Can Obama 'Stop the Bleeding'?

White House gets aggressive on scandals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
President Obama speaks at a news conference Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Enter the new narrative from the DC press corps: The White House is shifting from offense to defense on scandals, or as Politico puts it, "President Obama tries to stop the bleeding." Obama fired the IRS chief yesterday, released Benghazi emails, and got a new press-shield law in the works in response to the trio of recent scandals. The upshot?

  • "After days of anxiety, Democratic operatives said the White House has found its footing," writes Jennifer Epstein. "But happy as they were to see Obama win a news cycle, they insisted he’s far from being in the clear—Republican adversaries feel that they’re only just beginning, and they’ll have another chance to lay into the administration at Friday’s hearing on the IRS."

The New York Times, meanwhile, has a front-page analysis that says a quick fix is out of the question. ("An Onset of Woes Raises Questions on Obama Vision" reads the headline.) Yes, the president got aggressive, but "at times, Mr. Obama comes across as something of a bystander occupying the most powerful office in the world, buffeted by partisanship and forces beyond his control," writes Peter Baker. The president is clearly vulnerable, and Republicans must press these investigations, writes the conservative National Review. But they shouldn't be licking their chops: "Democratic scandal does not take the place of a Republican agenda," write the editors. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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