Broder: Obama's First Week Goes 'As Well As Anyone Could Imagine'

November 13th, 2008 10:22 AM

If you want to get an idea of the kind of rose-colored microscope Obama will be scrutinized with by journalists now that he's headed to the White House, you need look no further than David Broder's column in the Washington Post Thursday which actually began:

The first week of Barack Obama's transition to the presidency has gone about as well as anyone could imagine

Hmmm. I guess no one could have imagined president-elect Obama being greeted by a bullish show of confidence from Wall Street in the week following his coronation rather than an historic stock market collapse.

For some reason Broder chose to ignore the 14 percent decline in equity values since Election Day, but the Wall Street Journal didn't

The voters may be full of hope about the looming Obama Presidency, but so far investors aren't. No President-elect in the postwar era has been greeted with a more audible hiss from Wall Street. The Dow has lost 1,342 points, or about 14%, since the election, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting similar skids.

Driving this point home further, the 7.1 percent decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the three days following Election Day was its worst post-presidential election performance since at least 1900. This gives Obama the dubious distinction of being the first president-elect to usher in a larger stock market sell-off than Harry S Truman's 6 percent decline in November 1948.

But none of that seemed to bother Broder who instead focused on Obama's acting skills:

What we have seen so far suggests that Obama's skills will carry over to his new and expanded responsibilities. His victory speech in Grant Park, his first news conference and his meeting with President Bush went off almost without a hitch.  

Yes, words are clearly more important than actions to folks like Broder as Commentary magazine's Jennifer Rubin pointed out:

Well, there was that Nancy Reagan crack. And, yes, he did get into an uncomfortable minor spat with the President of Poland. [...]

It is not that things have gone badly, or that there haven’t been positive developments. But it certainly is not the case that we can’t imagine a better start. (What about not picking a fight over missile defense with an ally, while Russia continues its bluff-and-bluster routine?)  Critical analysis and balance are verboten. We are in full rooting mode.

How true, Jennifer...and how sad.