osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Ah, that fickle media . . . .

Latest PEJ weekly survey of election news coverage. Now the media admire Clinton's "resiliance" and question Obama's "toughness."

I am continually reminded of a Stephen Colbert bit back in 2004 (when still on Daily Show) when discussing Howard Dean's supposed temper.

Colbert: Well John, as you know, it's been widely reported that Dean has quite a temper.

Stewart: Yes, it's been "widely reported." Everyone says Dean has a temper. But no one provides any examples. No one has any proof, or anything they can point to as proving Dean has a temper. Why exactly do people think Dean has a temper if there are no facts.

Colbert: John, John, John....it's been widely reported. It doesn't need facts. In fact, it has moved beyond facts. Dean's temper has become...factesque.

Granted I am hardly impartial, but I find myself feeling much the same here. Clinton went into Rhode Island, Ohio, and TX with major leads and an absolutely do or die need to win in both TX and Ohio. She did well in Ohio, in part (I believe) because of a combination of factors that included Obama's misstep on NAFTA and the Canadian Embassy and his obvious irritation with reporters over questions relating to the Rezko trial. Texas was a squeaker, with Clinton emerging with a narrow lead in getting more of her folks to the polls.

Resilience, sure. It was a clutch play and she came through. But the notion that Obama somehow lacks toughness because Clinton got her campaign back in shape for a Hail Mary play is silly. After a freshman fumble with the NAFTA thing, Obama has pretty much bounced back and is once again on track to take the states that have consistently fallen to him as a matter of strategy.

Part of this is the press' love of the zero sum game. It is not enough that Clinton pulled it together, settled squabbles among her campaign staff, and held on to her core supporters after the surprise route in Wisconsin. Obama's failure to deliver a knock out blow must also somehow be attributed to weakness on his part, just as Obama's previous wins in the Potomac Primary and Wisconsin could not be just through his superior organization but must be attributed to Clinton weakness.

Hopefully, after this week, primary coverage will fade from the headlines a bit as we settle into the long march to PA.

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