The President and his Cadre of Columnists

“By meeting privately with the people who shape national opinion, the president ensures that his points of view will be represented in the media…”

Politico’s Dylan Byers provides several revealing details about the president’s preferred method of quietly sowing his talking points into the media narrative.

President Obama doesn’t have time for “schmoozing.” He doesn’t have time to meet with lawmakers. He doesn’t even seem to have time to make sure his signature legislative achievement actually functions on a minimal level. But he does have time to meet privately with those political columnists and pundits “he thinks matter.”

As Byers reports, his dual purposes in these frequent huddles with key political commentators is, first, “to convince the columnists that he’s right … and that his opponents are wrong.” On one level, Byers argues, these private conferences serve as a means of personal validation for the president:

At the same time, these bull sessions give validation to an oft-heard critique: that Obama prefers the law school salon to the bully pulpit — that he would rather be regarded as smart by the people he regards as smart than be feared by the opposition or seen as effective by the people he governs.


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