Opinions among Democrats differ as to whether the Obama campaign handled the Jim Johnson mess this week with care or folly. Some believe that the campaign acted swiftly to remove the problem. Others believe that Obama capitulated to public pressure and made himself look foolish.

There's more to the story than just a Countrywide loan: sources close to the campaign and to Johnson say that Obama was "irate" at the news reports of Johnson's and Eric Holder's meetings on Capitol Hill. Obama had expected all the meetings to be private, perhaps naively, but he was especially perturbed when reports surfaced about specific names that Johnson and Holder had brought up with some of the members of Congress.

A.B. Culvahouse has already consulted with top Republicans in the House and the Senate about McCain's picks. He's managed to do so without creating a ruckus.

In any event, Obama wasn't happy and his advisers weren't happy, and they made their feelings known to Johnson, and Johnson, sensing that he didn't really have Obama's trust and was becoming a distraction (because of the press accounts), he offered to resign. It was accepted quickly.

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