Monday, December 27, 2010

Obama has a better month than the media doomsayers

AS THE NASTY political year winds down with an apparent soft landing, President Obama can claim to have something in common with Mark Twain. Responding to a report of his demise in the New York Journal, the iconic satirist declared: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Anyone tracking Obama's bumpy career might very well have been carried away by insistent media reports that his tenure in the Oval Office was heading for extinction and that there was no chance for any of his first-tier projects to make it through an impenetrable Republican stone wall. So much for the national pundits, speculators and street corner doomsayers who wanted to be the first to report an administration in quicksand. The generic headlines and talk show experts often declared "DADT is dead", "Health care reforms will be shelved," and "Hopes fade for START nuclear treaty."

They were, of course, wrong. It is something that happened much too often in a media caught up in its own self-absorbed expertise in the split-second Information Age. Much too often.

Meanwhile, President Obama was rising from the purported ashes with a broad smile and a much higher batting average than any of his naysayers came close to predicting. Moreover, the polls were crediting him with rising in public esteem. One late CNN survey showed him to be comfortably ahead of congressional Republicans in his performance during the lame-duck session. His approval rating rose to 56 pct. against the GOP's 42 pct. At the same time a Public Policy poll in Florida reported hs was running ahead of all potential Republican presidential contenders - 14 pts. (52-38) against Sarah Palin.

Well, yes. Things can always change. But you might want to keep in mind how they change in, um, the Information Age.

No comments: