The Corner

Speaking of First Read (and a Second Reading of Brooks)

I still find find First Read very useful and I think they try very hard to be honest brokers, but I think I’ve detected a bit of a pro-Obama bias over the last few weeks. I could be wrong, but I do sometimes suspect that the authors hang around with too many Democrats and not enough Republicans who don’t hang around MSNBC studios. They write:

…And there were two collective sounds you could hear over the beeping cellphones and the buzzing blackberries. On the Democratic side, it was a collective “phew.” As the days got nearer for the pick, it was hard to find a Democrat — even savvy Clintonites — who weren’t hoping it would be Biden. Only the most strident Hillary supporters appear to be upset this morning. On the GOP side, the sound you heard was disappointed silence. Of everyone on the short list, the candidate many Republicans least wanted to see Obama pick was Biden. Sure, they’ve already trotted out their talking points. And the McCain camp even produced a rapid-response TV ad highlighting some unkind words Biden said about Obama during the primaries. (We assume this now means McCain won’t be picking Romney, right? And doesn’t the McCain ad actually send the message to swing voters that Obama’s willing to surround himself with critics?) But there are too many intellectual conservatives (see David Brooks) who believe Biden’s the most qualified guy Obama could have realistically picked. 

As for that Brooks column, my second thought is that Brooks knew in advance it was going to be Biden and got off a sweetener column in advance. Maybe that’s crazy. But so is the idea that Brooks — and that column — signifies there’s a  critical mass of wise men who really think Biden was the best possible choice.  

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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