Ed Driscoll

"Hie Thee to Thy Pen, Obama!"

Yesterday, I mentioned Newsweek hiring an up and coming op-ed writer named B.H. Obama to pen the cover story for their issue on the earthquake in Haiti and what such a decision says about both the magazine, and the Washington Post, which publishes it. At the Corner, Jonah Goldberg adds:

Barack Obama will be writing a cover story for Newsweek on Haiti. Apparently, the White House sees this as their Katrina moment[Since all wars are Vietnam for the left, and all scandals Watergate, will all large-scale natural disasters now be Katrina for them? — Ed]

I have no problem with the White House doing everything it can to help Haiti. I also understand that Obama won’t actually be writing the Newsweek piece. It’ll be ghostwritten and he’ll take a pen to the copy late in the process.

Indeed, it would be a small scandal if it were otherwise. Imagine if Obama was sitting in the Oval Office, checking the Wikipedia entry on Haiti, burning the midnight oil to hit his deadline. The man has better things to do.

And that’s why I think the politics of Obama writing a piece for Newsweek are not so good. First of all, some might wonder, given Newsweek’s fawning coverage of the man, whether this is the first time he’s written for Newsweek or whether this is just the first time he got a byline.

Second, I think the Katrina comparison is off for any number of reasons. We should help the Haitians every way we can, but at the end of the day, Haiti isn’t an American city and I kind of doubt voters see it as one.

Last, how does having Obama write a Newsweek story help? If it does, great. But sending the commander-in-chief to his word processor doesn’t convey an image of authority and control. At least it doesn’t to me. Indeed, this would be easier to see if Obama didn’t have this man-of-letters cult. I’m pretty sure that if Bush had penned a story about Katrina for Time magazine, the national press corps would have mocked the whole enterprise.

The Gawker-related Business Insider.com quips, “President Obama Takes Over Newsweek”, (doesn’t he have enough to occupy his time with the auto industry, the passenger railroad industry, the mortgage industry, the health care industry, the airport security industry, etc.) but this isn’t exactly breaking news.

Update: “Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!”

PoliticoRush Limbaugh is not backing down from his claim that President Barack Obama is trying to score political points off the earthquake in Haiti.

New York MagPresident Obama to Write Newsweek’s Haiti Cover Story.

What exactly hasn’t Obama politicized or tried to score political points off of?