The Corner

Politics & Policy

Republicans Had Better Hope the Memo Lives Up to the Hype

Jonathan Swan has an interesting report on how some in the White House are worried the memo will turn out to be a dud. As I wrote yesterday, I’ve long suspected the steak won’t live up to the sizzle. But one point that Swan doesn’t raise directly is that, politically, the memo not only needs to be explosive in its assertions, the underlying intelligence has to ultimately corroborate it. A one- or two-day news cycle about the “bombshell” will be an even bigger embarrassment if it turns out to be partisan red herring.

Also, either way, this is not ideal timing. The White House would be far better served if all the Sunday shows had to talk about was the president’s objectively successful State of the Union address and the economic numbers that back it up.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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