Reading The American Spectator today, Norman Podhoertz in the Wall Street Journal and Nile Gardiner of the UK Telegraph, reminded me of Evan Thomas (grandson of that loser but perennial socialist presidential candidate, Norman Thomas) declaring to Chris “tingly leg” Matthews in 2009 that “Obama is sorta god.”
(As an aside, Chris really should have this tingly leg thing checked out. It could be neuropathy caused by undiagnosed diabetes or something and maybe shove himself away from those jelly doughnuts, just in case it is. A weekly workout in the MSNBC gym wouldn’t hurt him, either. His god-dess Michelle will be the first to tell him, and the rest of us, that obesity is the number 1 cause of diabetes.)
But I digress and that’s a whole other blog.
Those were the days, weren’t they? Obama on the cover of every “news” magazine in the grocery store checkout line with the celestial halo around him, head upturned and nose in the air; the frown of determination and decisiveness across his face.
Under the spell of the messiah on Rolling Stone
Yes, Evan, he really was above us – on a ledge of your making. And every journalist in the nation, nay world, was all too quick and willing to acquiesce to their new found god Obama. His was the soaring rhetoric that was going to heal the world:
In the American Spectator, George Neumayr relates that “Obama loomed even larger than Lincoln. He was a “Lightworker,” as San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford put it in 2008, “that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment.” [A bizarre earthly experiment? Does anyone really talk like this? Maybe if you were in a 70’s consciousness raising group, or something…]
Now that the Lightworker has fallen to earth and the glorious new way of being on the planet turns out to be a lowered credit rating, some of his prominent supporters have fallen silent or resentful. Heady Lincoln comparisons have given way to Carter comparisons, sotto voce: “We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes,” an anonymous Democratic Senator said to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Yep, well it’s a long, hard fall when you’re up “above the world” looking down. It’s an even harder fall when you start to believe all the mythology about yourself.
The new Emperial president.
There is a disturbing let them eat cake mentality projected by the Obama White House … No US presidency in modern times has been more elitist or out of touch than the present one, which exudes the kind of condescending left-wing snobbery that is normally the preserve of an ivory tower common room. President Obama looks increasingly aloof and out of sync with the American people, three quarters of whom now believe the country is heading down the wrong track – including a staggering 58 percent of Democrats, according to Rasmussen.Nile Gardiner/UK Telegraph
Norman Podhoretz says that his “own answer to the question, “What Happened to Obama?” is that nothing happened to him. He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president, and it is this rather than inexperience or incompetence or weakness or stupidity that accounts for the richly deserved failure both at home and abroad of the policies stemming from that reprehensible cast of mind.”
The honeymoon might be over for a few WH reporters. Everyone can’t be first and everyone can’t be the
favored guy, all the time. But it appears that one guy is favored with the WH more often and more obviously than others.
Richard Wolffe, author of Renegade: The Making of a President and a planned sequel, is getting an unfair amount of access than other reporters and it’s not sitting well with many of the pool reporters. A fact that Wolfe does not dispute and in fact, verifies:
Wolffe said over email: “I’ve been in lots of parts of the White House and talked to lots of White House officials. Most often on my own. Sometimes with very few media present. Sometimes with lots of media present. I’ve never been a pool reporter. I negotiate my own access for the book and pursue my own reporting.” [Emphasis mine]
As background, Wolffe was a reporter for NewsWeek and was on the campaign trail with Obama – strictly Obama, during which he was doing foundational work for Renegade. His NewsWeek editors discovered indirectly that he was working on a book while he was also working on their dime. (NewsWeek reimbursed the Obama campaign $170,000 for travel expenses incurred by Wolffe.)
By the way, it was Obama who suggested that Wolfe write a Theodore White-type book [The Making of the President 1960] about the campaign and expected presidential win.
In his book, Wolfe wasn’t very kind to his bosses at NewsWeek. In one passage, Wolfe takes a direct shot at the Newsweek’s chief scribe, Evan Thomas [great grandson of socialist and several time presidential candidate Norman Thomas], describing him as one of the magazine’s “most senior, and white, writers” whose “racial stereotyping” wasn’t that different from Jeremiah Wright’s inability “to accept that America was in the process of change.”
We all remember Evan Thomas:
But I digress.
On the campaign trail, many of the pool reporters were unhappy and jealous of his almost unlimited access to Obama. He played basketball with the candidate while on the campaign trail and “after a campaign event at a restaurant in Reno…, Wolffe and Obama shared a heaping piece of frosted carrot cake as the Secret Service ushered the rest of the press corps to a waiting bus, according to a pool report.”
Fast forward to last month and the rising tension between the press and the WH. Julie Mason, pool reporter for the Washington Examiner said: “I was the print pooler, and I told him, ‘You are not in the pool — you shouldn’t be here [at a House Democratic Caucus meeting with the president],'” Mason recalled. “We did have words, and he invited me to take it up with Robert Gibbs. I asked him if he was now officially working for the administration, which rightly [ticked] him off.”
Wolffe is no longer with NewsWeek. Many at the publication felt that he had become too enamored with Obama during the campaign and that his coverage (or lack of it) effected his reporting for the publicaton. After the election, they wanted to take him off the WH beat for other duties but he was not inclined to accommodate their wishes. He’s now working for a public relations firm, writes for the Daily Beast and is a sometime consultant to – where else – MSNBC.