So, as we see ourselves less than five months into this most remarkable of administrations, it is already time for the legacy to be written. Why wait until after he leaves office to evaluate the efficacy of policy, the wisdom of decisions, the professionalism of leadership? Make a buck now while it is still worth something!
Take a minute to read this extensive piece on the soon-to-be-released must-read of the late summer:
The Controversy and Anticipation Builds
I hope you noted the "post date" on that pithy piece. It is just 16 days into the future! Do you smell the strong scent of a publicist pacing out the fanning of fever pitch? Hard to believe the New Republic is in collusion, but what do I know?
Woodward gained fame (notoriety) for his late-night liaisons with "Deep Throat" which led to the unseating of Richard Nixon, the abortive presidency of Gerald Ford and then those halcyon days of leftist leaning that were Jimmy Carter. He's not known to be sympathetic to the conservative side of the aisle, but he is recognized as a powerful voice and an individual with an eye for a story.
Is the Obama White House stiffing him? It wouldn't surprise me after the recount of how he responded to George W. Bush's openness. The Obama folks like to be in total control of the message--even when it is indistinct or in conflict with the actions.
What impresses me the most is the pre-emptive spin established by George Stephanopolous:
Stephanopoulos explains Woodward's reporting style: "He flashes a glimpse of what he knows, shaded in a largely negative light, with the hint of more to come, setting up a series of prisoner's dilemmas in which each prospective source faces a choice: Do you cooperate and elaborate in return (you hope) for learning more and earning a better portrayal--for your boss and yourself? Or do you call his bluff by walking away in the hope that your reticence will make the final product less authoritative and therefore less damaging? If no one talks, there is no book. But someone--then everyone--always talks."
That sets up a situation in which the post-mortem spin will allow for discounting the negatives as dupes for Woodward's guile. It's a win-win situation, particularly for Woodward.