An essay by someone who has never worked in a political campaign (updated)

From the Wall Street Journal op-ed page:

There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics.

A general-election presidential campaign consists, roughly speaking, of appearing before one crowd after another all day long. I know this from having worked in one, but all you have to do is watch TV to get the idea.

I know, it is hardly shocking that the WSJ would publish a piece suggesting that Barack Obama is the wrong man for the times. (This one by Fouad Ajami.) Nor that it would reach, Pravda-like, to find the latest argument against him. Haven't looked, but I bet that when Sarah Palin was drawing big crowds the Journal's editorialists noted this with approval.

But doesn't a certain self-protective "wait a minute, can we really say that?" instinct kick in at some point? Are there no copy editors any more?

Update: Actually, there are no copy editors any more! Marge duMond, head of the crack copy editing team at our own Atlantic Monthly, reminds me of this dispatch soon after the Murdoch takeover of the WSJ, which disclosed that the WSJ was laying off large numbers of its editors. The Journal's new managing editor said:

The reformed structure means that it is essential for reporters and bureau chiefs to ensure that copy filed to the news desk is clean...

Yes, that's a foolproof plan.