Understanding my vast influence, I assumed that my fairly mild complaint on Monday about the idiocy of the press coverage of the “links” between Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich and the “problems” that those “links” would cause Obama would serve as a subtle warning – a reminder, if you will, to the press to be less, well, idiotic.
Clearly, either I have overestimated my influence, or the press is farther gone than I’d thought.
I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
The recent web advertisement, “Questions Remain,” is a destructive distraction….
From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.
Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.
This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the “better solutions” party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.
I never thought I’d see myself type this, but Newt is right.
And then there’s Howard Fineman:
So perhaps you can excuse me for being a little suspicious about a recent announcement from Barack Obama’s office. It said that he would release an internal report about his team’s contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich—the man the Feds allege is a one-man influence-peddling crime spree—in “the week of Dec. 22.”
I’m betting on Boxing Day, Friday, Dec. 26. Or maybe at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The original release was supposed to be this week. But it was pushed back, the Obama camp said, at the request of the official investigating Blago: Chicago-based U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the 21st-century Eliot Ness. Fitz’s office confirmed that he had made the request, though there is no way of knowing how adamant he was about it.
I mean, if the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois merely asked the President-elect politely to hold off a week so as not to compromise his investigation, said President-elect should have told him, with righteous outrage, that the public needed to know everything about this scandal NOW, because in a week, Howard Fineman might be on vacation.
Perhaps Patrick Fitzgerald said pretty-please.
Fineman goes on, somewhat incoherently, to say both that…
Neither Fitz nor anyone I have heard about or spoken to suggests that Emanuel did anything illegal or even untoward…He has pledged total cooperation with Fitzgerald and, apparently, is giving it.”
Still, however justifiable the silence and caution, Emanuel (and, by extension, Obama) could pay a price for both as the Chicago mess simmers on. Emanuel already has blown up at members of the Chicago press corps—a newspaper reporter and a cameraman. Obama’s transition team, eager to show its openness and focus on naming cabinet nominees, has been forced to spend day after day dealing with the Blago story.
Look: just because the media is talking about Blagojevich 24 hours a day doesn’t mean Barack Obama is. Does Howard Fineman really think that the Obama transition team is whiling away their days obsessing over something that, at the moment, they can’t control? Here’s something I’m sure of: Obama isn’t worried, because he knows that in two weeks this will be a non-story for him. And in 34 days, he’ll have way bigger fish to fry.
Meanwhile, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 76% of those polled approve of how Obama is handling the transition, and only 1/3 think Obama has not done enough to explain contacts between his aides and the disgraced, if still incumbent, Governor of Illinois.
During the campaign, John McCain accused Barack Obama of not knowing the difference between strategy and tactics, when it was McCain, in fact, who had it confused. Obama always took the long view, and was spectacularly vindicated on election day. So far, this scandal has barely grazed him – keep in mind that the 34% of people who thing Obama needs to be forthcoming are only a bit more than those who believe George Bush is doing a good job.
So the same group of deep thinkers people who insisted that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton despised each other, and that the Clintons would do everything in their power to sabotage Obama’s electoral chances this fall, despite multiple statements and hard evidence to the contrary (including numerous joint appearances with Hillary and one famous one with Bill in Florida), now think that two politicians who clearly despise each other on a visceral level can be linked because they have appeared together on several occasions, and because Obama subordinates talked to him, as aides to a Senator who would be resigning might, you know, have occasion to do. And that this is terrible news for Barack Obama.
To all of you out there reading this, I say – consider the source.
To the deep-thinking punditry breathlessly hyping this “scandal”? Hey – it’s a good enough story without the embellishment. Go with that.
And, by the way, have any of you noticed that our country is teetering on the precipice of an economic collapse? A few moments on that peripheral issue would be most appreciated.