The Grand Old Partisan of Illinois

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tribune exaggerating the "enthusiasm" Obama generates

The Chicago Tribune editorial board says Barack Obama should run for president in 2008, (hat tip to Rich Miller) because "after the divisive events of the last decade, the nation may be ready for a voice that celebrates our common values instead of exaggerating our differences." They may be right, but I take issue with their singling out Obama as singularly being able to bring "an approach that transcends party, ideology and geography" to the campaign.

A recent Gallop Poll shows that more "adults nationwide" would "like to see" John McCain (56%), Rudy Giuliani (55%), John Edwards (45%) and Hillary Clinton (44%) run for President than Obama (38%). So why is Obama being championed by the Trib as an "enthusiasm" generating "centrist" while Giuiliani is dismissed as "polarizing?"

I'm not saying that the Trib is wrong to promote Obama as a possible candidate. But their promotion of him as uniquely qualified to end the bitter partisanship of the last 10 years just don't hold up to scrutiny. In many ways, the Tribune (like other media outlets) is not promoting Obama's "transcending" appeal - they are helping to create and preserve it.

Would I be complaining if it was McCain or Giuliani benefiting from this sort of editorial fawning? Probably not. But at least I'd be able to help defend it up with some facts and figures, not just the journalistic puffery of the same outlets that are doing the editorializing.

Also posted, with comments, at Illinoize

Poster's note: I didn’t want to do back-to-back Obama posts. Had I know that the Trib was going to release this editorial today, I would have held off on what I wrote yesterday for another time and finished one of the other essays I'm working on. (I don’t want to get a reputation for being “obsessed” with bringing down Obama here).

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