Roundtable: Rangel Scandal, Health Care and Desiree Rogers

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Feb 28, 2010 12:19pm

Lots to discuss on our powerhouse Roundtable this morning with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson and Paul Krugman. What’s next for Charlie Rangel? Will he be forced to relinquish his chairmanship? And how about recent news that Desiree Rogers has stepped down from her role as White House Social Secretary?

Watch the videos below for some top highlights from the TW Roundtable:

Health Care Summit Stalemate

George Will: “It's a Calder mobile. If you touch something here, something jiggles way over here. So, at the end of the day, it turns out we have two parties for a reason, and they have differing views about, A, the purposes and, B, the competence of government. And so we slog ahead." Watch how the rest of the Roundtable sees it HERE:

Rangel Under Fire
The embattled Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee has felt the heat from the right calling for him to step down from his role as chairman of the committee in charge of writing tax laws. The Roundtable this morning seemed to have a “wait and see” outlook.

Cokie Roberts: “Yes, he can hold it, as long as people — you know, his colleagues say he can hold it. But whether it becomes too hot for him to hold is something that, you know, sort of evolves."

Patterson Bows Out
New York Gov. David Paterson announced this week his decision to end his election campaign due to recent accusations of impropriety during his tenure and cleared the way for Democratic challenger New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Here’s how the Roundtable weighted in:

Sam Donaldson: "His father, is a man ofgreat substance.  His son has proved not to be.  And I think one of the lessons here is, when you run — because they run as a team in New York, governor and lieutenant governor — you ought — just like a president and vice president — you don't put someone on the ticket because there's a political advantage who is not capable of stepping in, as he has proved not to be capable.  And I think it's a real question whether he should serve out the rest of his term." 

Desiree Rogers Steps Down
The woman in charge of shaping the “Obama brand” stepped down this week providing fodder for the Roundtable on how this will impact the White House.

George Will: "It is axiomatic that when there's no penalty for failure, failure proliferates.  She failed conspicuously in her one great challenge, which was the first state dinner, and she's gone.  If she's
gone because she failed, that's a healthy sign." 

Sam Donaldson: "People who work for the president understand or should understand their place, which is to be spear-carriers.  There are two stars in anyone's White House, the president and the president's spouse.  After that, this passion for anonymity that once was a hallmark of people who worked for a president, has been lost.  She wanted to be a star herself…"

Paul Krugman: " Can I say that 20 million Americans unemployed, the fact that we're worrying about the status of the White House social secretary… 

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