Could the media turn on Obama?
The Kansas City Star
It could happen. As Steve Hayward notes at Powerline, the model is the change in the way Jimmy Carter was covered in his bid for a second term against Ronald Reagan.
That’s when the “meanness” narrative began cropping up. Beneath the famous smile, we learned, Jimmy Boy was mean — and too aloof (media-speak for borderline snotty).
Barack Obama has the same problem, not necessarily the “mean” part but most definitely the aloofness. My theory is he’s a guy who was carried along by the rush of events, beginning when Harry Reid noted his boredom in the Senate and innocently suggested that he run for president.
Obama has some fine qualities. He’s a good family man with an even-keel temperament, but that temperament is not a good fit for the presidency’s heavy interpersonal demands. He covets his private time too much.
At the link above, Hayward offers a key quote from Howard Fineman of the lefty Huffington Post: “Obama’s aloof (some would say condescending) attitude toward Democrats in Congress is legendary, though not in a way that is helping him now. Many, if not most, leading members of his party in Congress have never had a serious, lengthy conversation with him. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been lectured to more than wooed.”
Hayward doesn’t say the media will fall in love with Romney. Far from it. My notion is that if Mitt wins, he’ll have the most hostile press of any president in memory. They’ll turn every minor flub into a calamity, as they did in ginning-up the cartoon version of his reasonably successful foreign trip, which saw a fine speech in Poland and a legitimate comment about the Palestinians (“It’s the culture”) portrayed as a diplomatic self-immolation.
Bottom line: The “boys on the bus” like a winner and if it looks as if Obama is a loser, they’ll start writing the stories — like self-fulfilling prophesies — that explain how he lost, long before it happens. The next three weeks could see Obama’s media treatment change from beanbag to hardball.