President Obama needs to fire a lot of people. That’s the conclusion of longtime Democratic strategist and TV pundit James Carville, who unloaded on Obama Thursday for failing to change his White House team despite months of lagging poll numbers and stagnant economic indicators.
“For God's sake,” Carville wrote on CNN’s web site , “why are we still looking at the same political and economic advisers that got us into this mess? It's not working.”
Carville, the colorful longtime strategist for Former President Clinton, did not name names. His comments were likely to be read carefully by the small circle of aides and friends that has long surrounded the president – David Plouffe, Valerie Jarrett and (even since leaving the White House) David Axelrod, among them.
“Bill Clinton fired many people in 1994 and took a lot of heat for it,” Carville wrote. “Reagan fired most of his campaign staff in 1980. Republicans historically fired their own speaker, Newt Gingrich. Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.”
He added: “It’s not going to work with the same team, the same strategy and the same excuses. I know economic analysts are smart -- some work 17-hour days. It's time to show them the exit. Wake up -- show us you are doing something.”
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment. White House press secretary Jay Carney, asked about Carville’s views, said Thursday that Obama “firmly believes that the American people know that he is doing everything he can to grow the economy, doing everything he can to work with Congress to create jobs, and he will continue at that.”
Carville laid out his prescription for how Obama and his lieutenants should respond to their troubles — most recently, the Democratic losses in special House races this week in New York and Nevada.
“What should the White House do now? he asked. “One word came to mind: Panic.”
“Have you talked to any Democratic senators lately? I have,” Carville continued. “It's pretty damn clear they are not happy campers.”
He called on Obama to bring about a “complete change from the direction you are headed.”
“Fire somebody. No -- fire a lot of people,” he wrote. “This may be news to you but this is not going well. For precedent, see Russian Army 64th division at Stalingrad. There were enough deaths at Stalingrad to make the entire tea party collectively orgasm.”
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