Bob Woodward has joined the scrum in pointing out that the White House actually proposed the sequester that President Obama is complaining so much about lately. There’s one more tidbit of information in Mr. Woodward’s WP op-ed: apparently, Jack Lew, now on deck to replace Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary, was one of the original architects of the sequester:
My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
So, hats off to the White House! They’ve successfully pinned the blame for the sequester on the Republicans when it was the White House’s proposal in the first place. That’s great political maneuvering if you can pull it off and, judging by the recent polls, they have.
I also note that it continues President Obama’s streak: when somebody really screws up royally the right thing to do is make him Secretary of the Treasury.