Peter Baker of the NY Times delivers a classic bit of "analysis" of Obama's Secret Service problem: Republicans (and Democrats) are delivering tough Congressional hearings into the performance of the Secret Service but the competence of the Obama Administration may experience collateral damage:
Democrats joined in the grilling, and some were as tough as or tougher than any Republican on the Secret Service director, Julia Pierson. . But privately, some Democratic officeholders and strategists have complained that the episode contributes to a broader impression that the Obama administration’s competence has come under fire on a variety of fronts, including last year’s botched rollout of Mr. Obama’s health care program, the breakdown of services at the Veterans Affairs Department and the handling of a series of international crises.
Do tell. But let's cut to the "analysis":
Coming just weeks before midterm elections, they said, the intense focus on the matter might further undercut confidence in the government Mr. Obama runs even though it was hardly his fault an intruder with a knife made it into the White House.
Hardly his fault? The buck stops where? Elsewhere!
“This is an opportunity to make it seem like nobody’s in charge in the Obama administration, even though it’s almost certainly not the case that political appointees could have done anything to change the facts in this situation,” said Matt Bennett, a White House aide under President Bill Clinton and now vice president of Third Way, a political group. “I’m not surprised that they’re doing this.”
Is the President's influence over the Secret Service that limited? Well, no - after several more paragraphs we get to this:
While the director of the Secret Service is appointed by the president...
Wait - the President appointed Ms. Pierson the director but otherwise has no responsibility for what happens? Seriously?
The WaPo reported on the elevation of Ms. Pierson in March 2013 and after working through the First Woman To Run Secret Service huzzahs delivered a bit of Eerily Prescient backbiting:
Despite Pierson’s long tenure, some agents interviewed about the top contenders for the job told The Washington Post several weeks ago that Pierson was considered a weak candidate among rank-and-file agents because she had spent relatively little time supervising or working high-priority protective details, spending most of her career in administrative jobs.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in criminal justice, Pierson joined the Secret Service as an agent in the Miami field office. She served on the protective detail for President George H.W. Bush from 1988 to 1992 before being promoted to management.
Pierson oversaw the Office of Protective Operations, most recently as a deputy director, but with the job of overseeing budgets, resources and personnel assignments. By contrast, O’Connor had protected presidents, the pope and numerous presidential candidates.
“She’s not done her time in the trenches,” said one agent, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “She’s mostly been riding a desk.”
This Timesian notion that Obama can claim credit for yet another affirmative action appointment and then duck responsibility when it all goes south is absurd.