Sam Stein of the Huffington Post informs us that White House Hires Communications Hand To Handle Issa Oversight.
The Obama administration is staffing up in preparation for expanded oversight and inquiries from a Republican-run House of Representatives.
Eric Schultz, the former communications director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, officially joined the White House on Monday. While his portfolio will include issues primarily dealing with the Department of Justice, another key function will be to handle matters relating to and resulting from investigations launched by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
“Eric Schultz started Monday. He will be one of three associate communications directors, alongside Kate Bedingfield and Sandra Abrevaya," said a top administration official. "Eric’s portfolio of issues will focus mainly on DOJ and other oversight-related topics.” (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
Issa’s investigatory arm has thus far been a bit more subdued than early reports suggested it might be. But that doesn't mean the California Republican lacks bite. . .
Currently, Issa's office is entangled in an effort to uproot information on firearms being transferred via Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to straw purchasers in Mexico. On Tuesday, the Oversight Committee announced it would hold hearings on a draft executive order requiring federal contractors to reveal their campaign donations. An Obama administration official will testify at those hearings.
Much of the administration’s pushback to these inquiries or hearings has been done by the agencies themselves rather than by the White House’s own press team.
Schultz steps into a position that the president’s communications shop has been attempting to fill for some time. The original candidate for the role was former press aide Ben LaBolt, but he left the administration to head communications for Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral run in Chicago. Rather than returning to the White House upon Emanuel’s win, he signed on as press secretary for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
Schultz is no stranger to hostile political climates. Prior to taking over at the DSCC, he handled press for Al Franken’s 2008 Senate campaign in Minnesota, including the months-long recount against former Sen. Norm Coleman. Before that, he was national press secretary for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential bid, at one point tasked with handling press inquiries relating to Edwards' extramarital affair.
WhoRunsGov.com had this profile on Schultz.
Schultz climbed Capitol Hill by working in the offices of Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). During the 2008 election cycle, Schultz worked for former Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)
When Edwards dropped out of the presidential race, Schultz went to work for Democrat Al Franken's Minnesota Senate run against Norm Coleman. It ended up being one of the hardest-fought races of the year, with recounts lasting well into 2009. In the end, Franken came out on top, and Schultz scored a job at the DSCC, headed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
Schultz quickly made an impact at the (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), including hiring a former Daily Kos blogger to head netroots outreach. (See) Trygstad, Kyle, Time.com, "DSCC hires Daily Kos blogger," May 13, 2009. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
P2012 had this bio when Schultz worked for DSCC.
Communications Director Eric Schultz
(Feb. 2009) National press secretary on John Edwards' 2008 campaign. Communications director to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and earlier press secretary to Schumer. In Fall 2004 Schultz served New Hampshire communications director for the Kerry/Edwards campaign; during the primaries he was deputy communications director on Kerry's NH primary campaign and later press secretary on Kerry's New York primary campaign. Graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, 2002; president of the senior class. Research assistant on Hillary Clinton's 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. Interned for Sen. Schumer in 1999. From Syracuse, NY.
So, let's recap. Schultz's Number One Fan is his fellow New Yaarker Chuck Schumer. He's young, alternate media savvy and experienced in handling scandals. I think one thing we can begin to see happening almost immediately is Internet push-back on Gunwalker from the left-collectivist blogosphere.
But one thing's for sure. By taking this step, the White House is now fully invested in the Gunwalker scandal cover-up.