A few minutes ago, I raised some questions about Jeff Jacoby's column on Barack Obama's allegedly outsized ego. One of my queries: had Jacoby--who notes that Obama used the pronoun "I" 34 times in his speech announcing the federal takeover of GM--sought similar data on other presidents? And if so, why hadn't he included it?
I don't want to waste too much time on Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby's assault on Barack Obama's ego, because it's literally yesterday's news. I do, however, have a few questions after reading Jacoby's piece:
--Jacoby hits Obama for not going to Germany this past week to mark the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall.
Conservatives are having a field day with Barack Obama's remarks yesterday on the Fort Hood shootings--or, more specifically, with the strange, incongruous prelude to those remarks.
Readers of this blog will know that I'm a pretty liberal dude. But I must say, the president screwed up here. Check out the official White House video (!):
Until today, I thought Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize was just a gratuitous European swipe at the Bush Administration.
But now I know better, thanks to Herald columnist Howie Carr, who today identifies the Nobel as the race-based handout it really is:
Barack is a guy who was born on third base and thinks he hit a
Today's Frank Rich column on Dick Cheney's recent PR offensive is a must-read for two reasons. First, Rich offers some apt criticism of the way most of the media framed Cheney's efforts:
The déjà vu in the news media was more chilling. Rather than vet the
substance of Cheney’s fulmination, talking heads instead hyped the
split-screen “dueling speeches” gimmick of the back-to-back
Earlier today I pointed readers to a Jeffrey Rosen piece that raised questions about whether readers should cheer Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
Soon after, a reader pointed me to Glenn Greenwald's rather withering response to Rosen's column. And I was sufficiently chagrined to have linked to Rosen's piece without discussing his critics and their objections that I've now removed the original post.
Right now, the Bush/Cheney administration leads the Obama/Biden administration, 1-0, in catastrophic terrorist attacks allowed while in power.
You'd never know that, though, from Dick Cheney's self-congratulatory boasting about how safe he and the ex-prez kept the country.
Over at Slate, Fred Kaplan makes an excellent case that conservative ire over Barack Obama's visit with Hugo Chavez is misplaced. Here's the core of Kaplan's argument:
The shockwaves over the handshake might best be explained as a hangover
from the long years of George W. Bush's presidency, when dealings with
those who disliked us were expressly forbidden, out of a vague fear
that such contact might debilitate us or legitimize them.
As you may have heard, the front of the April 27 New Yorker stars Bo, the new White House dog.
When this fact was brought to my attention, my first thought was: Damn, the New Yorker loves their Obama covers! And so they do. In the span of fourteen months, we've had Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in bed together, reaching for the red phone (March 17 '08); Barack and Michelle Obama giving each other the terrorist fist jab (July 21 '08); Barack and Joe Biden brawling with John McCain and Sarah Palin (October 27 '08); the post-election "O" over the Lincoln Memorial (November 17 '08); Barack as George Washington (January 26 '09); a solitary Obama walking toward the White House between (symbolically represented) Red and Blue America (January 19 '09) and Michelle as the star of fashion week (March 16 '09).
In which I argue that the recent clamor over Barack Obama becoming first black president misrepresents the recent past--and could have pernicious effects on the future.
Back on Halloween, I had harsh words for then-McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb's references--during an appearance on CNN--to an unnamed and (allegedly) anti-Semitic Friend of Obama.
Now, in an interview with Columbia Journalism Review's Kate Klonick, Goldfarb discusses that appearance and how it was received, inside and outside the campaign:
Quick: guess which Boston paper is marking Barack Obama's win with a 32-page glossy publication, titled "Boston Celebrates Barack Obama: Reflections on a man, his life and our times," on sale tomorrow for just $2.99?
No, it's not the Boston Globe. It is, instead, the Boston Herald--which, in endorsing McCain last October, suggested that it would be a bad idea to put a "naif in the Oval Office."
When Slate chronicled the affinities between Barack Obama and Pepsi last August, those connections may have been (in author James Ledbetter's words) "largely accidental."
Not anymore. In case you missed it, Pepsi's doing its damndest to co-opt Obamania with its "Refresh Everything" campaign, which involves the uploading of video messages for the president (to a dedicated YouTube channel, natch) and participate in additional "fun experiences" still to be announced.
Last week, I argued that our Deval Patrick's post-election courtship of the media contrasted unfavorably with Barack Obama's. In retrospect, I may have exaggerate Obama's willingness to cultivate the press as a whole; among other things, he's been surprisingly cool to the New York Times.
Still, Obama seems to know that it's better to build relationships with the media rather than needlessly antagonizing them--and, when he feels like it, can do so pretty smoothly.
Barack Obama and Deval Patrick have some big things in common: race, David Axelrod, a reliance on a vague but uplifting message of unity and hope.
In the wake of Obama's election, though, he's handling the media much more savvily than Patrick did. Remember: less than a month after winning election as MA governor, Patrick upbraided the press--during a speech at the Mass.