Romney’s Friends and Journalistic Myopia

Out Of Order

The Note over at Mickey Mouse Dot Com has really gotten quite good of late, as Rick Klein has started to slip more comfortably into the sort of snarky early morning prose that so distinguished that sheet under Mark Halperin’s reign. He has been having a blast with the Wide Stance of (soon to be former) Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), as shown here:

Collecting the reasons that Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, didn’t do it:
1. “Wide stance.”
2. “He said/he said.”
3. Roaming toilet paper.
4. He’s a commuter.(?)
5. “Witch hunt.”
6. “Jiminy!”
7. “I am not gay. I never have been gay.”
8. “I am not gay. I love my wife.”
Craig also, apparently, loves political reporters. (Imagine what the next 36 hours will bring. And is he holding out the possibility of becoming gay in the future?) From the moment he thanked reporters for “coming out today” to his press conference, his surreal public appearance in Boise yesterday afternoon displayed all you need to know about why Craig has approximately zero friends left in political circles — and why the GOP is praying that he steps down, or at the very least steps aside before facing reelection next year.

Interestingly, this is the third (by my count) prominent Mitt Romney campaign co-chair, sponsor, or organizer who has had to leave the campaign due to personal peccadilloes. Hmmm:

Campaigns love the upside of endorsements, but they’re seldom prepared when bad news comes. Craig’s arrest “is one more reminder of the potential downsides for candidates: guilt by association, questions about judgment in the friends they pick, and several news cycles of bad publicity,” writes The Boston Globe’s Brian Mooney. “To avoid lasting damage, campaigns try to move quickly to limit the fallout” — which is why, of course, Romney isn’t waiting for this to play out any further.

I think Mr. Klein got it wrong with this next prediction, however. He should have known that on the second anniversary of the hurricane, all of the networks (his own included) already had at least one 5 minute Katrina package ready for the evening news (ABC ran two):

If there’s a benefit for the GOP, the “cloud over Idaho” Craig talked about yesterday is overshadowing the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush visit the Gulf Coast today, after the parade of Democrats who blasted the Bush administration’s response to the disaster have cleared out of town.
THE NOTE: Craig Awaits Judgment

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