Why did Obama boot reporters from the New York Post, the Washington Times, and the Dallas Morning News last week? It’s not quite the uniting move, but at this stage the demand for seats is at a premium so some folks just had to go. All of these papers’ editorial boards have endorsed John McCain, so it may or may not be a coincidence, but either way, Drudge pounced on the move to swap reporters out for “network bigwigs,” instead of adding a second plane. The Obama campaign insists that the move was strategic, to “reach as many swing voters as we can.”
It may not matter a lick in the long run, but Fox et al are outraged. At this point the angry right is grasping at everything, like Obama’s press conference comment that inspired the RNC’s Audacity Watch this morning. Is this not the same “arrogance” shown when the candidates are introduced as the “next president of the United States” at their conventions and rallies? What voter wants to support a candidate who doesn’t think he’ll win?
It’s true that the papers-off-the-plane move might alienate reporters who have been following Obama for the past year, and who will continue to cover him throughout his administration should he win. And while the rationale is legitimate, bad memories, like Cheney kicking the Times off of his plane, mean that no one wants to see newshounds pushed out. And no matter who wins, there will surely be a lot of these moments, moves that whisper ever so slightly of a Bush disaster, where we will all need to take a breath and remind ourselves that this is not the same guy (unless it sorta is).