Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Politico headline of the day:
Edwards epilogue: Does the press really vet presidential candidates?Of course, the answer to that rhetorical question is that it depends on the party affiliation of the candidate. Whatever your attitude toward Sarah Palin and her qualifications might be, there is no question that she was scrutinized much more intensively by the press, than, say, John Edwards was in 2004 when he ran for vice president with John Kerry at the top of the ticket. Palin should have been subject to due diligence by the press, as should all candidates for national office. If Mitt Romney, for example, runs again in 2012, the press should have at it with him, and also with his running mate, if Romney gets that far. The same should go for the other party -- both parties treated equally by the press, in an ideal world. But it is far from an ideal world when the National Enquirer has to do the hard work to shed light on a major candidate, and it makes it difficult for the casual reader to sort through the alien abduction stories and get to the real truth.
The conclusion of the Politico piece summarizes nicely a dilemma that appeared semi-fictionally in Joe Klein's Primary Colors (in the movie version, you might remember the talented Kathy Bates portraying Libby Holden, who commits suicide because she cannot solve this conundrum):
Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, who ran the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004, doesn’t believe senior staffers should be held accountable for what they knew about their candidate’s behavior. “I would cast no harsh judgment on most of these folks, many of whom I know,” he said.Human failings occur in every political stripe, and whether the candidate is progressive, moderate or conservative, it should not matter to the press, to the extent those failings reflect upon the candidate's judgment. I suppose it is a separate question whether it is incumbent upon staffers to blow the whistle, short of clearly illegal acts.
“I would assume that with the exception of a couple of people who did seem aware of the problem, and actually tried to do something about it, most people were either not aware or didn’t want to be aware,” Shrum said.
One former staffer thinks most people would agree with Shrum.
“I think, for the most, part people understand that we worked on the campaign for the right reasons, that we were trying to make a positive contribution to our country and to progressive causes,” the staffer said, “and that we weren't responsible for the bad personal (and public) judgment of the candidate.”
"Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, who ran the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004, doesn’t believe senior staffers should be held accountable for what they knew about their candidate’s behavior."
So, extending this thought, honesty and integrity have no place in human interaction at the public level. Fine credo to live by.
Further to Anonymous at Sun Feb 28, 12:45:00 PM:
" "...we were trying to make a positive contribution to our country and to progressive causes,” the staffer said, “and that we weren't responsible for the bad personal (and public) judgment of the candidate.” "
And by what possible logic does this staffer think s/he's making a positive contribution to... by putting forth a tangibly dishonest and dishonorable candidate through their willful negligence in re their candidate or through their willful ignorance about that candidate?
A coupla years ago an ABC reporter bragged that the press could swing the election by 15 points.
Unqualified Obama is the result.
As voters, we did not have great choices in 08.
Obama was by fare the least qualified, except ideologically being on the same 60s wavelength as the press.
More proof that it isn't just candidates that are self-deluded and self-serving. Their campaign folks rank right down there with them.
IMHO, "most people" would think these were all a bunch of lying worthless meatbags wasting oxygen.