On his way out of the White House, President Obama’s senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer admitted to New York magazine that the administration no longer takes House Speaker John Boehner seriously.
“You have to be careful not to presume a lot of strategy for this group,” Pfeiffer said. “I’ve always believed that the fundamental, driving strategic ethos of the Republican House leadership has been, What do we do to get through the next caucus or conference without getting yelled at? We should never assume they have a long game.”
Pfeiffer explained that in the past, the White House would analyze Boehner’s statements and actions as it plotted strategy in a political fight.
“We used to spend a lot of time thinking that maybe Boehner is saying this to get himself some more room. And it’s like, no, that’s not actually the case,” he said. “Usually he’s just saying it because he just said it or it’s the easiest thing to solve his immediate problem.”
Obama grew less inclined to pursue centrist legislation or work with Republicans, Pfeiffer explained, particularly after the mid-term elections when he went on offense.
“There’s never been a time when we’ve taken progressive action and regretted it,” Pfeiffer admitted.