John Harwood, king of the 'could'

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Well, at least Harwood at the New York Times has a shtick. Every columnist needs a good shtick and Harwood's under Obama is to routinely remind readers that while the new president enjoys good political fortunes today, it could all go south very fast.

This was Harwood back in March [emphasis added]:

President Barack Obama enjoys robust support from the American public, but a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests potential bumps ahead for his ambitious domestic agenda.

And here was Harwood last week:

Mr. Obama currently holds the upper hand, riding high in the polls while Republicans appear chaotic and hapless. But he is racing to capitalize for good reason. Political history, and some early signs this spring, suggest that time is not on his side.

And how about this week:

On the economy, President Obama has a timing problem. Congressional Democrats may have a bigger one...The lag between recovery and falling unemployment carries multiple potential consequences for Mr. Obama's agenda. The lag could erode his popularity and, thus, his clout.

OK, we get it John. You want to be first in line to claim credit if and when Obama's strong approval ratings soften. The awkward part for Times editors though, is how long are they going to let Harwood keep writing the same column, esp. if Obama shows no real signs of faltering?

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