Tuesday, May 21, 2013

President Obama, cool, calm, collected

Some insights from former speechwriter Jon Favreau, on how President Obama deals with media driven scandals. Worth a read in full, but here's the standout grafs:
In the case of the AP phone records, Obama the former constitutional-law professor cares deeply about the balance between freedom and security. This is the president who began the foreign-policy section of his inaugural with the words “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” And he wants Congress to debate and finally pass a media-shield law. But can you imagine if the president of the United States had quashed a court-ordered subpoena in an independent investigation he wasn’t even supposed to know about? A subpoena aimed at finding the person in his own administration who leaked classified information that may have jeopardized American lives? Talk about a political scandal. [...]

That is who he is. The handwringers and bed wetters in the D.C. punditocracy should know that Barack Obama will never be on their timeline. He does not value being first over being right. He will not spend his presidency chasing news cycles. He will not shake up his White House staff just because of some offhand advice offered to Politico by a longtime Washingtonian or a nameless Democrat who’s desperately trying to stay relevant. And if that means Dana Milbank thinks he’s too passive; if it means that Jim VandeHei will keep calling him arrogant and petulant; if it means that Chris Matthews will whine about him not enjoying the presidency, then so be it. He’ll live.
We could use some of that "not valuing being first over being right" ethic in our punditocracy right now. In fact we could use a metric ton of it. Not that we will get it as long as the big money is in chasing news cycles and creating outrage.

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