Democratic campaign consultant Bill Burton said President Obama cannot fire Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki because it will hand Republicans political "flesh" Thursday afternoon on CNN.
The Lead host Jake Tapper asked Burton if President Obama's aversion to the "Washington game" is inhibiting the president from actually seeing a problem with Shinseki's leadership and removing the VA Secretary.
Burton claimed President Obama has been "dedicated" since his days in the United States Senate to fixing the problems at the VA. Burton did not explain why Obama has not addressed the systemic issues at the agency up to this point.
Additionally, the Democratic consultant said the president cannot fire Shinseki even if it were warranted because Senate Republicans would "extract their pound of flesh" during the confirmation hearings for a new V.A. Secretary.
"Just imagine, Jake, it's not like Senate Republicans are going to let you put some new head of the V.A. in to deal with the problem. They are going to, you know, extract their pound of flesh and make it as difficult as possible for him," he said.
In other words, Burton seems to think if the removal of Sinseki reflects poorly on the president's executive leadership, the administration's hands are tied.
Why, in Burton's estimation, President Obama should elect to look better politically at the expense of removing an official whose agency has potentially killed veterans is not entirely clear.