For instance, being all things to all people worked wonderfully well for Bill Clinton the candidate, but when his presidency ran into trouble, this trait was disastrous, particularly in the bumpy early years of his presidency and in the events leading up to his impeachment. The fun-loving campaigner with big appetites and an undisciplined manner squandered a good deal of the majesty and power of the presidency, and undermined his effectiveness as a leader. What much of the country found endearing in a candidate was troubling in a president. When George W. Bush ran in 2000, many voters liked his straightforward, uncomplicated mean-what-I-say-and-say-what-I-mean certainty. He came across as a man of principle who did not lust for the White House; he was surrounded by disciplined loyalists who created a cheerful cult of personality about their candidate. As with Mr. Clinton, though, the very campaign strengths that got Mr. Bush elected led to his worst moments in office. Assuredness became stubbornness. His lack of lifelong ambition for the presidency translated into a failure to apply himself to the parts of the job that held less interest for him, often to disastrous effects. The once-appealing life outside of government and public affairs became a far-less appealing lack of experience. And Mr. Bush’s close-knit team has served as a barrier to fresh advice.
That the Media is incompetent seems to be Halperin's well hidden point. He makes it by comparing the worst President in history to Bill Clinton? He makes it by comparing the Media and the GOP's obsession with the President's sex life and the Iraq Debacle?
Please, no more Mr. Halperin. You have effectively made your case. You are an idiot. We get it. We know that you do not understand "what it takes" to do legitimate and relevant journalism.
Update [2007-11-25 9:40:1 by Big Tent Democrat]: Paul Krugman adds an important point:
In his op-ed today, Mark Halperin describes George W. Bush during the 2000 campaign as follows: He came across as a man of principle who did not lust for the White House; he was surrounded by disciplined loyalists who created a cheerful cult of personality about their candidate.
Meanwhile, I didn’t do the up-close-and-personal stuff; I looked at what he actually said about policy. And from my point of view he “came across” as someone who lied, systematically and consistently, about taxes and Social Security.
Real journalists would have noticed as well. Mark Halperin still does not notice.
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