There’s good political journalism out there. The story on the Reid-Angle U.S. Senate race by Nicholas Lemann in the The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/25/101025fa_fact_lemann) is a good example of such. But more often than not there are stories like this one in Politico.com, (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44812.html) which is fast becoming the waste dump for the garbage that is so much political journalism these days:
“…President Barack Obama has performed his act of contrition. Now comes the hard part, according to Democrats around the country: reckoning with the simple fact that he’s isolated himself from virtually every group that matters in American politics. Congressional Democrats consider him distant and blame him for their historic defeat on Tuesday. Democratic state party leaders scoff at what they see as an inattentive and hapless political operation. Democratic lobbyists feel maligned by his holier-than-thou take on their profession. His own Cabinet — with only a few exceptions — has been marginalized. His relations with business leaders could hardly be worse. Obama has suggested it’s a PR problem, but several Democratic officials said CEOs friendly with the president walk away feeling he’s indifferent at best to their concerns. Add in his icy relations with Republicans, the media and, most important, most voters, and it’s easy to understand why his own staff leaked word to POLITICO that it wants Obama to shake up his staff and change his political approach. It should be a no-brainer for a humbled Obama to move quickly after Tuesday’s thumping to try to repair these damaged relations, and indeed, in India on Sunday, he acknowledged the need for “midcourse corrections.” But many Democrats privately say they are skeptical that Obama is self-aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed — in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job. In his effort to change Washington, Obama has failed to engage Washington and its institutions and customs, leaving him estranged from the capital’s permanent power structure — right at the moment when Democrats say he must rethink his strategy for cultivating and nurturing relations with key constituencies ahead of 2012.”
Sorry Tea Peartiers, you weren’t included on this list so I guess you still don’t matter.
I would have thought the President’s main problem was fairly large unemployment rate and a sputtering economy but apparently according to Allen and VandeHei its not. Apparently Obama’s problem is lack of suck-up to all the D.C. denizens. The “elitist” Obama apparently isn’t being elitist enough. This story has all the style of Washington Post hit-piece (the company VandeHei used to work for) on an outsider President, typical of the kind of style pieces Sally Quinn would write (usually when there are Democrats in the White House) about the barbarians inside the royal capital not paying them tribute. It works hand in hand. Only an online magazine for the political class written by political class (its court chroniclers) would find a story like this relevant as opposed to what’s really going on outside the Beltway as Glenn Greenwald put it so well:
“…That ‘the groups that matter’ are preoccupied with these sorts of prerogative-denying slights — while Politico gives them front-page anonymity to whine about those grievances — is definitely another. We have the country we have because of the character of the people who run it.”
Politico takes all the cliches and bad habits of political writing and puts them on one website.
Actually, this article made my approval rating of President Obama go up a bit because if its true the President has ticked off what Greenwald called: “A bunch of petulant, cowardly, royal court functionaries — hiding as always behind “journalistic” anonymity — whining in Politico about a series of petty ceremonial slights” then more power to him.