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Barack Pinocchio Obama

Facts are stubborn things

Jun 11, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 37 • By FRED BARNES
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Skirting the truth eventually gets a politician in trouble with the press. And Obama has the additional problem of having run in 2008 as a leader above the corner-cutting often associated with office seekers. So there’s hypocrisy here, the idealist now employing the tricks of the cynic.

Reporters, indeed most journalists, hate hypocrisy. When they spot it, they generally pounce. True, they often exaggerate it, but that wasn’t the case when they jumped on Obama for raising money from rich private equity investors at the same time he was denouncing Romney for his work as head of Bain Capital, a private equity firm. 

One more thing: arrogance. The press gets its back up at the sight of political operators who see themselves as masters of the universe. Yet that’s the impression of the Obama campaign strategists left by John
Heilemann in a highly revealing essay in New York. They’re cocky, profane, and convinced they play the political game as well as anyone ever has.

A dangerous tendency of politicians is to think so highly of themselves that the media become less important to them. I think Obama has gotten to that point. By denying the press what it craves the most—respect—Obama is asking for trouble. And, finally, he’s beginning to get it.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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