The Press and the Prez

by Jay Nordlinger

In today’s Impromptus, I quote a CNN reporter, who had a question for President Obama the day after a Republican debate: Are the Republicans “uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?” A smiling Obama said, “That’s a multiple-choice question, isn’t it?”

I have thought about this further, and remember a question from a New York Times reporter, early in Obama’s presidency. The Timesman asked Obama what had most “enchanted” him about the presidency in his first hundred days. Enchanted! I sat in front of the television thinking, “It’s gonna be a long four years.”

And it has. But it has been only three, right? Not even. And it could stretch to eight. Yikes!

Friendly as the press has been to Obama, he has been pretty skimpy on the press conferences, hasn’t he? If he were a Republican, would he be accused of ducking? This president is not exactly a meet-the-presser, is he?

Since I’m Cornering, let me sneak in a letter related to yesterday’s Impromptus. In that column, I addressed this business of “establishment” versus “outsider.” When I make criticisms of Newt Gingrich, some people say, “You’re so establishment, dude!” I took the opportunity to point out some differences between Newt and me, status-wise.

He got $1.5 million from Freddie Mac. I never got a dime. He was Speaker of the House. I’ve never worked in the government, unless you count an unpaid college internship. He has grown rich as Croesus, peddling his influence (and more power to him). I feel just a couple of steps removed from my days as a pro-shop rat at Leslie Park Municipal Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Okay, the letter: A reader in Eaton Rapids, Mich., wrote me, “Aha! You admit you worked at Leslie Park. In other words, you admit you were a government employee in one of America’s most radical-chic cities. Establishment, establishment!

As Andrew Young once said to Bill Buckley on Firing Line, “You got me there.”

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