Wash. Post's Balz alleged "Clinton fatigue" but did not quote anyone tired of Clintons


In an April 17 Washington Post article about recent fundraising reports from several presidential candidates, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), staff writer Dan Balz claimed: "Among Democrats, a sense of 'Clinton fatigue' has led some major fundraisers to reassess with whom they want to align." The phrase "Clinton fatigue," despite appearing in quotes, was not attributed to anyone cited in the article, and Balz did not provide any additional information to support the notion of "Clinton fatigue." Additionally, though Balz reported that Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) first-quarter fundraising was "anemic," he did not raise the possibility of "McCain fatigue."

In another Post article published the same day, staff writers John Solomon and Matthew Mosk reported that "some" Clinton donors "cite fatigue after more than a decade" of various fundraising efforts for the Clintons -- but they did not quote any donors claiming to be tired of the Clintons. Solomon and Mosk added: "Most [Clinton donors], though, blame the defections on the enthusiasm generated by the upstart campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)." From Solomon and Mosk's April 17 article:

Hillary Clinton still has the loyalty of many major players from her husband's network, including chief fundraiser Terence R. McAuliffe, aerospace executive Bernard Schwartz, businessman Alan Patricof, investment banker Stanley S. Shuman and venture capitalist Steve Rattner.

But dozens of donors have migrated. Some cite fatigue after more than a decade of raising money for Bill Clinton's White House bids, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaigns, his presidential library and their global charitable efforts involving AIDS, poverty and hunger.

Most, though, blame the defections on the enthusiasm generated by the upstart campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Kirk Dornbush, a veteran Atlanta fundraiser whose father served as an ambassador during the Clinton years, said Obama has created an excitement unseen since that surrounding Clinton in 1992.

"Bill Clinton and Al Gore energized people to do things they had never done before, and that is why you were willing to knock the roof off fundraising for them. And that is what is unique to Senator Obama and none of the other [Democratic] candidates," Dornbush said.

As Media Matters for America previously noted, in a March 29 article, USA Today failed to challenge political psychologist Stanley Renshon's false suggestion that the public's views of the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies are comparable and his claim that the public suffers from "extraordinar[y]" Clinton "fatigu[e]." USA Today reported: "Stanley Renshon, a political psychologist at the City University of New York Graduate Center, says the Clinton and Bush presidencies have been 'extraordinarily fatiguing' for Americans, who may be seeking 'a somewhat calmer presidency.' " In fact, according to USA Today's own polling, Clinton's approval ratings remained in the 50s and 60s through most of his presidency; in the wake of the 1998 impeachment proceedings, Clinton's approval rating jumped to 73 percent. The article also reported that Clinton's current approval rating is 60 percent and that "[i]n the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 71% said he was a good president -- more than double Bush's 34% approval in the poll."

Posted In
The Washington Post
Dan Balz
Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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