Ben Rhodes always wanted to be fiction writer, and some would say he’s reached his goal — not by writing the Great American Novel, but by authoring some of President Obama’s biggest lies.
Last week, Rhodes was interviewed by the New York Times about his job as “Obama’s foreign-policy guru” and speechwriter.
His candid revelations about the inner workings of the White House have sent shock waves through Washington and beyond.
According to the New York Times:
Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false.
Now, as Reuters reports:
The White House confirmed on Monday that Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, would not testify at a House oversight panel on Iran on Tuesday.
The panel had asked Rhodes to appear after a New York Times article had suggested that he had manipulated the public debate over the Iran deal.
The Obama White House appears to be circling the wagons around Rhodes, despite the embarrassment his interview has caused them. Whether or not the fact that Rhodes’ brother David is the president of CBC News has any bearing on Obama’s apparent loyalty is impossible to verify.
Interestingly, Rhodes’ casual admissions that he helped manipulate popular opinion through the President’s speeches echo a troubling interview Charlie Rose recently conducted with three presidential speechwriters. Jon Lovett, credited with writing the infamous line, “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it,” at one point laughs along with Rose and the other panelists, who seem to find that sentence particularly hilarious.