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Feeding the Beast


Finally, someone out there gets it right. Peter Beinert:


In recent weeks, as Barack Obama has stocked his administration with one former Clinton official after another, the cry has gone up from the pundits and blogs: “Where are the new faces? You call this change?”

Actually, yes. For the first time in four decades, a Democratic administration is going to hit the ground running rather than fall on its face because it will be staffed by people who know how the federal government works. That’s change all right—the kind we can believe in.

Ever wonder why Republican administrations start fast and Democratic ones start ugly? It’s partly because Republicans draw on experience. [...]

As for Arianna Huffington, straight out of the gate she gives herself away.


It’s too early to tell what changes Hillary Clinton will bring to Barack Obama’s foreign policy, but she’s already had an enormous effect on his brand. Her addition to his team has turned “No Drama Obama” into “Mo’ Drama Obama.”

Hillary’s appointment isn’t even official, but the Obama/Clinton narrative has already left the realm of politics. Its twists, turns, shadings, and complex emotions are the stuff of literature.

But who would be the best writer to do this saga justice? [...]

The only “enormous effect” the prospect of Hillary at Foggy Bottom has had is on political writers, both new and traditional media, with a few talking heads thrown in for extra noise. But asking the question, who would be the best writer to script the saga?, really is the issue.

It’s not about what’s actually going on between Obama and Hillary. It’s how best the scribing and chattering class can construct the drama playing out in their own heads.

Now don’t get me wrong. If when this all comes down things roll out in a way worthy of criticism, that’s part of the game and everyone knows it. But to construct a plot before the characters are firmly cast, well, that’s what’s Shakespearean about what’s playing out.


But given the palace intrigue that always accompanies the Clintons, James may be too genteel. Consider: in the two Times stories examining the “Clinton-Obama detente,” we hear from “confidants of Mrs. Clinton,” “former Clinton administration officials…who admire Mrs. Clinton,” “a longtime friend,” “a former aide,” “two advisors to Mrs. Clinton,” “a longtime friend of the Clintons who broke with them,” “one Clinton advisor,” “lawyers on both sides,” “people close to the vetting,” “close aides to Mrs. Clinton,” “her confidants, who insisted on anonymity,” “a close associate of Mrs. Clinton,” and “one Democrat who is close to both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.”

So by taking in Hillary, Obama is getting more than just Hillary — and more than just Hillary and Bill — he’s getting the entire Royal Court of the House of Clinton, complete with chancellors, chamberlains, and a court-jester or two. [...]

According to whom?

By Ms. Huffington’s own admission: “confidants of Mrs. Clinton,” “former Clinton administration officials…who admire Mrs. Clinton,” “a longtime friend,” “a former aide,” “two advisors to Mrs. Clinton,” “a longtime friend of the Clintons who broke with them,” “one Clinton advisor,” “lawyers on both sides,” “people close to the vetting,” “close aides to Mrs. Clinton,” “her confidants, who insisted on anonymity,” “a close associate of Mrs. Clinton,” and “one Democrat who is close to both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.”

For all we know these myriad of sources could come from Clinton enemies, Obama supporters and insiders trying to feed the media because they’ll swallow anything.

There is no evidence, you know, the kind that comes with an actual name, to prove Hillary Clinton and her closest circle, which at this point is rather small, has added to the drama the media covering her has spun out of control.

It’s not surprising that people are buying into the soap opera construct. It’s just disappointing when there’s no proof that any of this is coming from HRC’s side or Obama’s either.

Tina Brown has hit it right on the head with her new venture. It is about feeding the beast. Daily, especially where the Clintons are concerned.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong