And why was Obama so keen on obscuring the nature of his signature law’s taxes? Perhaps because he’d just recently spent months relentlessly hammering John McCain over a proposal to tax health benefits “for the first time.” So he needed MacGruber to swoop in and help craft a strategy of evasion and deflection. Noah mentioned over the weekend that in his response to Grubergate, Obama insisted that he’d never misled the public on Obamacare which virtually nobody really buys at this point, and for good reason and disavowed Gruber’s seemingly endless damning comments. One formulation that stuck out to me was his assertion that Gruber “was never on our staff.” This is exceedingly weak spin. The video above contains evidence that the president was personally huddling with Gruber on the Obamacare sales pitch, charging him with fashioning accounting tricks that might provide a politically-necessary fig leaf — which Paul Ryan dismantled at the pre-passage “health care summit.” It’s impossible for the White House to just divorce itself from this guy. He was very much their guy. Not only did they furnish Gruber with $400,000 for his services, they made him a leading point person for “drafting the specifics” of the law with Congress.