My Second Unpublished Letter to the Washington Post
After a second straight rejection from the Washington Post’s editorial board, I’m starting to get the feeling that the paper’s editors either don’t like what I’m writing, or are completely swamped with thousands of letter requests each and every day. For good measure, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Here is my second (but certainly not final) unpublished letter to the editor. Brief and straight to the point…just like letters to major newspapers should be:
As always, David Ignatius provides a refreshing evaluation, this time on Barack Obama’s demeanor (A President Tripped Up By the Spontaneous, July 25). As Mr. Ignatius makes clear, Obama has been largely impersonal during his first 18 months in the Oval Office. Few news conferences are called, and unpredictable events often baffle the President in the opening moments.
There is always a possibility that Mr. Obama’s “dry intellect” is to blame. But his “scripted” personality may also reflect a desire to avoid the same mistakes that other president’s have made in the past.
American history is rife with presidents discrediting themselves by overextending in front of the cameras. Lyndon Johnson did so during the Vietnam War by passionately defending America’s involvement in a seemingly endless conflict. Ronald Reagan did so during the Iran-contra scandal, when many Americans began to question not only his administrative style but his sincerity as well. George W. Bush did so by constantly affirming that the U.S. was making progress in Iraq, despite the deaths of thousands of American troops and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
Obama may be afraid of spontaneity. But a desire to avoid shooting himself in the foot may also have something to do with it.
-Daniel R. DePetris