President Obama with Anita Dunn, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and Robert Gibbs (via White House Flickr stream)
A month ago, White House interim communications director Anita Dunn stepped into the role of lead Fox News-basher.
She’s handing the reins over to her young protégé and fellow Tom Daschle flack, Dan Pfeiffer.
Dunn never planned to stay in the role permanently. So don’t mistake this for a Van Jones-style under-the-bus disappearance. She may be cutting back and switching seats (she remains as a consultant), but she’s not going anywhere.
I profiled Dunn, Pfeiffer, and the rest of the press shop here. Quick refresher:
Democratic media consultant Dunn’s claim to fame is her decade-long service as chief strategist for disgraced Democrat and former Senate Majority Leader-turned-health care lobbyist Tom Daschle. She was in the thick of his failed re-election campaign as Daschle asserted a bogus property-tax homestead exemption claim on his $1.9 million D.C. mansion – which he listed as his primary residence despite voting in South Dakota and claiming it as his primary residence in order to run for re-election. And Dunn was with Daschle during the years he failed to pay gobs of taxes on a luxury car and driver provided to him by crony donor Leo Hindery, Jr.
After working as communications manger for Obama’s political action committee and then as senior adviser to his 2008 presidential campaign, Dunn “trained” White House press secretary and anti-Fox sniper Robert Gibbs. Deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer is another young protégé of Dunn’s who worked with her on the disastrous 2004 Daschle re-election campaign.
(Another Daschle connection: Obama transition adviser John Podesta, who served as Daschle’s counselor and has helped staff the administration with many alumni of his left-wing think tank, the Center for American Progress. One CAP fellow, Hugo Chavez-admiring radical Mark Lloyd, has attacked conservative talk radio – second home of several Fox News hosts — and is now the FCC’s “Diversity Czar.”)
Dunn is married to Robert Bauer, a Washington, D.C. corporate lawyer who served as general counsel for Obama for America. It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully last fall to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
It was Bauer who attempted to sic the DOJ on GOP donor Harold Simmons and sought his prosecution for funding the ad. It was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Barack Obama’s behalf.
While conservatives revel in the Left’s hysteria over Fox News Channel’s dominance, more of Obama’s friends hope he’ll wipe his nose and man up. Fat chance. As long as he’s surrounded by career flacks who demonize dissent to distract from the Beltway stench, the White House will remain an all-whine zone.
Keep an eye on Bauer, who has been rumored for more than a month to be in line for Greg Craig’s job as WH counsel.