BOSTON (CBS) – A lot of people were looking for blood when the President Obama walked into the White House briefing room Wednesday.
They wanted the boss to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
The president did say that people would be held accountable in any cases of wrong doing and he did not appear with Shinseki at his side. But the president still stayed true to his style in dealing with an internal scandal – for better or worse.
There’s a pattern here.
Just look back to the healthcare.gov debacle. The site didn’t work and critics called for the head of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Obama did not fire her. He instead stood by her. Pledged support. Worked to fix the site. And then after all the Congressional hearings, op-ed columns and outcry from the public the president accepted Sebelius’ resignation.
This after Obama stood by his former Energy Secretary Stephen Chu during the Solyndra scandal, only to accept Chu’s resignation after things calmed down.
Unclear what this means for Shinseki.
If the investigation into the VA health scandal finds him personally responsible, there will be no choice but to fire the man.
But Shinseki is not Chu or Sebelius.
He is a veteran himself. A retired four-star Army general. He served in Vietnam and has 2 Purple Hearts to show for it – a resume that may not save his job but gives him a rare personal connection to the agency he runs. Something many cabinet secretaries will never say.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON