Washington: Despite suffering from record low
poll numbers, US President Barack Obama, who has described
himself as the underdog in the 2012 presidential polls, is not
planning to fire any of his White House staff, according to a
"Tune it out," this was the only message Obama gave to a
few aides during a recent pep talk in his Oval office, the Los
Angles Times reported today amid rumours that the President
might shake up his White House staff to win re-election.
"The blame ultimately belongs on him," the paper quoted
50-year-old Obama as telling his staffers, and that he had no
plans to cast any of them aside.
"He was saying we should pull together and focus on
what`s important," recalled one senior staff member who was
present and agreed to discuss the private meeting on the
condition of anonymity.
For Democrats worried about whether the Obama
administration can rebound as the 2012 campaign heats up, the
message may not be what they want to hear, the paper said.
American Presidents often have resorted to staff changes
as a way to signal a new direction. President Bill Clinton
fired some key advisors in 1994, surviving the Democratic
losses in the middle of his term to win reelection in 1996.
Dissatisfied with his campaign staff in 1980, Ronald
Reagan cleaned house. President George W. Bush famously
dismissed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after slogging
through three years of war in Iraq, the report noted.
Senior advisors and friends who have known Obama the
longest say he is unlikely to follow suit.
"Some executives fire people and replace them with new
people, but that`s not his style," said Valerie Jarrett, a
senior advisor and longtime Obama family friend. "His style is
to pick the best people and then stick with them."
"In Washington there has always been an interest in
human sacrifice when things aren`t going well," said David
Axelrod, a longtime Obama advisor.
But Obama "has always said, `Let`s play as a team,` and
he has inculcated all of us around him with that," he said.
"Absolutely," Obama said last week when asked whether he
is an underdog for re-election in 2012.
"I don`t mind. I used to being an underdog. I think that
at the end of the day, though, what people are going to say
is, who`s got a vision for the future that can actually help
ordinary families recapture that American dream?" Obama said.
Obama`s approval ratings have slumped for months. The
national unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.1 per cent.
As recently as the week that ended on September 18, only
68 per cent of liberals told Gallup they approved of the way
Obama was handling his job as President.