Obama Secretary Repeats Debunked Claim That Administration 'Never Had a Whiff of Scandal'


I understand members of the Obama administration tend to paint the administration of the 44th president in hagiographical terms. I would expect no different out of John Kerry, secretary of state for most of Obama’s second term.

However, I would appreciate it if Kerry — as well as the rest of the former administration’s officials — stopped pretending that the period from January of 2009 to January of 2017 was scandal-free in the White House.

We’ve heard that line before and we heard it again from Kerry, now acting as a surrogate on the campaign trail for Joe Biden. Apparently, someone thought what the former vice president really needed was some more establishment cred. If anything, Biden might have been better off telling Kerry not to endorse him.

The 76-year-old Kerry was appearing on CNN on Friday to describe why he was getting behind the 77-year-old former Delaware senator for president.

He dismissed Biden’s gaffes (“Who hasn’t done that over a lifetime? He is just honest, straightforward,” Kerry said — proving that he hasn’t watched a single one of the debates, where Biden’s regularly managed to fit a lifetime full of solecisms into just three hours) instead saying that it was the Democrat front-runner’s experience that really clinched it.

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“I believe Joe Biden is the only person who has the set of relationships around the world, who has had this unbelievable breadth of experience as chairman of the [Senate] Foreign Relations Committee and then as vice president for eight years — and in an administration, by the way, which never had a whiff of scandal,” Kerry said.

I’m impressed he made it through this with a straight face:

“And so, you know, to me — and then you look at the head-to-head confrontations around the country in state after state where we might not be competitive otherwise, Joe Biden is the one who consistently beats the president or is tied with him,” Kerry added.

“And I believe that when he becomes the nominee and the party unites behind him, there will be a broad recognition in the country of the difference between the qualities that Joe Biden brings to the table versus the impulsivity and recklessness of our current president.”

Yes, he’s ahead in the polls. How much that means is anyone’s guess. However, let’s please talk about that first part.

“Not a whiff of corruption?” Clearly, Kerry’s olfactory nerve isn’t functioning too well, because there was plenty of scandal during the Obama years if you knew where to look.

Twitter users pointed this out:

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So, just so we’re clear, we had Fast and Furious, a dubious operation named after an equally dubious series of movies. In the operation, gun shop owners were allowed by the government to sell guns to individuals they knew were straw buyers, likely for Mexican drug cartels. The idea was to keep track of the guns and figure out where they were going and how they were getting there.

Lo and behold, they lost a bunch of them — and one was used to shoot and kill a Border Patrol agent.

Attorney General Eric Holder lied about when he found out about this, telling Congress in May of 2011 that he had “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks” when Department of Justice memos showed he’d been informed about it in July of 2010.

Do you think the media tried to protect the Obama administration from scandal?

There was the IRS targeting scandal, where officials singled out tea party groups for additional scrutiny when it came to tax exemption.

There was the Solyndra scandal, where the government pumped an obscene amount of money into a solar panel company that failed. This was back in the day when Democrats still believed in executive privilege, so they stymied any attempt by Congress to secure documents.

There was then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in June 2016 in Arizona just before the Department of Justice announced it wouldn’t be pursuing charges against Hillary Clinton over the Democrat standard-bearer’s mishandling of confidential information on a private email server.

FISA court abuses, the Joe Sestak job offer, Benghazi — I mean, lay out the calendar pages of all of the months Obama was in office on a wall, blindfold yourself and then toss a dart at that wall and you’re likely to hit a week — if not a day — where an Obama scandal was bubbling to the top.

But no, there was never the “whiff of a scandal.” Of course not.

It’s almost no surprise that Kerry, who endorsed Biden for president in December, is as ineffective a surrogate as he was a presidential candidate. However, the media needs to start pushing back on the lie that there wasn’t any scandal in the Obama administration. There was plenty if you know where to look.

The biggest scandal these days, however, is that no one in the media actually wants to look.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture