Just about a month ago John Heileman wrote an article in New York Magazine reporting that President Obama hasn’t yet conferred with some half dozen cabinet members during the first two years of his administration.
The more pointed variant of this critique was directed specifically at Obama. Unlike 42—who loved to stay up late, jabbing at the speed dial, spending countless hours gabbing with local pols and businesspeople around the country to gauge the political wind and weather—44 not only eschewed reaching out to governors, mayors, or CEOs, but he rarely consulted outside the tiny charmed circle surrounding him in the White House. “What you had was really three or four people running the entire government,” says the former White House strategist. “I thought they put a pretty good Cabinet together, but most of those guys might as well be in the witness-protection program.”
A funny line, no doubt, but an overstatement, surely? Well, maybe not. “I happen to know most of the Cabinet pretty well, and I get together with them individually for lunch,” says one of the most respected Democratic bigwigs in Washington. “I’ve had half a dozen Cabinet members say that in the first two years, they never had one call—not one call—from the president.
We’re not talking about group cabinet meetings, we are about the slightest phone call from their boss or a one-on-one personal sit down. Imagine working at a job where you haven’t spoken to your boss for two years.
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But now we have a reason why the President has no time for his cabinet secretaries, in the video below AFL/CIO boss Richard Trumka brags about how he speaks to the White House every day and visits 2-3x a week.
Is Trumka telling the truth? Or is this simply the bragging of a union bully? Do you think that anyone in the press is going to ask the White House about this? It would be nice to know if our president has more time for a union boss than he has for his own cabinet.
Certainly Trumka’s relationship with the White House is working as the president has gone out of his way to protect unions. Be it the waivers given to unions for Obamacare or the support the President’s PAC has given to the Wisconsin protesters.
Sadly it seems that our national government is not being run for the good of the American people but for the benefit of Big Labor, less than 12% of the population.