Last week, Ben Smith at Politico published a long (for Politico) and terrific piece on Richard Ben Cramer, the veteran journalist and author of the seminal 1992 campaign book, "What it Takes." The book is an unparalleled look at the modern political campaign and what it does to presidential hopefuls. Among a certain ilk--chiefly 30-something political reporters like Ben and me--Cramer is revered as a master reporter and writer, mainly on the strength of this book. One of the surprises in Ben's piece, at least for me, was discovering that Cramer seems to be unaware of this--he's something of a recluse. Ezra Klein, political journalist and RBC admirer of a slightly younger vintage, has had the inspired idea of declaring today "Richard Ben Cramer Appreciation Day." So let me add my wholehearted support.
"It's outrageous what's on TV. It looks like that man is in charge of the country."