Dan Pfeiffer, President Obama’s director of communications, is in a fight with conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer over this column that Krauthammer wrote for the Washington Post. Krauthammer mentioned that Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British embassy, which had been on loan to the White House following 9/11.
In his own blog postPfeiffer called the account “patently false.”
Now there’s a war between the two. Krauthammer backs up his account with a story from The Telegraph that describes, in 2009, how the Obama administration returned the bust. Meanwhile, ,the British embassy confirms the account and Krauthammer says Pfeiffer was referring to a different bust of Churchill.
Kfauthammer writes: “So I suggest Mr. Pfeiffer bring this to a short, painless and honorable conclusion: a simple admission that he got it wrong and that my assertion was correct. An apology would be nice, but given this White House’s arm’s-length relationship with truth — and given Ryan Zimmerman’s hot hitting — I reckon the Nationals will win the World Series before I receive Pfeiffer’s mea culpa.”
Pfeiffer is a former campaign flak to Sens. Tim Johnson (2002) and Tom Daschle (2004). He was one of the former Daschle staffers who got hooked up with Obama on Obama’s ride to the White House. Pfeiffer was with the campaign in Sioux Falls in 2008 when the future president unfortunately called Sioux Falls “Sioux City.” That quieted the audience down a bit at the Sioux Falls Arena.
We also have the “Pfeiffer Rule” at the Argus Leader. After all the bomb throwing by campaign spokesmen in 2002, including by Pfeiffer, the editors here decided that we would endeavor to limit campaign spokespeople from being in our stories. Instead we try as much as possible to get the candidates to do the speaking, especially on the controversial issues. Whenever possible, we only use campaign staffers for routine stuff. What we’ve found is this tends to limit the amount of bombast in campaigns. Candidates are more careful about leveling personal attacks.