Mark Halperin; I have been reading his stack and quite interesting, I share this; he writes this memo as if Biden's Chief of staff (fake) wrote it "Manure Happens in a Ron Klain "Memo""
by Paul Alexander
My only question is who could pay that subscription. I cannot afford that. Yikes.
8 hr ago
“What is the ONLY morning newsletter that provides you regularly with fake Ron Klain memos?
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Now, without any additional ado, please read on for the latest in our WWoN series: The Fake Ron Klain memos…
(For those readers who are interested — and wondering about the typos — I wrote this whole thing from scratch and a standing start beginning at 5am this morning….not a syllable was crafted in advance…)
FROM: Ron Klain
DATE: June 1, 2022
RE: Manure happens….
Well, brace yourself, Mr. President, because today is already worse.
A few months ago, you were, I say respectfully, wrong when you said our administration had the most leaking and most hostile press coverage of any White House in modern history.
You might be right now.
I can’t sugarcoat anything for you at this point.
Here’s one chart:
And here’s another:
And here are three stories that are buzzing around this morning, focused on our messaging on inflation and gas prices. I wasn’t sure what order to put them in, since each is gruesome in its own way:
An NBC News poll released earlier this month found that 33 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 23 percent approve of his handling of the cost of living….
In what might be worse for the president and his party, 68 percent said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of inflation, compared with 28 percent who approve.
The White House has grappled unevenly with how to respond to this threat since it emerged last summer. The administration initially downplayed the extent of the problem, inaccurately saying it would prove “temporary….”
“It seems like they’ve given up doing anything and have settled into figuring out what the best thing to say is,” said one person in close communication with senior White House economists, speaking on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. “There’s almost more debate about the right narrative than the right policy stance.”
Senior White House advisers have expressed frustration in recent weeks with their messaging around inflation, according to people familiar with the matter. Some officials have said they should publicly accept that the administration’s stimulus contributed to higher prices while arguing that such steps were worthwhile, while others have been opposed to making such concessions.
Political advisers have trotted out different inflation counterattacks, for example, by linking higher prices to corporate greed or blaming them on Russian President Vladimir Putin. But economic advisers haven’t eagerly embraced those lines.
Mr. Biden also hasn’t said whether he would ease tariffs on certain Chinese imports, resolving an internal split. Several of his economic advisers, including Ms. Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and members of the Council of Economic Advisers, have favored paring back tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump in an effort to reduce consumer costs. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and others are reluctant to relinquish U.S. leverage over China.
For the past several months, a White House-led team of economic specialists has marked each day in the same way: With a painstaking, state-by-state examination of gasoline prices and the intricate market forces pushing them relentlessly upward.
Senior officials and others close to President Joe Biden view those prices as the cost that most directly affects voters’ everyday lives, and therefore their perception of the economy as well. As such, Biden and his top advisers fixate on them with an intensity that some aides describe as obsessive. White House chief of staff Ron Klain has grown particularly absorbed by the issue, checking the average price of a gallon of gas every morning. He’s lamented that it’s the one item everyone knows the cost of because gas station billboards are so ubiquitous throughout the country.
“Could they advertise anything else?” Klain rhetorically, and ruefully, asked one recent visitor.
The White House’s focus on gas prices is bred from two sobering political conclusions top officials have made. The first is that they have little control over the problem. The second is that as prices rise at the pump, so do Democrats’ odds of a midterm wipeout — especially as the average U.S. gallon of gas hits fresh record highs.
“There really isn’t one silver bullet,” said one person familiar with the discussions. “It’s a really difficult issue to message around when you can’t deny the reality.”
You know how much I hate to see my name in print, so this Politico story is deeply troubling.
I laugh (that way I laugh, part rueful, part knowing) when I think about all these folks who believe that being your chief of staff is easy. As we say in Indiana, manure happens in this job.
We have discussed two models to replace me – a staff type or a principal. If you think Anita or Steve are ready to deal with the First Lady’s micromanaging of your schedule and public image, or the heavy lift of the Veep’s scheduling and briefing needs, or your opinionated and needy Cabinet members, or the legal team’s anxiety over Hunter, or the complexity of keeping you both in and out of dealing with Congress, or all the national security decisions, or the personnel departures, or…you get the point – think again. And I laugh (again, in that way I laugh) imaginging Terry McAuliffe or Secretary Raimondo stepping behind the curtain here and seeing what it is really like.
The Gang of 500 and the Dominant Media have both turned on us. To make us all feel better, we have a block schedule that shows some domestic trips for you, Cabinet members and other senior offices doing TV hits and travel, and a bunch of White House events planned.
But we have some problems here we need to be frank about.
We are now in the mode of trying to project we understand Americans are hurting because of inflation and projecting that we are trying to fix what’s wrong. That strategy might work with the press. Although it definitely might not work.
The bigger issue is that the public is not very interested in our “understanding” or “trying.” For whatever reason (and the polling is not clear on this point), there seems to be some expectation that you will actually solve this.
And the messaging that “this is all beyond” our “control,” or that we didn’t cause it, or that it is the fault of Putin, Rick Scott, greedy corporations, or Donald Trump is not working at this point with either the media or the public.
Secretary Yellen’s mea culpa on inflation
A normal president would start doing sit down interviews and holding press conferences to shape the narrative. We are consigned to controlled “leaking” that you are “angry” at the staff for not letting Biden be Biden and writing op-ed pieces for you to put in major papers. These are tactics not a strategy and they won’t get us even through the week, let alone to November.
Finally, five hard truths we both have to think about.
1. If you think your job approval ratings can’t go any lower, think again. If we don’t deliver on student loan debt or inflation – or if we try to deal with gas prices by embracing fossil fuel production or by lowering emission standards more – we will lose enough progressive support to put your numbers well below 40.
2. If you think you have sway on Capitol Hill on guns, mini Build Back Better, the competitiveness bill, or anything else pending, think again.
4. If you think your standing with the Gang of 500 and the Dominant Media is bad, you should know it is perhaps even worse with corporate chiefs, one of whom was overhead the other day (I think he was joking?) saying he longed for the days of Valerie Jarrett in the White House handling the Big Business portfolio.
This Ben White piece
[S]ome top executives, especially in the banking sector, are now complaining that while Biden pays lip service to caring about their views on how to fix things, he doesn’t actually listen to them or solicit their input. The finance industry is especially alarmed at the moment given the big losses in stocks and the impact of changing interest rates on their businesses.
“They said everything was going to be different under Biden and they would be more engaged with us, and they weren’t,” said the CEO of one of the country’s largest banks. “Now they are going to get slaughtered in the midterms. And they deserve to get slaughtered because they haven’t really accomplished anything except maybe increasing inflation.”
That isn’t a Sean Hannity diatribe; it is at least 75% true now and could be 100% true by the fall.
Lots to discuss!
See you after your workout.”