Halperin's Game Change takes hits from an unlikely critic

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

And now, a special guest commentary on Game Change, the new book about the 2008 presidential election by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann:

For most of my time covering presidential elections, I shared the view that there was a direct correlation between the skills needed to be a great candidate and a great president. The chaotic and demanding requirements of running for president, I felt, were a perfect test for the toughest job in the world.

But now I think I was wrong. The "campaigner equals leader" formula that inspired me and so many others in the news media is flawed.

...

[W]hat do those of us who cover politics do now?

...

Well, we pause, take a deep breath and resist. At least sometimes. In the face of polls and horse-race maneuvering, we can try to keep from getting sucked in by it all. We should examine a candidate's public record and full life as opposed to his or her campaign performance. But what might appear simple to a voter can, I know, seem hard for a journalist.

If past is prologue, the winners of the major-party nominations will be those who demonstrate they have what it takes to win. But in the short time remaining voters and journalists alike should be focused on a deeper question: Do the candidates have what it takes to fill the most difficult job in the world?

Oh, wait: I'm sorry. That isn't a commentary about Game Change. That's from an op-ed published by the New York Times on November 25, 2007. The author? Mark Halperin.

(Ana Marie Cox has found another example of Halperin violating his own prescriptions for better journalism.)

Posted In
Elections
Person
Mark Halperin
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