Sunday, March 9, 2008

Looking Forward

One of the more disheartening things about the Bush Administration has been its contempt for expert opinion in policymaking, and its supersession of experts with incompetent cronies wherever possible. That's why it's invigorating to see the caliber of people Barack Obama is surrounding himself with. I think the Hillary-is-a-monster kerfuffle with Samantha Power has helped rather than harmed the Obama campaign. It has allowed us to see what intelligence, integrity and accountability in government looks like.

Update: Alex Massie, who had a long-term affiliation with the Scotsman as a journalist, comments on the controversy attending that paper's decision to publish Power's "monster" comment in spite of her after-the-fact attempt to shoo it off the record:

It may well be that Power's comments came at the end of an interview which mainly focused on her new book. I don't know. But I do know that you don't really get to take a mulligan when you make a blunder in an interview. If power had prefaced her characterisation of Hillary as a monster with the phrase, "Now, what I'm about to say is off the record..." then that would be one thing and it would be a breach of trust or etiquette for the paper* to print her comments. But you don't normally get to determine what is and what is not off the record after you've said your piece or simply because you realise you've made a blunder.

Now, even allowing for that, you can say that this still a marginal call but there's a long distance between a marginal call and a shameful breach of trust.

I don't like the fallout of what the Scotsman did, but Massie is right.

Powered by FeedBurner