From the Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2005:
As he prepares to launch his second term, President Bush is aiming for nothing less than a legacy that would rank him among America's great presidents.
According to Politico's Michael Calderone, Fox News' Major Garrett is heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as Senior White House Correspondent.
So what can we expect from Garrett? Take a look at just a few of the items Media Matters put out during the 2008 election and you'll get the idea...
More on Major Garrett.
Thanks to T.A. for the hat tip.
From TNR's Michael Crowley, after news broke last night that Barack Obama was meeting with conservative columnists [emphasis added]:
I imagine this will generate some outrage from the left--potentially at the idea that Obama is already falling into the Beltway cocktail-circuit trap, or perhaps out of mere loathing for the crew in question (although the four fall into different categories, and Will and Brooks in particular have written some pretty nice things about Obama). But I think liberal outrage would be misplaced here.
Just as a general rule of journalism, isn't it a better idea to comment on events that have actually happened, rather than to comment on events that might take place. Although admittedly, the second approach makes life a lot easier for pundits.
Nonetheless, Crowley writes an entire piece about how blogger outrage, which he predicted would appear (it really hasn't), was all wrong. Beltway pundits love to do this; assign all sorts of motivation and blame to 'angry' liberal bloggers, regardless of whether it's accurate or not. Sorta like when they blamed bloggers for spreading the Palin fake pregnancy story during the campaign...
WaPo's Ruth Marcus is upset that Labor Secretary-designee Hilda Solis didn't answer a question "about giving private employers more leeway to implement comp and flextime arrangements." Marcus:
it's important to point out: Democrats had little tolerance for nonanswers when Republican nominees were doing the bobbing and weaving. It is an imperfect comparison, but recall their consternation -- and ensuing "no" votes -- when Michael Mukasey, in his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, said he did not have enough information about the precise technique involved to say that waterboarding was torture.
Yeah, I'd say it's an "imperfect" comparison. One is about whether private employers have more leeway to implement comp time arrangements; the other is about whether the United States of America tortures people.
We took a long look this week at Palin's recent charge that during the campaign the mainstream press picked up the "faked" pregnancy rumor from "liberal bloggers" and ran with it. Neither claim is true. The press ignored the story until the McCain camp called attention to it. And liberal bloggers actively avoided the topic.
But it turns out Palin is even upset with media outlets who tried to debunk the pregnancy story. See Alex Koppleman at Salon.
Politico's Roger Simon: "How come Roland Burris has had such an easy time getting to the U.S. Senate while Caroline Kennedy has had such a hard time?"
Simple Answer: Roland Burris was appointed by a sitting governor to fill a vacant seat. Caroline Kennedy has not been.
Air America host Cenk Uygur notes that despite the constant haranguing Fox News hosts do about how the liberal talk radio network has not talent, can't score ratings, and doesn't make money, the facts say otherwise:
In 2008, former Air America host, Al Franken was elected the next Senator from Minnesota. Current Air America host Rachel Maddow was given her own television show on MSNBC, where she instantly doubled the ratings and even beat legendary Larry King on CNN (and also tripled the ratings of current Fox host Glenn Beck when he was on CNN Headline News in the same time slot).
And also this:
Did you know that Fox News lost $90 million a year for its first five years of operation? Air America has never come close to losing that kind of money.
Halperin, on CNN last night: "If you are president like Bill Clinton and like George Bush, who is polarizing, if the country remains polarized, this kind of stuff looks horrible and will alienate both sides."
But neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush is really all that "polarizing." Throughout Bill Clinton's second term, the American people approved of his job performance, by pretty healthy margins. Not everyone approved, of course, but his approval ratings were high. That the Beltway chattering class could never understand that people basically thought Bill Clinton was a good president doesn't make it any less true.
And George Bush? There has long been broad consensus that his presidency has been an unmitigated disaster. Again, Beltway journalists like Mark Halperin seem to struggle with this, but the American people have been quite clear for nearly four years: they don't like Bush, don't like the job he has done, and would like him to go away. The latest CNN poll found 72 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush. 72 percent! Bush isn't polarizing; indeed, he has made good on his promise to be a uniter: He has united Americans against him.
Now we know what Weekly Standard's in-house Bush superfan Fred Barnes was doing during his recent Oval Office interview with the outgoing president (since he definitely wasn't practicing journalism at the time.) Barnes was likely picking up a rough draft for this farewell column.
His presidency was far more successful than not. And there's an aspect of his decision-making that merits special recognition: his courage. Time and time again, Bush did what other presidents, even Ronald Reagan, would not have done and for which he was vilified and abused. That--defiantly doing the right thing--is what distinguished his presidency.
There will always be a warm meal in Dallas waiting for Barnes.