After an initial fumbling response President Bush sought to calm hysterics after the Katrina disaster by sending in General Russel Honore, who famously told reporters "don't get stuck on stupid." Honore's leadership went a great way to resolve the tense situation.
So, one would think that with increasing fears of an Ebola crisis Obama might select someone outside his own circle who had the leadership skills and the GRAVITAS to calm fears and instill confidence that the nation's public health system can address the crisis. If you thought that, you would be wrong.
Obama appointed a Democrat insider, V.P. Joe Biden's former Chief of Staff and long time Democrat political operative Ron Klain. It's as if Obama must think all the insider advice he gets from the "faculty lounge" White House staff has been successful despite evidence that's clear for all to see. Appointing a political person is also a sign that Obama sees this problem not in terms of public health but with the same short term political considerations that have proved to be such a disaster in both foreign and domestic policy.
White House defenders point to Klain's role in managing the nearly $1 Trillion Stimulus bill as if money doled out to Obama cronies like Solyndra and others, which failed to generate jobs for Americans, is something to brag about.
Here's Charles Krauthamer's take:
It's a PR move from beginning to end. It gives the appearance and motion, this is what Obama specializes in. You have a VA scandal, an IRS scandal, a Secret Service scandal, you fire a guy at the top so you have the appearance of motion. Here you're putting a guy in who is supposedly going to coordinate.Putting politics over policy is always a bad decision. In the case of Ebola, it could have deadly consequences!
There's a quote in the New York Times about what [Ron] Klain would do, he said his job is messaging, so we have a virus on the loose that turns your organs into liquid and the answer is to appoint a guy to do the messaging. This is like Obama saying, "Oh, yes, all hell is breaking loose all over the world, but this is because of social media, Twitter, and Facebook all of us are more aware of it."