The number of mulligans that America's press corps gives John McCain is truly remarkable. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it's because he doesn't threaten them—just as George W. Bush doesn't threaten them. By contrast, Bill Clinton and Al Gore and John Kerry and John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are scary-smart, in the way that my ex-boss Alicia Munnell once spoke of Lloyd Bentsen: “It only takes fifteen minutes before it is very clear why he is the Secretary of the Treasury and I am the Assistant Secretary.” That seems to provoke a reaction from many journalists—I am not sure why.
09 July 2008
Brad DeLong makes an observation about American journalism and political culture that I also take as a general life lesson.