Obama V. The Press

Ah, the burbling of complaints about Obama's accessibility to his traveling press corps. The Politico compares the Obama '08 press strategy to the Bush '00 press strategy.

But there are some important differences.

For one thing, the Bush press corps in 2000 liked their candidate personally and the Gore press corps -- at least, in the popular recounting -- found Gore aloof and unaccessible. In 2008, the McCain press corps, largely because of access, enjoys the company of Sen. McCain, and it's fair to say that some reporters covering Obama find him aloof and not especially interesting to interact with. It's a weird duality: Obama gets the best coverage of any candidate, anywhere, ever, and yet...

The Bush "strategy" worked in 2000 in part because of the nature of the differences between the experiences of the two press corps.

Also, neither Gore nor Bush predicated their campaigns on a new conception of politics; one that eschewed the stagecraft and predictable soundbites of the past. Obama's does.

But in fairness to the Obama campaign, whatever they've been doing... has sort of...worked.

(Though: is it really true that the press can't circulate at Obama events? Why's that?)