The Sara Palin craze has subsided, but the “Team of Rivals” fad has only begun. In the Bush years, we had a B- press covering a C- administration (perhaps this is grade inflation). Lots of folks hope that Obama’s will be an A/A- administration. But the press is beginning from a shaky B- level in its coverage. Exhibit One: the Team of Rivals.
On the basis of one likely appointment-Hillary to State-and no confirmation from the Obama camp that he or anyone is even thinking of this model, we have a flood of articles and hot air, much of it in the “He’d better watch out if he’s thinking this way” variety. It’s pathetic. Is a cabinet that includes Hillary Clinton, Tim Geithner at Treasury, Bill Richardson at Commerce-just for starters– a Team of Rivals? Give me a break.
Interestingly, if you look back at coverage of the 2000 Bush transition, weeks-delayed because of the Bush vs. Gore decision, it was overwhelmingly positive. Bush was putting together a “strong foreign policy team.” Cheney has the transition well in hand. Bush is quoted as “signals will to bridge partisan gaps.” Well, we know how all that worked out. More presciently, Bush met on Dec. 18, 2000 with the Dem and GOP leaders of Congress and reported, “I told all four (leaders) that there were going to be some times where we don’t agree with each other. But that’s OK. If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” A real thigh-slapper that was.