Tags: Pfeiffer | impeachment | White House | immigration

White House Senior Adviser Pfeiffer Talks Impeachment — Part I

By    |   Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:39 AM

White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer appeared at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor on July 25 for an hour to brief reporters and take questions. It has been reported that Pfeiffer virtually dared Republicans to try to impeach President Obama if he takes Executive action on immigration reform, even though Republican leaders deny any such attention. Thus it looks like the administration thinks it is in the president's interest to encourage such talk as a means of raising funds and boosting turnout.

This article provides context for the impeachment hoax story that could be worth 3 gavels as political theater.

Pfeiffer was introduced by The Monitor's Dave Cook, who also asked the first round of questions. In his opening remarks, Pfeiffer, a Wilmington, Del., native and Georgetown graduate who broke in at age 24 as a spokesman for Al Gore's presidential campaign and also worked for Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., former Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., reminded the reporters that Obama has declared this "The Year of Action."

The goal of this year, according to Pfeiffer, is "to look for ways to work with Congress," which he called "pretty broken" at the end of 2013 "because the Republican majority was in the thrall of the right wing." (Certainly a good note on which to start a good working relationship.) The administration served notice that "the agenda was going to be one of Executive action, in ways big and small" with respect to reducing carbon pollution, raising the minimum wage, promoting equal pay for equal work in government contracts, improving skills in education, leading up to "dealing with the broken immigration system."

Pfeiffer emphasized that the president realizes that "the American people are frustrated with the lack of action in 'gridlocked' Washington." He added that the White House expected a reaction from the Republicans, with "cries about the imperial presidency," but the administration did not expect the Republicans to sue the president. The administration, he said, took satisfaction that this meant the agenda was more significant than mere "small ball." He crowed that the lawsuit will act as "a motivating factor to come up with additional Executive actions" regarding immigration, likely to provoke further reactions from Republicans. The plan through the rest of this presidency is to press forward and demonstrate a contrast with the unproductive Republican House of Representatives, "the least productive in history."

The "impeachment" word did not come up until halfway through the breakfast, when with some trepidation Cook called on Lauren Fox of U.S. News and World Report, but it was not Fox who used it, it was Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer referred to "crosscurrents" within the GOP between proponents of immigration reform like Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., and "nativists" like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who wants to deport the "dreamers."

He cited Sarah Palin's reference to impeachment as a jumping off point for saying that unlike people who laugh this off, "I would not discount that possibility." Thus, it is evident that the White House has concluded that raising the specter of impeachment will be a winning strategy in 2014 and beyond.

(Archived video can be found here.)

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White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer appeared at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor on July 25 for an hour to brief reporters and take questions.
Pfeiffer, impeachment, White House, immigration
Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:39 AM
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