What better time to kick President Obama than while he’s already down? That’s the route Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind with his new expose on the inefficiency of the Oval Office. And it has the White House running scared.
“Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” is the name of Suskind’s latest effort, and it is hitting book store shelves as the commander-in-chief’s approval rating is at the lowest it’s been since he took the oath of office. The authors scathing take on the Obama administration has White House officials pouring over pages with a fine tooth comb in an attempt to discredit the journalist’s chronicle of the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency. They have good reason to, too. Suskind calls out the administration for being dysfunctional and incompetent.
Suskind writes that Obama’s early advisors couldn’t offer a hand at all in helping with the economy, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is among the first to offer a rebuttal — even if he hasn’t flipped through the pages yet.
“I lived the original, and the reality I lived, we all lived together, bears no relation to the sad little stories I heard reported from that book,” Geithner told reporters from the White House on Monday, the Associated Press reports.
White House spokesman Jay Carney also attacked Suskind’s script, and chastised the author for what he says are incorrect assumptions.
“What we know is that very simple things, facts that could be ascertained — dates, titles, statistics, quotes — are wrong in this book,” Carney responded. He added that Suskind lifted excerpts from Wikipedia pages and says that, “Based on that, I would caution anyone to assume that if you can’t get those things that you suddenly get the broader analysis right. That analysis is wrong.”
While the sections in question do bare some similarities to related Wikipedia articles, they are not outright copies and apparently occur far from often. As Suskind attempts to tear down Obama’s administration, however, his officials are looking to prove that they have been in the right by retorting to each argument they can.
Elsewhere in the book, former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel is described as a poor manager who excluded women from White House meetings. Former Communications Director Anita Dunn is also quoted as saying that the White House “would be in court for a hostile workplace. . . . Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.” And as the White House tried to make the most of a financial crisis during the president’s first year in office, Suskind reveals that former National Economics Council Chief Larry Summers thought that “no adult [was] in charge” on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” contains material collected from over 200 interviews that Suskind oversaw, including a personal sit-down with President Obama himself. Suskind was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in recognition of his work with the Wall Street Journal in 1995.