Mounting outrage over the bonuses paid to AIG execs is threatening to bring Barack Obama's presidential honeymoon to a bitter end, the Washington Post reports. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding answers the administration is struggling to provide, and the uproar is threatening to sap both public and congressional support for the president's ambitious agenda.
The administration has scrambled to do damage control, with Obama yesterday declaring the $165 million in bonuses an "outrage." Officials—after first saying their hands were tied because of existing contracts—announced efforts to claw back the bonuses, but the scandal has already erased the political capital won by earlier steps to clamp down on executive compensation. Fury over the payouts will make it tough for the administration to ask Congress for yet more bailout cash.