In today’s Impromptus, I comment a bit on the relationship between President Obama and the press. I say that I particularly appreciate Obama for something he said early in his presidency. It was at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in 2009.
He said, “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.”
I have a further memory, which I’d like to share here in the Corner. In 1988, Bruce Babbitt, who had been Arizona’s governor, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. The public did not respond to him so much. But the press — they practically fell in love.
Babbitt started to joke — in a variation on the slogan “Let the people decide!” — “Let the press decide!” And, when he got out of the race, he drew on an old line from Richard Nixon. You recall that, when the former vice president lost the California gubernatorial election, he said to the press, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
Well, the Arizonan told the press, “You won’t have Babbitt to puff up anymore.”