnation of Richard Nixon. But they are equally as clever in the game of politics.

If you are wondering why those pesky Republicans keep talking about the debt, consider yourself seduced by the power of Mr. Obama. This is the great seduction.