The White House Doesn’t Care How Much Steve Hildebrand Complains About Obama


After launching an attack on his one-time boss (and current? friend), political strategist Steve Hildebrand isn’t done mincing words with Barack Obama. Hooray!

Hildebrand — who served as Obama’s deputy campaign chairman, though grew apart from the campaign after the Democratic primary — isn’t keeping quiet about his distaste for the president’s brand of civil rights. Last month he used Queer San Diego Democratic Club’s Freedom Awards to rail against Obama. Now, after Politico rang him up after our report ran, Hildebrand says Obama “needs to be more bold in his leadership.”

But more interesting is to see how the White House is responding. Namely, they’ve heard it all before!

Responding to Hildebrand’s criticism, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it’s true that Hildebrand had raised the same frustrations to him and others inside the White House. But he stopped short of directly addressing the his criticism that Obama hasn’t been bold enough.

“We all know and love Steve Hildebrand,” said Gibbs, who noted Hildebrand was involved in then-Sen. Obama’s decision whether to run for president. “There’s nothing in there we haven’t all heard from him. But, look, I think Steve’s frustration is the frustration of people not only in this town but a lot of people outside of this town — and that is Washington’s inability to address big problems and get something done.”

Asked to address Hildebrand’s comments that the president hasn’t been forceful enough, Gibbs said, “Well, I’ll e-mail Steve and tell him what which affiliate in Sioux Falls will be covering the [health-care] speech so he can listen to the president.”

All the more amusing when you remember, once upon a time (read: two months ago), Obama was thanking Steve.

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