There’s nobody who hates navel-gazing more than I, so I will try to dispense with this quickly. Glenn Thrush thinks I’m wrong to attribute the same perspective on Eric Schneiderman to Tom Miller, who dissed him on the record, and Shaun Donovan.
Miller, who has clashed with Schneiderman over the terms of the releases with banks, did take a shot at Schneiderman, and I make it clear the two have a contentious history.
But Donovan? No way. I make the opposite point throughout the story, including an early assertion of how Schneiderman pressed HUD to get tougher on banks: Donovan, sources told me, felt like he developed a good working relationship with the AG after a very rocky start […]
The line that seems to have started this is Miller’s contention on the record that “Donovan didn’t make many changes but was artful enough to sell it as a compromise to the New York attorney general.”
Miller said that. Donovan didn’t.
Sigh. The headline said “HUD officials,” not Donovan. But perhaps this is a copy error. Not on par with thinking the Wisconsin state flag is a union flag or anything, but perhaps an error. But if you think that Tom Miller speaks for himself and doesn’t run everything settlement-related by his Administration higher-ups, you haven’t been watching the negotiations on this thing for the last year. And I don’t think Thrush has. He’s too busy writing beat sweeteners like this. But Miller is a figurehead, and he has been employed on numerous occasions to be an attack dog against critics of the settlement. He’s lied to the press multiple times, and to be frank, I don’t even think he’s telling the truth here. Shahien Nasiripour had five sources tell him in September that securitization releases were in the settlement draft term sheet. The release probably did change because Schneiderman held out.
But that’s hardly the point. The point is that Miller had a chat with Glenn Thrush and, before telling him that Eric Schneiderman got nothing that he wanted and was spun by Shaun Donovan, didn’t say “are we off the record?” That’s quite amazing. And since Donovan was a subject of that comment, I simply don’t believe that a co-chair of the Obama campaign would say that without at least some implicit permission. Miller long ago ceased being his own person.
Then again, maybe I’m not savvy enough to understand this whole thing because I don’t wear a reporter’s hat from the 1930s.
…by the way, this fits a pattern of many of those connected to the settlement not talking publicly to reporters who actually have been following the story. Donovan is actually the only one of late with the guts to talk to people like me on the record. Most go to Rachel Maddow or Politico or Greg Sargent. Greg’s a good reporter and Rachel’s a good talk-show host, but they’re general-interest media who don’t have the working knowledge of a complex and difficult subject.
…also, Glenn, next time, give an outbound link to my story so people can read it for themselves. I know you know how to link, you certainly had no problem linking your own story. I grant that could be Politico’s internal style guidelines stopping outbound links, though I doubt it.