For decades, he’s been a benign paragon of neutral, tick-tocking, investigative reporting. But now, Bob Woodward has now become the most polarizing figure in Washington. To review:
1. Bob Woodward published a Washington Post op-ed that essentially blamed Obama for the automatic spendings cuts that are set to occur tomorrow night, and what’s more, has turned his back on an agreement not to raise taxes in any deal to stave off those cuts.
2. That analysis is badly flawed: There was never an agreement not to raise taxes, and Obama only agreed to the sequester to avoid the catastrophe that would have been refusing to lift the nation’s debt ceiling.
3. Woodward went around telling people a senior White House official had told him he’d “regret” the column he wrote, making it seem like he was being threatened.
4. Official turns out to be Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling, whose otherwise groveling email read, “I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” (For the sake of his own reputation.)
Conservatives claim Obama is being a bully, is breaking promises, and is to blame if our economy tanks beginning this weekend. Liberals think Woodward has lost it. (Update: now conservatives think he’s lost it too.) And this is where Mike Schmidt comes in. From former Obama consigliere David Plouffe:
Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated.
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) February 28, 2013