As further evidence of the pro-administration bias of the Huffington Post, take a gander at this article they featured yesterday in their latest headlines: Olympia Snowe Gives Obama A ‘Failing’ Grade Because He Didn’t Talk To Her Enough.
They make the outgoing Maine Republican appear to be a whiny, self-important Senator, failing the president only because he wouldn’t talk to her. Even the condescending opening line makes her seem petty, “Olympia Snowe, having decided to quit the Senate, has apparently not yet reached the stage where you quietly go away and leave everybody alone.” (For commentary on the Senator, he turns to left-wing pundits.)
In his eagerness to note, as he put it, “the strangeness of a centrist senator”, writer Jason Linkins misses the real point of Mrs. Snowe’s lament–what her commentary reveals about Barack Obama: the post-partisan politician’s not making an effort to work with even the most liberal Republicans.
Remember, as a candidate, the Democrat presented himself as a new kind of politician who was going to bridge the partisan divide and reach out to Republicans. If he wasn’t talking to one of the most liberal Republican Senators, one of the two (the third would become a Democrat a few months later) to vote for his “stimulus,” then he probably wasn’t reaching out to Republicans less willing to compromise with a liberal Democratic president.
Jonathan Karl (whom Linkins cites as his source for Snowe’s commentary) gets it: “If there were ever a Republican for President Obama to work with, it was Maine Senator Olympia Snowe. She was one of just three Republicans in the entire Congress to vote for his economic stimulus plan in 2009 and even tried to work with him on health care“. That Mr. Linkins uses this commentary to attack her indicates he’s doing his best to cover for Mr. Obama.
And that AOL would lead with his spin suggests they’re trying to do damage control — doing their utmost to prevent this story from getting legs. (Don’t want to upset the narrative, you know.)
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty includes one detail in his blog post on Snow’s comments that Linkins dismisses in his, Snowe’s claim that “her meetings with President Obama have been less frequent than with any other President.” He also reminds us how Obama recently lamented how the “the worst kind of partisanship” in Washington. Well, hadn’t he promised to end that kind of partisanship? And wouldn’t talking (on a regular basis) to a Republican legislator who had shown a willingness to work with you on the first big item you presented to Congress be a means to combat that partisanship.
Seems Mr. Obama would rather complain about the partisan tone in Washington than take actual steps to change it.