Veterans of other administrations, Republican and Democrat, must get annoyed at how Team Obama is so blatantly sold as the Best Administration Ever. Even the most mundane details get a hypercaffeinated take of praise. On Sunday’s Chris Matthews Show, the Best President goo came out during the segment called (inaccurately) “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Well this may not be surprising, but you might not know it in detail, Chris. I’ve covered a lot of White Houses, these people work harder, come to work earlier and leave later and are under more pressure to be, to use that word again, impeccable in what they’re doing in their paper work and everything than any administration I’ve ever covered.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Who’s cracking the whip?
FINEMAN: Barack Obama.
Fineman did not address whether this matches the Obama interview in the current Newsweek, where Obama described his work day. “I get to the office around 9″ and “work till about 6:30 p.m.,” hardly impressive office hours on a D.C. scale. So then he adds he “reads briefing papers” after he puts the daughters to bed at 8:30. I wouldn’t argue that Obama and his staff don’t work hard. But I don’t think it’s easy to argue he’s just so much more hard-working than the Bush staffs, or the Clinton staff, or the Reagan staff, or the Carter staff. (Fineman’s been covering D.C. since 1978.)
Left unsaid: whether it matters what they’re working for — working overtime to liberate Iraq or cut taxes by 30 percent was never going to strike Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman as impeccable.