Bad week for the Republicans, good week for the president. Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump said no to running against Mr. Obama, and Newt Gingrich may already be on the ropes after criticizing Medicare reform—a key issue for conservatives. Meantime, the president kept a low profile while still basking in the demise of Bin Laden.
The Republican field is still wide open, but whoever decides to run should know this: You are not only challenging an incumbent president who will likely raise close to one billion dollars, but you are also going up against the elite media. If you thought the established press promoted Mr. Obama the first time around, wait until you see what lies ahead.
Even though the president has had a rocky time, especially where the economy is concerned, he remains the most liberal chief executive since Jimmy Carter. He shares many values with the majority of media people, and they are very protective of him. One example: Recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the moderator, David Gregory, questioned whether Newt Gingrich’s description of Mr. Obama as the “food stamp president” was a racist statement.
Mr. Gingrich told Gregory his question was “bizarre.”
It was also typical.
When Donald Trump advised the president to “get off the basketball court” and down to business, he was branded racist by a variety of mainstream pundits.
In my Super Bowl Sunday interview with Mr. Obama, I asked him if he was a football fan. Some loon on HBO immediately branded that question racist.
So we can expect anyone who challenges the president to be hit with the same nonsense. GOP candidates will have every word they have ever uttered analyzed for racial purity. The media will also closely scrutinize their social activities and associations, all with an eye on diminishing and ultimately destroying the challenger.
The upcoming election is personal for the media. If the president loses and his liberal philosophy is repudiated by the voters, the media who have promoted him will lose as well. The upcoming election is not about a man, but a philosophy. The liberal press wants liberal policies. That trumps any kind of fair reporting.
So the Grand Old Party is up against it, and whoever emerges with the nomination better have a strong stomach. I don’t expect President Obama to sling the mud—it isn’t his style—but his Internet supporters and newsroom boosters will be ready, willing, and able to do the dirty work.
Huckabee and Trump are smart guys. They know what’s ahead. And it won’t be pretty.