Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Even more politicization of the White House

The Huffington Post writes about a new position added to the White House staff.
The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.

"This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response," read an internal memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, provided to The Huffington Post. "For the last two years, Jesse has often worn two hats working in new media and serving as the White House's liaison with the progressive media and online community. Starting this week, Jesse will take on the second role full time working on outreach, strategy and response."

The post is a new one for this White House. Rapid response has been the purview of the Democratic National Committee (and will continue to be). Lee's hire, however, suggests that a portion of it will now be handled from within the administration. It also signals that the White House will be adopting a more aggressive engagement in the online world in the months ahead.
Gee, I thought he was supposed to be the president of all the people - you know, purple America. So why specify that he will be communicating with "progressive media?" And why is the taxpayer paying for what is clearly a political position better handled by the President's campaign? Isn't this one of the positions that should be funded by that $1 billion that Obama is trying to raise?