Dowd Slams Obama

Well, when you’ve lost Maureen Dowd, you’ve lost the..the..

Reflexively Catty crowd?

The former constitutional lawyer now in the White House understands that the press has a role in the democracy. But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling. So he ends up regarding scribes as intrusive, conveying a distaste for what he sees as the fundamental unseriousness of a press driven by blog-around-the-clock deadlines.

…Sometimes on the campaign plane, I would watch Obama venture back to make small talk with the press, discussing food at an event or something light. Then I would see him literally back away a few moments later as a blast of questions and flipcams hit him.

But that’s the world we live in. It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the “old Washington game” for his own communication failures.

“On health care, Obama told single-payer liberals that they had to deal with the world as it is, not as they wanted it to be,” said Jonathan Alter, the author of “The Promise,” about Obama’s first year in office. “But he doesn’t take his own advice when it comes to the media. Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is. He’s holding out for the media world that he wants. But that will never be. That disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture is slowing his political reflexes. We’re seeing that in the oil spill. I don’t think it’s personal with him. It’s not that he despises reporters as human beings, like Nixon. He does scores of interviews and he doesn’t rage behind closed doors. But if he doesn’t make more concessions to Washington as it is, he’s going to hurt his presidency.”

Now that Obama has been hit with negative press, he’s even more contemptuous. “He’s never needed to woo the press,” says the NBC White House reporter Chuck Todd. “He’s never really needed us.”

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