By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 10/28/13 8:23 PM EDT +POLITICO excerpt:
President Barack Obama is briefed each day on a wide range of domestic and international issues, yet when it comes to major controversies, his administration’s response is often the same: the president didn’t know.
The most recent appearance of the tendency came Sunday, as the Wall Street Journal reported that Obama was unaware of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of foreign leaders until earlier this year. The story came on the heels of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s claim that the president didn’t learn of the problems with HealthCare.gov until after the site’s Oct. 1 launch.
Barack Obama: Out of the Loop or Excuses?
And earlier this year, Obama himself said he learned about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of political groups “from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”
The bottom line explanation in all these instances is the same: President Obama didn’t know any more about the scandal than the ordinary person on the street, and certainly wasn’t involved in decision-making processes — at least, not until long after potential problems arose.