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May 23, 2014 10:16 AM Expect VA News This Afternoon

By Ed Kilgore

One feature of the VA scandal that seems most fortuitous is its precise timing. As NBC’s First Read notes, after reporting a call by Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes for the resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki:

[N]ow comes the Memorial Day weekend, with lots of politicians holding events with veterans, which will probably put even more pressure on Democrats — especially those from red and purple states — to speak out. For the Obama White House, it’s bad timing to be dealing with this VA mess.

I suppose it would be as bad or worse for this to be happening, say, at the very beginning of November, with both a midterm election and Veterans Day coming up. But for hundreds of journalists looking for a Memorial Day news hook, and for pols having to look vets right in the eye at hundreds of events, the scandal is going to be an irresistible topic.

As Greg Sargent observes:

It would not be shocking if there are some personnel changes this Friday late afternoon before Memorial Day weekend.

No question about that. Late Friday over a holiday weekend is an ideal time to break news without making news, but at the same time giving those determine to write or talk about the VA scandal some new (and theoretically positive) development that would have to be mentioned in otherwise scathing stories. It would be interesting to know what sort of communications are going back and forth right now between the White House and Eric Shinseki.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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