Obama out of touch with his Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
On Monday morning, Washington awoke to learn that Commerce Secretary John Bryson had been involved in a series of auto accidents in southern California on Saturday evening, and cited with a felony hit-and-run by responding police. This news was of course shocking.
For several hours, the White House and the Commerce Department declined comment. In this vacuum, the rumors took a life of their own. Some speculated there was alcohol involved, despite initial police accounts that this was not the case. After official statements reported the cause of the accidents on seizures, the ire turned on that initial speculation, blaming the sardonic culture of Twitter.
Part of the blame surely lay at the feet of an inept White House communications operation, unable to provide the general public with any answers to the health and well-being of a cabinet secretary. This media stonewall continued in Press Secretary Jay Carney’s daily briefing.
In Carney’s first answer, we learned that President Obama had not spoken with Secretary Bryson. This seemed odd. A cabinet secretary is hospitalized following serious traffic incidents and a police citation and the president does not pick up the phone to check on his welfare?
Pressed for details, Carney continually directed questions to the Commerce Department. As if this matter had nothing to do with the White House. On the fifth question, Carney was asked: “So as the matter stands right now, is the Secretary healthy and fit to serve?” Carney referred the question to the Commerce Department.
C’mon big guy pick up the phone. Or is this a preview of Obama-Care?