Anita Dunn, President Obama's embattled White House Communications
Director, is leaving
her job at the White House. Dunn had accepted the
post on an interim basis and will return to her consulting job where
she is a partner. She's famous for drawing the ire of right wing
pundits for dismissing Fox News as an "arm
" of the Republican Party and calling Communist leader Mao Zedong one of her "favorite political philosophers
." While multiple reports confirm that Dunn's departure was planned (i.e. not a surrender
to Glenn Beck) many on the left and right say the shakeup has
significance. Here are their takes on what Dunn's exit will portend:
- A De-escalation of the Fox News War, writes conservative blogger Sister Toldjah:
"They’re no longer interested in being overtly anti-Fox, as Dunn was
and is. Now they’re interested in keeping it 'behind the scenes' –
hush-hush, if you will, via threatening Democrat
analysts/commentators/consultants who appear on the network via warning
them to stay off of it – or else."
- A More On-Message White House, writes liberal blogger Nathan Empsall at Direct Democracy: "I think this is a good thing. I despise Fox News...but there
came a point when Dunn and her team just went too far. Fox needs to be
slapped, but you don't want that fight to overshadow the rest of your
message as was always clear would happen... Perhaps a new communications shop will help achieve that goal."
- A Return of the Boys Club, writes Walter Shapiro at Politics Daily: "Dunn's departure will once again leave longtime Obama friend Valerie
Jarrett as the only woman not named Michelle in the inner circle of the
White House. The Obama team has long been concerned about the symbolism
of a no-girls-allowed club surrounding the president. But aside from
temporarily luring Anita Dunn into the White House, Obama has come no
closer to solving this problem than he did during the campaign."
- Beck Will Claim Victory, writes Alex Koppelman at Salon: "It
wouldn't be much of a surprise if Beck tries to claim credit for Dunn's
exit. Last month, he pre-emptively hinted at that, suggesting
that the White House was putting out a message that Dunn had planned to
leave anyway so that it wouldn't look like he'd forced her out."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
jhudson at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.