Democratic strategists say President Barack Obama needs to act fast to make sure that one of the most tangible consequences of the Republican takeover of the House — an army of GOP committee chairman seeking confidential executive branch deliberations — doesn’t swamp the day-to-day work of the White House.Veterans of the contentious battles of the Clinton administration warn that the Obama White House is entirely unprepared for the level of scrutiny it is about to experience. “They’ve already been complaining that they’re beleaguered by Congress,” said one veteran Democratic strategist. “I don’t think [White House aides] have the slightest idea what they’re facing.”Legislative gridlock may be the least of the White House’s worries over the next two years if its staff must respond to dozens of subpoenas seeking details on the implementation of the health care reform law, stimulus spending and the personnel issues that arise in every administration.“There’s no question that just dealing with the subpoenas in and of themselves, finding the documents, the simple act of going around the White House collecting and organizing the documents, that’s an enormous effort and of course inevitably lead to fights with the Hill,” said Mark Fabiani, a lawyer who handled President Bill Clinton’s response to Whitewater and other controversies that congressional Republicans sought to investigate.“Just managing the investigations, the inquiries and the subpoenas can consume a lot of the rest of what the White House is doing,” he said.
Monday, November 8, 2010
From Josh Gerstein of Politico on Nov. 4: