Pit Bull Plouffe is at it again. The surest sign of trouble inside the Obama White House is when campaign guru David Plouffe is unleashed on Twitter.
He terrorizes Republicans. Or would that be Tweet-orizes?
With a spate of controversies undermining President Obama's credibility, Plouffe responded harshly to Rep. Darrell Issa calling White House press secretary Jay Carney a "paid liar." Plouffe tweeted: "Strong words from Mr. Grand Theft Auto and suspected arsonist/insurance swindler ... ."
Plouffe, a mild-mannered and widely respected operative, has nonetheless been yanking at his leash since leaving the White House early this year:
- Two days after the IRS apologized for targeting conservative groups, Plouffe was spinning the scandal in a tweet that said, "What IRS did dumb and wrong. Impt to note GOP groups flourished last 2 elections, overwhelming Ds. And they will use this to raise more $." In an email to me afterward (read it here), Plouffe said he was not letting the IRS off the hook.
- After Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said he had been threatened by a White House aide, Plouffe suggested that the legendary journalist was washed up. "Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated," he tweeted.
The Issa tweet was a cheap shot: The unproven allegations against the California lawmaker are decades old. But there will be little sympathy for Issa, the House's chief Obama investigator who cherry-picked evidence and presumed guilt in an overwrought Sunday TV interview that stirred echoes of 1950s Senate demagogue Joe McCarthy.
In a fascinating story by Politico's Glenn Thrush, Plouffe defended his actions while Obama allies fretted that he went too far.
It's no coincidence that Plouffe's attack preceded two polls revealing that the IRS and other so-called scandals are eroding the public's faith in Obama. While an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows the president's job approval rating holding steady, a Bloomberg National Poll found that Obama's job approval had dropped six points since February.
According to Bloomberg, 47 percent of Americans say they don't believe Obama is telling the truth when he says he didn't know the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups.
Democratic pollsters privately say that they've seen the same dichotomy in their surveys: Americans still approve of Obama personally, but they are starting to doubt his credibility and the competence of his administration. Don't look for such doubts in Plouffe's Twitter feed.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.