Ed Driscoll

"Increasingly I’m Told He Would Say The Press Is Against Me"

Found via Weasel Zippers, the authors of Game Change stopped by the the Charlie Rose Show on Monday:

MARK HALPERIN: I think because his rhetoric is not as good as people thought. He’s a serious guy and he eschews this sort of phony populist inspirational rhetoric that may be required for our times, but he wants to treat the country like adults.

[Well, except for those bitter clingers and “teabag anti-government” extremists, of course. — Ed]

And he’s not in a clear and inspiring way spoken out about his platform, about the importance of work together. He just hasn’t done it.

CHARLIE ROSE: Is he because he thinks he has, but he hadn’t?

MARK HALPERIN: Increasingly I’m told he would say the press is against me.

CHARLIE ROSE: We’ve heard that before?

MARK HALPERIN: Well, from other presidents, but of course…

JOHN HEILEMANN: And his competitors in the 2008 race, every day of the week.

MARK HALPERIN: It is strange to get to be president of the United States having never had tough, negative coverage. I think you’d look long and hard to find anyone who ever in the modern era got to the office without that. Barack Obama never did.

CHARLIE ROSE: And why is that? That’s what some of his opponents…

MARK HALPERIN: He hasn’t been in public life very long, number one. Number two, when he got into public life, he had a charmed Senate race and a charmed presidential campaign.

And the thin skin that he’s showing in private now is just like Bush showed, just like Clinton showed, but he’s experiencing it for the first time. It’s on-the-job training for the difficult part of being president at the presidential level.

Video here. And for more video from Rose’s show, here’s a flashback (with some slightly snarky text comments interjected by the person who uploaded it) from the middle of November of 2008, when Rose and Tom Brokaw explore how little they know the man they just helped to elect to the White House:

Or as someone once said, “My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of ‘personal discovery.'”

Of course, as Don Campbell writes in USA Today, echoing comments by Bob Parks from earlier this month, “Real journalism isn’t about selling a book.” If Halperin and Heilemann had actually run their reporting as reporting, rather than sit on their coverage until a year after Obama assumed office, Candidate Obama might have actually had some “tough, negative coverage” to fight back against. And the American people — written off yesterday as “flagrantly ill-informed” by Joe “$787” Klein of Time magazine, might have been able to have made a more enlightened choice to decide whom they wanted as their next commander in chief. Not just by the information itself, but by being able to observe how Obama would have reacted to it.

Update: After observing the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen having a few second thoughts about his profession’s role in helping to elect Obama, Jennifer Rubin adds:

There certainly is a spasm of honesty breaking out in the punditocracy. Perhaps there’s a trend to fess up. What did they know about Obama’s shortcomings and when did they know it? A support group (Regretful Flacks for Obama) might be formed. There they can confess the error of their ways. They mistook physical elegance and a nice speaking voice for profundity. They heard gibberish (”We are the change blah, blah …”) and spun it as pearls of wisdom. They saw a man of slight accomplishment and falsely inferred skills that weren’t there. They confused reserve and remoteness with calm under fire. They ignored signs that he had disdain for average Americans and their values. They ignored his associations and extremely liberal voting record while reciting his promises of “moderation.” And so on.

Jennifer adds, “Ultimately, voters are grown-ups and responsible for their own choices. But if Cohen is upset with the rise of a synthetic, overhyped candidate who’s turning out to be at best a mediocre president, he should talk to his media colleagues. They certainly did their part.”

Update: In contrast to those who are short-selling this asset, Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff wonders if he sees the beginnings of an upward trend: “Presidential politics don’t constitute a market, but I get the same kind of feeling when the likes of Eugene Robinson start bad-mouthing the Obama presidency. Perhaps it’s time to buy some of those beat-up Obama shares.”