What didn't Obama know and when didn't he know it?
The administration is trying to get out in front of the Obamacare rollout disaster story, attempting to shift the narrative to 1) blame Republicans for the fiasco, and 2) absolve the president of any responsibility for the rollout.
Their latest effort involved making HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius available for an interview with that bulldog of a reporter at CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta is a very nice fellow, a gentle soul, who just happens to be a big supporter of Obamacare.
Let's just say if I were a PR hack at the White House and needed a friendly reporter to interview the person most directly responsible for the Obamacare disaster, I'd consider myself blessed if I were to snag Gupta for the softest of softball interviews.
Sebelius was dutifully giving her canned responses to Gupta's less than penetrating questions when she dropped a jaw dropper; President Obama was unaware of problems with healthcare.gov before the site went live on October 1.
President Barack Obama didn't know of problems with the Affordable Care Act's website -- despite insurance companies' complaints and the site's crashing during a test run -- until after its now well-documented abysmal launch, the nation's health chief told CNN on Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked when the President first learned about the considerable issues with the Obamacare website. Sebelius responded that it was in "the first couple of days" after the site went live October 1.
"But not before that?" Gupta followed up.
To which Sebelius replied, "No, sir."
Sebelius admitted that there is concern in her department and the White House over the technical debacle surrounding the website rollout, saying "no one could be more frustrated than I am and the president." The site was supposed to make it simple for people to search and sign-up for new health care policies starting on October 1, but instead it's been clunky and, at times, inoperable.
"We're not at all satisfied with the workings of the website," Sebelius said. "We want it to be smooth and easy and let consumers' compare plans."
It must give the White House a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that no one in the mainstream press is going to call them out for this blatant lie. Or question how it is that the White House was told repeatedly as far back as March that there were monumental technical problems with the website and no one bothered to tell the boss.
As with all the other instances where Obama claims he was in the dark, this one doesn't pass the smell test.
1. Benghazi. The president was unaware of Ambassador Stevens' desperate requests for additional security despite his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being intimately involved in the decision to turn those requests down.
2. IRS. The first he heard of his IRS targeting conservatives was from news reports the day the story broke - despite the White House counsel being briefed on the problem two weeks prior to that.
3. The Petraeus affair. The president claimed he knew nothing of the investigation into his CIA chief until after the election despite his Attorney General ordering the FBI to conduct the probe.
4. Obamacare. The president claims he never knew of problems with the computer system until after the rollout despite insurance companies, outside IT contractors, and his own team warning of catastrophe.
Do we see a pattern developing here? Barack Obama is the most spectacularly uninformed president in history. Or, he's a baldfaced liar. Every potentially embarrassing scandal finds our president totally in the dark, betrayed by incompetent (or criminal) aides and advisors. How can it be his fault if he didn't know?
A funny thing about the president's ignorance; no aide or advisor has ever been fired for incompetently keeping Obama out of the loop. Even if we're inclined to believe his bedtime stories about not knowing what's going on in his own administration, that singular fact shows an appalling lack of leadership. You fire people as a lesson to others that incompetence will not be tolerated. In the Obama White House, incompetence is not only tolerated, but nurtured and forgiven.
Unless there's a lot more pressure from members of his own party, President Obama will not fire HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius - the manager most directly responsible for the rollout fiasco. So much for accountability in government. Transparency was thrown under the bus long ago.