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Matt Lauer feeds Obama his talking points

One wonders what the president’s image would be if the legacy media weren’t covering for him.  “The broadcast network evening and morning” newscasts  have yet to cover the administration’s plan to force Catholic charities and hospitals “to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception without a co-pay” in their health insurance plans.

And lthough “NBC News did manage to cover Michelle Obama’s appearance on Ellen” last Thursday, Mark Hemingway reports that not a single national news program covered Attorney General Eric Holder’s congressional testimony on the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal.  “Nor did it make the front page of the Washington PostNew York TimesChicago TribuneLos Angeles Times, or USA Today the following day.”

Instead of pressing the president on these issues, when interviewing President Obama before the Super Bowl, the Today Show’s Matt Lauer, served up, as the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard put it, “this gem“:

Mitt Romney is the guy who’s running for your job. He may eventually become the nominee. He’s a guy who’s been incredibly successful in his life and career. He’s made a lot of money. It’s not a crime. It’s part of the American Dream. Do you think though that Mitt Romney can identify with the middle class and the underclass in this country.

Seems Matt Lauer relishes playing Obama’s megaphone.

Our 9,000th Post

Normally, it’s uncanny how much Bruce and I see eye-to-eye.  Even though our perspectives differ slightly, we are often struck by the same stories and reach similar conclusions.  This campaign cycle seems to have upended things.  Bruce mocked Jon Huntsman on twitter; I endorsed him.  Bruce voted for Newt Gingrich; I just don’t see my former boss as cut from presidential timber.

That said, we both retain a commitment to the principles on which our nation was built, a reverence for the vision of the Founders and an appreciation for the greatness of Ronald Reagan.

And isn’t it fitting that we post our 9,000th post on the 101st anniversary of his birth?  Happy Birthday, Mr. President.  We could use a man like you about now.

Obama’s governing style: “meeting the demands of rich liberals”

So concludes Michael Barone in his Saturday column as he considers Ryan Lizza’s recent New Yorker piece on the president:

Now, in an article based on leaked White House memos marked up by Obama, Lizza has done it again [writing “a story that makes his subject look bad”]

Contrarian liberal blogger Mickey Kaus sums it up: “The president’s decision-making method–at least as described in this piece–seems to consist of mainly checking boxes on memos his aides have written for him.”

A $60 billion cut in the stimulus package? “OK.” Use the reconciliation process to pass the health care bill? A check mark in the box labeled “yes.”

Include medical malpractice reform in the health care bill? The man who as an Illinois legislator often voted “present” writes, “We should explore it.”

According to Lizza, Obama prefers getting information and making decisions by staying up late and reading memos rather than meeting with people — a temperament that’s a liability because face time with the president is one of his major sources of political capital.

Read the whole thing.  Barone notes further than Lizza provides “minimal” evidence that “that Obama ever seriously considered Republican approaches”, adding “Obama seems to live in a cocoon in which Republicans are largely absent, offscreen actors that no one pays any attention to.”

The impression I had reading Barone’s piece yesterday and Kaus’s piece (via Instapundit) last week is that Obama doesn’t really like being president.  When Clinton faced off against a Republican Congress in the second half of his first term, he delighted in the game.  Obama stays aloof from it.

Sometimes, it seems, the Democrat doesn’t want a second term as president, but instead just to be vindicated at the polls.

Game Over. Newt Gingrich.
Hasn’t experience taught him the perils of public temper tantrums?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - February 6, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In the wake of his “blowout” defeat in Nevada, Newt Gingrich, with his “bitter, angry press conference (sort of a combination of Howard Dean’s scream and Richard Nixon’s White House farewell speech)“, contends Jennifer Rubin, “confirmed what we strongly suspected in Florida: Gingrich’s presidential campaign is caput, whether he knows it or not.”

We wonder whether his advisors warned him against just such an outburst, telling him how poorly it would play.

On Facebook and throughout the blogosphere, conservative friends and aspiring pundits have criticized the former Speaker’s petulance.   A Romney critic offered, “Gingrich needs to stop complaining and talking about himself. Elections are not therapy sessions.”

Indeed, we may have to call upon a skilled therapist to understand not why Newt whined about his loss, but why, he, with nearly forty years experience on the public stage, would fail to realize how such an outburst could hurt him.  Is it due, as Stacy McCain contends, to the former Speaker’s “tendency to think of himself as a person so transcendently important that the rules which govern the behavior of normal people don’t apply to him“?

This after he has suffered from such outbursts before.  And not just in the current campaign.  As McCain puts it:

One might have thought that his experience as Speaker of the House, of being tossed aside by his own Republican caucus and forced into more than a decade of political exile, would have taught Gingrich a lesson about the need to rein in his ego. But his resort to scapegoating (see my Tuesday column, “Fear and Loathing in the Sunshine State“) would seem to indicate that he has learned nothing

Indeed.  It appears he has learned nothing from his experience.  “Clearly,”  Ed Morrissey observes, “this race has become personal for Gingrich.  That may be good for the candidate, but is it good for the Republican Party?(more…)