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If political scientists wrote the news

A powerful thunderstorm forced President Obama to cancel his Memorial Day speech near Chicago on Monday -- an arbitrary event that had no affect on the trajectory of American politics.

Obama now faces some of the most difficult challenges of his young presidency: the ongoing oil spill, the Gaza flotilla disaster, and revelations about possibly inappropriate conversations between the White House and candidates for federal office. But while these narratives may affect fleeting public perceptions, Americans will ultimately judge Obama on the crude economic fundamentals of jobs numbers and GDP.

That's Chris Beam, imagining what would happen if political scientists wrote the news.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 7, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Political Science  
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That'd work for me, if they could keep that tone for politicians across the political spectrum.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 7, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Last paragraph

"That [GOP] candidate will then face off against Obama, whose charisma, compelling personal story, and professional political operation will prove formidable. Actually, Obama will probably win because he's the incumbent. And because voters always go with the guy who's taller."

Posted by: DDAWD | June 7, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This type of analysis is a striking reminder of the conscious conceits journalists adopt when reporting the news. How often have you heard a journalist say or write something along the lines of: "It may not be fair to blame (insert president or governor) for the current enconomic troubles, but we all know it goes with the territory." It would be nice if our leaders at least made some attempt at honesty and accuracy, but I guess the collective action problem is too much to overcome.

Posted by: jduptonma | June 7, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Taller and/or better hair can be decisive. Didn't work for Muskie or Kerry though.

Posted by: Sambacomet | June 7, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Taller and/or better hair can be decisive. Didn't work for Muskie or Kerry though."

Incumbency usually trumps height, in the case of Kerry, and war heroes can trump height, too, in the case of Muskie. Also, Muskie cried at a press conference about the attacks on his wife, and later said it was melted snowflakes. You can be tall and still stick your foot in your mouth (so to speak).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope a political scientist would know the difference between "effect" and "affect".

Posted by: gailjens | June 7, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If you think news reporting by political scientists would be dull, but accurate, how about having the news written by economists. Now that woudl be dull.

Posted by: edubin1 | June 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Beam's piece was satire, about how political scientists don't understand anything about politics.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 7, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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