Politics

Scarborough: Obama Just Doesn’t Give A Damn

One does not to need to look farther for a reflection of President Obama’s isolationist beliefs than how he manages his own White House.

Whether it’s the political tone deafness of Obama vacationing on Martha's Vineyard as the world burns or his swapping his first term’s "team of rivals" for the state department’s Junior Varsity squad for his second term, Obama’s ambivalence toward governing has bore some strange fruit.

Joe Scarborough joined the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday to discuss the "Culture of Yes Men" in the White House and that the reason Obama hasn’t gone out to inject fresh blood into his circle is because he’s already ready for his "Carter Center phase."

HUGH HEWITT: But when you look at him, and you say the President said Baghdadi was the jayvee squad putting on Kobe Bryant’s jersey…

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah.

HEWITT: Does he not recognize what Krauthammer said last week…

SCARBOROUGH: Sure.

HEWITT: …that the President is strategically clueless on this show, or…

SCARBOROUGH: Sure, you know…

HEWITT: Vice President Cheney, do they not get that the President should not be at Martha’s Vineyard right now?

SCARBOORUGH: Well, you know, we had Dana Milbank on who, again, not the most right wing columnist for the Washington Post, but Dana said it’s one thing for presidents going on vacation. We’re all big supporters of presidents going on vacation. It’s another thing to be in Martha’s Vineyard while you’ve got tanks rolling in Middle America, and all the Middle East melts down. This is a president that does go out of his way to show that he’s not paying attention to what anybody says. He’s going to do exactly what he wants to do, and he’s going to be stubborn about it. He is politically, he is either politically tone deaf or he just doesn’t give a damn. And I tend to believe based on everything I’ve heard from people who work inside the White House, and we’ve got a lot of friends there, and based on my friends who are senior Democratic senators, this president has checked out.

HEWITT: He is.

SCARBOROUGH: He wants to be the next, I hear it time and time again from his close political allies. This man wants to be an ex-president.

HEWITT: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: He doesn’t want to be there anymore.

HEWITT: He wants to get to his Carter Center phase, but he’s got two and a half years. I also wonder, Joe, you know how important staff is, whether it’s a Congressional office or all the way up to this staff that you don’t see on the set of Morning Joe.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah.

HEWITT: He’s down to Valerie Jarrett. Everyone else is gone. And his national security team looks like they’d be about 16-18 years old. What, do you think that people won’t work for him? Or is he simply refusing to ask people of stature and competence to come and work for him?

SCARBOROUGH: The Obama administration and Valerie, I’ve got to say, I’m good friends with Valerie, too, but you know, Valerie and a lot of people around the White House said early on we don’t want to make new friends. I think it’s one of the biggest mistakes that any president can make. I think George W. Bush in large part made a lot of mistakes, because he was insulated. He had a lot of Yalies around him, and he didn’t want outsiders around him. I always looked to Ronald Reagan, who had James Baker trying to beat him in 1980. The second he beat George H.W. Bush, the first thing he did was hire James Baker and had James Baker run his campaign. And then he had James Baker on his White House, because he wasn’t afraid to have people around him who weren’t inside his bubble. This president wants yes men around him. And again, I hear that from my Democratic friends, I hear that from his own former chiefs of staff. If anybody steps out of line, they’re immediately insulated and pushed out. You know, I said this on set after the cameras were turned off to a couple of people who I knew wouldn’t say it on the air. I said guys, you know as well as I do that the second this administration is over, the books are going to come from former secretaries of state. The books are going to come from former chiefs of staff. The books are going to come, and this president is going to have to deal with 20-30 years of disparagement from his own side, calling him one of the least effective presidents, because he’s one of the most insulated presidents.