Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?
This *Is* the Oddest Recession in Memory

New York Times Death Spiral Watch

David Brooks calls Barack Obama an inauthentic rootless cosmopolite:

David Brooks: Obama has been a sojourner.... [B]ecause of his unique background and temperament, Obama lives apart. He put one foot in the institutions he rose through on his journey but never fully engaged. As a result, voters have trouble placing him in his context, understanding the roots and values in which he is ineluctably embedded.

Last week Jodi Kantor of The Times described Obama’s 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School. “The young law professor stood apart in too many ways to count,” Kantor wrote.... He was in the law school, but not of it. This has been a consistent pattern throughout his odyssey....

He became a state legislator, but he was in the Legislature, not of it.... He was in Trinity United Church of Christ, but not of it.... He is in the United States Senate, but not of it....

This ability to stand apart accounts for his fantastic powers of observation, and his skills as a writer and thinker. It means that people on almost all sides of any issue can see parts of themselves reflected in Obama’s eyes. But it does make him hard to place.

When we’re judging candidates (or friends), we don’t just judge the individuals but the milieus that produced them. We judge them by the connections that exist beyond choice and the ground where they will go home to be laid to rest....

If Obama is fully a member of any club — and perhaps he isn’t — it is the club of smart post-boomer meritocrats. We now have a cohort of rising leaders, Obama’s age and younger, who climbed quickly through elite schools and now ascend from job to job. They are conscientious and idealistic while also being coldly clever and self-aware. It’s not clear what the rest of America makes of them...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

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