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Did Peter Orszag hear Obama's speech on fatherhood?

The affairs of Peter Orszag appear to be quite a source of amusement for Washington’s political and intellectual elite. The town is abuzz with talk of Obama’s nerdy budget director, a divorced father of two, who, it turns out, is the father of another baby born to ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas in November and who recently announced his engagement to ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga.

As for the child born out of wedlock? “What's the big deal?” seems to be the thinking. Orszag and Milonas released a statement this week saying, “we are both thrilled she is happy and healthy."

Maybe I should leave this alone. Unfortunately, I have trouble squaring Orszag's behavior with his boss's views on family and fatherhood.

In a Father’s Day 2008 speech http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/06/15/obama_delivers_fathers_day_ser.html to the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told the congregation: "Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we… recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation."

Obama didn't mince words. "If we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."

He continued: "We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes a man is not the ability to have a child -- it's the courage to raise one."

On that Father's Day, president Obama was talking to and about men in the African American community.

Do those presidential views also apply to Peter Orszag?

By Colbert King  | January 9, 2010; 6:21 PM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Comments

They sure should apply!

But the press will give this a pass, and the elite will buzz and twitter with amusment. Probalby because conservatives (some conservatives) have been saying, not shouting, that for years. And way back when Daniel Moynihan said the same this, it rocked the liberal establishment. This SHOULD NOT be a "political" issue. It's a human issue vital to our country.

And being the head of OMB does not give you a pass.

Posted by: OldGeezer | January 9, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Rarely agree w/u Mr King, but you hit the nail on the head.Mr Orz has such sterling educational credentials but acts so stupidly
in such a critical part of his life.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | January 9, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he is a loser in the character department. First his two children are without a father in the home, now a third will not. If he did not want to marry the mother he should have made sure he was using protection! And just three months after the other woman got pregnant he is "in love" with Bianna? If I were her I would not touch him with a ten foot pole!
But then, there are rumors she was involved in a DUI. So maybe they deserve each other.

Posted by: sandnsmith | January 9, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

At least they didn't have an abortion. That should make the conservatives (and the gossipy, judgmental Mr. King) happy.

Posted by: marmac5 | January 9, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Do those presidential views also apply to Peter Orszag?"

I'm sure they do, but what's Obama supposed to do, take Orszag aside and admonish him? Hopefully this public scrutiny will at least shame Orszag a little. Milonas probably tried to get pregnant - a wealthy woman, unmarried, no children, probably wanted a baby badly - Orszag was a perfect opportunity. As usual it's the kiddies who get the shaft....

Posted by: privacy3 | January 9, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the administration that promised transparency and accountability. They must think we are all bastards.

They got my vote once, they will not get it again.

Posted by: mellwood1 | January 9, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama is trading moral credibility for supposed expertise and perhaps political expediency. Imaging how much respect he would have across the aisle if had dumped Geithner (tax evader) and Orszag as well?

Sadly, its getting harder and harder to take Obama seriously.

Posted by: leloupedemots | January 9, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The press won't cover this in any critical way and Obama will remain mute. You see, Obama just "talks"...he's not really a leader and it's not really what he believes or he'd "react" to Orzag's slimy lifestyle. Remember in November....2010 starts the reset.

Posted by: powerange | January 9, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

It is possible, if not probable, that Orszag and Milonas came to an agreement on how their child would be raised, and what level of involvement Orszag would have in her upbringing. It's also possible they split before she found out she was pregnant. Nobody knows but them. There's a lot of judgement in this piece, with very little knowledge of the whole situation--and I would feel the same way about two Republicans in the same situation.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 9, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

The rich and powerful usually set their own "rules" so they get away with nearly anything. Obama's opinions about the proper role of fathers only applies to the peasants, excuse me, the masses.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 10, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Isn't this what the Republicans call personal?

I just love this country! However, I pray for the anti Christian Republicans for all their hate slime and lies.

Posted by: WiltonDiary | January 10, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Another one of Bambi's USELESS TALKING HEADS more of the taxpayers money wasted !!

Posted by: yourmomscalling | January 10, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

So a divorced guy is not supposed to have sex? What is King trying to say? So the birth control failed (or whatever) and Orszag appears to be taking responsibility, financial and otherwise, for the child,even though the parents are not planning to marry. How does King know what kind of role Orszag will play in this child's life?

What is King's point? She should have had an abortion? Ridiculous column.

Posted by: trace1 | January 10, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

You can touch everything and be connected to nothing.

Posted by: fminstrelsy | January 10, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr. King's comments - in principle. But in real life, it's a little difficult to feel sorry for a Greek shipping heiress... These are grownups here, who are taking responsibility for their actions. Let Mr. Orszag concentrate on the budget.

Posted by: mhd51 | January 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Tracy1, a divorced father should keep it in his pants. Responsible individuals don't father two children, divorce, father an illigitimate child and get engaged almost at that childs birth. Now, he has 2 children with an absent father. I don't want to hear about weekend fathers and daily telephone calls to kids because that is not the best situation. I am a single mom, I adopted two children and in hindsight, I would do it all over again, but, I try as I might, I could never teach my son to be a man. That excuse that you have male friends who can mentor you son is a poor substitue because they can't be there when they are needed. Men need to stand up and be counted as far as their children are concerned Mr. Orszag's conduct is disgraceful. Just goes to show that being bright and having a great education does not give one maturity or even common sense.

Posted by: Listening2 | January 10, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama continues to surround himself with trash. It is quite a pattern and not going to get any better.

Posted by: PittAlum | January 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

listening2-
So it appears that you believe adults should not have sex outside of marriage. Good luck with that.

And "responsible individuals" don't divorce? Are you with the Catholic church?

Finally, I have news for you. Lots of boys with fathers in the home never quite turn into honorable "men" either. Genetics and other factors play a large part in a human being's development-- not just whether there is a male in the household.

Posted by: trace1 | January 10, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

mhd51, you are right on the money. Orszag is a disgrace, but he is perfect for the Obama administration, where "principles" apply only in the abstract. He fits right in with the lobbyists, tax evaders and, of course, Rahm Emanuel, the Dark Prince, to whom every crisis is an opportunity not to be wasted.

Posted by: neilwied | January 10, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

We have to assume the woman wanted a baby. She had the power to use birth control and apparently did not do it. Lots of women of a certain age...know there will not be a husband...and want a baby of their own...and so it goes. The father can afford to give child support! This is the business between the mother and the father...no one else! A judge can order child support or maybe the Mom can afford to be a Mom on her own?

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | January 10, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

you self righteous repugs are blaming the obama administration for the personal actions of it's employees. would it be ok if your boss took the blame for what happens in or out of your bedroom?this cabinet member and the mother can financially take responsibility for their child, the problems are compounded when irresponsible men and women(mostly children themselves) have children that i and other taxpayers have to take care of.

Posted by: ninnafaye | January 11, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the President's views should apply to Orszag. He needs to be a responsible father. We shouldn't have a double standard that allows rich guys to make babies they're not going to take care of.

Orszag and his new girlfriend should be criticized. There's not much else anyone can do to them, though. We can't just fire all the bad fathers out there.

Posted by: MarylandMama | January 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree with MarylandMama.

What's done is done, but Orszag has no business getting engaged to Bianna Golodryga, at least not so quickly. Let's hope they cool it for the time being.

I know why the Furies have yet to descend on Golodryga for stealing Claire Milonas' baby daddy away from her newborn: The media always protect their own.

Posted by: WashPostSucks | January 16, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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