The Stalinesque “cult of personality” that surrounded Barack Obama when he campaigned for president in 2008 and for about a year after he was elected president of the United States has greatly diminished, but it never completely went away.
No one can forget the disturbing onslaught of Obama cult products circa 2008/2009: the Obama flags, perfume, soap, soda pop, basketballs, clocks, flip-flops, soap-on-a-rope — you name it. Obama’s smiling mug was slapped on practically every product you could think of — including even sushi! — and his devoted cultists snatched it up.
Then there were the children singing Obama songs of praise, Obama’s lavish birthday bashes, and his unearned Nobel Peace Prize. While most of “Obamamania” dissipated over the ensuing years, there were still occasional reminders that he still had a very fervent and devoted following — mostly, it turned out, in the mainstream media.
For the entire eight years of Obama’s presidency, we witnessed an obsequious MSM that only very reluctantly reported negative news about their hero, dropping problematic stories like a hot potato at the first opportunity. Thus, Obama’s many scandals became old news in a matter of weeks.
It is largely because of this that Obama and his minions can casually drop an absurd whopper like this and not be challenged on it:
Top President Barack Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarrett said in an interview with CNN Sunday that his administration has not seen a single scandal.
“The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself,” she said on Fareed Zakaria GPS.
“That’s because that’s who he is, that’s who they are, and I think that’s what really resonates with the American people,” she continued.
Obama and his team must be worried about his legacy now that he is on the way out the door and a Republican administration is coming in to “drain the swamp,” because he and his toadies have been pushing this nonsense about his “scandal-free” presidency for months, now.
The fake narrative first emerged in 2011 when liberal journalists trotted it out ahead of Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
“Love President Obama or hate him, he’s run a tight ship and to date has been scandal free,” said Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen with a straight face in May of 2011.
“Mark it on your calendars: if President Obama has just 20 days to go — October 6! — in order to claim the record as the most scandal-free president since 1977,” wrote an adoring Elspeth Reeve in The Atlantic that September.
My very favorite contribution to the narrative came from Jonathan Alter, who gushed about Obama’s “miraculous White House free of scandal” in a piece at Bloomberg News that read like something from The Onion:
President Barack Obama goes into the 2012 with a weak economy that may doom his reelection. But he has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest. (emphasis mine.)
Stop laughing – it gets better:
…the president’s Teflon is intriguing. How did we end up in such a scandal-less state? After investigating the question for a recent Washington Monthly article, I’ve been developing some theories. For starters, the tone is always set at the top. Obama puts a premium on personal integrity, and with a few exceptions…
This lie was already an insult to the American voter in 2011 with the Dealergate, DOJ Black Panther whitewash, Obamafication of NEA art, Sestak affair, politically expedient IG Gerald Walpin firing, misspent stimulus funds, DOJ’s secret astroturf propaganda unit, Shorebank, oilgate, Blagojevich/Rezko /Obama corruption, Obama’s unaccountable czars, Fast and Furious, the Gibson Guitar Raid, Pigford, Solyndra and LightSquared scandals already on the books.
The false narrative was resurrected in February of 2016 when Obama sycophant David Brooks whole-heartedly pushed it in the New York Times.
The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free. Think of the way Iran-contra or the Lewinsky scandals swallowed years from Reagan and Clinton. We’ve had very little of that from Obama. He and his staff have generally behaved with basic rectitude.
“‘Remarkably scandal-free’? David Brooks works in the news business, right?” Jim Geraghty gasped in reaction at National Review.
Obama himself felt the need to boast about his alleged lack of scandals on two different occasions last fall.
“We have not had a major scandal in my administration,” Obama told Democrat donors on October 23. Again, on November 20, the president boasted during a press conference in Lima, Peru: “I’m extremely proud of the fact that over 8 years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations.”
Josh Earnest backed his boss up on November 28, saying:
Look, I think every president is going to have to decide for themselves what kind of person can best serve them in the country in the senior roles in the administration.
President Obama obviously took that responsibility very seriously and assembled a team that he’s quite proud of, to serve him and the country. And the President has spoken at some length about how proud he is that there hasn’t been a major personal scandal in his administration, that the kind of people that he has chosen to serve in high profile influential positions in his administration have done so with the focus on the country’s best interests. The President is quite proud of that.
Do they really think the American people are this stupid? Even most Democrats realize there have been scandals.
Obama’s second term began with an explosion of them: DOJ spying on the media, IRS, NSA, State Department war on whistleblowers, four EPA scandals, Obamaphones, and the “gag order” at the Department of Energy.
As time went on we saw the VA scandal, Benghazi*, massive ObamaCare lies, skewing of ISIS intel, Iran deception and ransom payment, Bowe Bergdahl, the EPA’s polluting of the Colorado River, the GSA scandal, the Secret Service sex scandal, “government shutdown theater,” and of course EmailGate.
Feel free to add any scandals I neglected to mention in the comments, PJ Media readers. I know I’m missing a few.
There is really no other way to describe Obama’s claim that his was a “scandal-free administration” other than to call it a colossal lie. And the only way he can get away with such a lie is for his loyal fans in the MSM to let him get away with it.
And they wonder why we call them the “fake news” media.
*Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include Benghazi in the list of Obama Administration scandals.