I loved when Van Jones says it was a vicious smear campaign of quoting him? It was his own sound bites. It was a petition that he signed. It wasn't that they were spreading lies about him. What killed him is they were spreading truths about him. That's what did him in, especially the one about being a truther himself.
Charles is right about that. Probably without that one, he might not have gone, or wouldn't have this weekend.
It's amazing. Politico counts 31 czars, 31 of them. Isn't that amazing? And there is even a California water czar. I'm not going to test you to see if you know who that is.
But 31 czars. You know, I think some of them matter. Obviously Richard Holbrooke if he is a czar, and Dennis Ross in the Middle East. But I think most of them, it is largely a vanity on the part of President Obama.
BAIER: Fred, that of was the spin this weekend, that the green jobs czar was not that important. It's a low level position.
However, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor closest to President Obama two weeks ago said that. Isn't that something? Isn't that telling?
BARNES: It is something. It is telling.
On the other hand, I rather doubt that Van Jones was influential there. I think a lot of these czars, it was just a vanity for the president so he can say I have this czar and he is real close to me whenever anything is going on with California water, he can come and tell me about it.
The other thing that was amazing was "The Washington Post" called Van Jones "a towering figure in the environmental movement," a towering figure. I think that tells you something about the environmental movement.
KRAUTHAMMER: What you also learn about the White House is when Jarrett said, as we saw on tape "We've been watching him all these years," well, that means you have been watching him and must know something about his history of quite radical politics and statements.
And that apparently was undisturbing to Jarrett and to Obama people, and that tells you it is a reflection of the boss. The boss also had a history before he became a candidate of being around and friends with the likes of Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers.
Liberals scolded us last year how irrelevant all of that is, how it is a smear campaign against Obama. But if you live in that environment and you find nothing inherently wrong with that kind of radicalism, then a Van Jones will show up, you will watch him years and years, and you will think this guy is perfectly mainstream.
BAIER: Last thing Mort, is, as we've reported, these czars have not filled out a questionnaire, aren't we one blog post or one report away from derailing any hopes they had from talking about health care?
KONDRACKE: I don't know about that.
BAIER: Or at least off message?
KONDRACKE: I mean, they're going to talk about — yes. I mean, if this becomes the big issue of the week, then it's going to interfere with the president's big speech on Wednesday.
BAIER: And it's not going to change.
KONDRACKE: The other important thing here is I thought Lamar Alexander made a very good point. Lamar Alexander is a senator from Tennessee, responsible citizen Republican, said that there are major constitutional issues here about having these czars out of the control of Congress, no, you know, no confirmation hearings, no testimony, making all this policy in the White House. It ain't the way it's supposed to be.