Lizza penned the 14,629-word profile of Obama that ran in the July 21 issue. That “tough love” piece was largely overshadowed by the uproar over the cover that famously satirized Barack and wife, Michelle, as a terror-supporting duo who get their kicks from burning “Old Glory.” [The NYer reports that due to overwhelming demand, that July 21 number is completely sold out.]
Lizza's article profiled the Democrat as a “pure political animal,” an “opportunist” who used the Chicago machine and individuals like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright--who was once Barack's "spiritual advisor"-- to advance his personal agenda. Toni Preckwinkle, a Windy City politician and Obama backer, told Lizza that the now Illinois Senator was “very strategic in his choice of friends and mentors.”
Wrote Lizza: “Perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear down or replace them.”
Obama is campaigning for president as a reformer, “yet he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist,” according to Lizza’s NYer piece.
Lizza’s exclusion from Air Obama is small-minded. The candidate could have shown that he has tough skin by welcoming the NYer staffer with open arms. Where is the harm?
Obama’s campaign also failed to live up to its “change we can believe in” slogan. Unless, of course, it believes in the tired old tit-for-tat politics that has cleaved this country in half.
Rick Perlstein’s wonderful book, “Nixonland,” would be a great read for Obama if the future President plans to continue his freeze-out of the critical press, while fawning over journalists who have given Barry a free ride.