Posts Tagged ‘Dana Milbank’
July 24th, 2013 at 5:45 pm
If You’ve Lost Dana Milbank …
Posted by Print

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank is usually a reliable source of center-left hackery, so it bears noting when even he can’t react to a new Obama Administration PR push with anything other than a 650-word eye roll. From his column in today’s Post, reacting to the president’s new agenda of economic speeches (the first of which was given earlier today in Illinois):

… [E]ven a reincarnated Steve Jobs would have trouble marketing this turkey: How can the president make news, and remake the agenda, by delivering the same message he gave in 2005? He’s even giving the speech from the same place, Galesburg, Ill.

White House officials say this will show Obama’s consistency. “We plead guilty to the charge that there is a thematic continuity that exists between the speech the president will give in Galesburg, at Knox College on Wednesday, and his speech in Osawatomie [Kansas, in 2011] and his speech back at Knox College in 2005,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Yes, but this also risks sending the signal that, just six months into his second term, Obama is fresh out of ideas. There’s little hope of getting Congress to act on major initiatives and little appetite in the White House to fight for bold new legislation that is likely to fail. And so the president, it seems, is going into reruns.

I’m actually inclined to go a little easier on the president in terms of analysis while being more damning in the conclusion I draw.

‘Thematic consistency’ makes sense if you’ve got a persistent ideology. This president clearly does on economic issues: intemperate Keynesianism seasoned in rhetorical class resentment.

He’s had half a decade to put that theory into practice — in circumstances sufficiently dire that you can’t rationalize away failure — and it just … doesn’t … work. New ideas would require him to reevaluate first principles, unraveling his entire political philosophy. Is he out of ideas? No, just an ideologue who can’t come to grips with the fact that his worldview has failed the acid test of reality.

May 14th, 2011 at 10:49 am
Romney Fizzles on Substance, Misfires on Style

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Wall Street Journal will not be endorsing Mitt Romney or his Massachusetts health care plan for the presidency next year.  The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, however, has other observations about the businessman-turned-politician’s recent flop as speechmaker:

Romney has what might be called an Al Gore problem: Even if he’s being genuine, he seems ersatz. He assumed a professorial air by delivering a 25-page PowerPoint presentation in an amphitheater lecture hall – but the university issued a statement saying it had nothing to do with the event, for which the sponsoring college Republicans failed to fill all seats. His very appearance – a suit worn without a necktie – shouted equivocation. His hair was so slick that only a few strands defied the product.

Idea for a bumpersticker: Pity Mitt Romney.

September 3rd, 2010 at 12:17 am
Top Economic Advisor to Obama Admits She Couldn’t Do Her Job

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post pens a searing description of Christina Romer’s farewell luncheon at the National Press Club.  According to Milbank, Romer, until recently chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, established four points during her speech to reporters:

(1)   She had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be.

(2)   She still doesn’t understand exactly why it was so bad.

(3)   The response to the collapse was inadequate.

(4)   And she doesn’t have much of an idea how to fix things.

So, where does Christina Romer go from here?  Back to her teaching post at UC Berkeley where she’ll presumably try to make reality fit into her mathematical models; only this time she won’t have to worry about being held publicly accountable for her conclusions.  (Such as the one where she argued that passing the first stimulus bill would keep unemployment below 8%…)

April 14th, 2010 at 9:38 am
Everybody Look What’s Going Down

With apologies to the band Buffalo Springfield, there’s something happening at the Obama White House, and it is exactly clear: the freedom of the professional press is being severely curtailed in its coverage of the president.  No less a liberal mandarin than the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank compares this week’s Obama-hosted Nuclear Summit to a May Day parade in Washington, D.C.

World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.

They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.

In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.

Milbank goes on to detail reactions by members of the foreign press to the restricted access.  The most disturbing come from reporters based in Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan who chide American notions of a free press as overblown.

Though by itself, the restricted access might not cause concern, as Milbank points out, it’s just the most recent example in a well developed pattern of open secrecy cultivated by the Obama White House.  How long will it take before other members of the mainstream media take Milbank’s position?