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Doris Kearns Goodwin: Obama's Had 'Most Difficult Political Culture' of Any President in a Long Time

Noel Sheppard's picture

One of the requirements to be a liberal media member in the 21st century is to have selective amnesia when your agenda demands it.

Consider presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who during an appearance on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday said, "The political culture in which [Barack Obama's] had to work in these last four years may have been the most difficult political culture that any president’s had in a long period of time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: To go back to what Bob Woodward said, I mean we can't forget that the Republicans have attacked the Democrats and have attacked Obama even more fiercely than he's attacked them. So it's not like he's out there just saying all these mean things about them. He's responding to a Republican Party that at one point said the most important thing they had to do was to get rid of him after four years.

So I agree you’ve got to rise above that, and you’ve got to still deal with them, and you want to make deals when you're there, but the political culture in which he's had to work in these last four years may have been the most difficult political culture that any president’s had in a long period of time.

Keep in mind this is a presidential historian. She therefore should at the very least recall the climate George W. Bush had to deal with in his two terms with liberals and their media minions far more hostile towards him than anything Obama had to face in his first term.

Frankly, it's not even in the same league.

Alas, Doris like so many of her liberal colleagues doesn't see it that way.

Fortunately, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward - who earlier in the program came down on Obama's attacks on Republicans - was there to offer some sanity:

BOB WOODWARD: A president needs to maintain in the end his moral authority over all of these things that we're talking about, and if he is in this kind of food fight with the opposition -- and Doris is right, the Republicans are often bitter and more nasty in their attacks on him -- but he's the president. He's got the A shares here, and he needs to find a way because, you know, even though there's strident talk in politics in this country, you go out and talk to people and it's astounding the number of people who are actually moderates and in the middle, and those are the people the president needs to bring to him, and you do that, I think, by not attacking the opposition in the way he does.


Indeed.

If more in the media expressed such sentiments rather than agreeing with and cheering on the president's attacks, maybe he'd be forced to take a different tone with his opponents thereby leading to greater cooperation between the parties and our branches of government.

Makes you wonder if the press actually wants such a thing and instead enjoy the squabbling.

As much as they call for bipartisanship, the media seem to revel in the mudslinging - when it's directed at Republicans, that is.