Here’s hoping it’s getting less rare (from today’s WaPo reporter chat):
Scranton, N.J.: Yeah, he’s taking hits in Washington and yet your own poll suggests he’s not taking hits with the American people. Everyday on cable news and in the Browser I read something to the effect of “will announcing this (some policy) affect Obama’s popularity? That is the big test?” And then it doesn’t. Kinda amusing; you guys keep waiting for him to fail in a way that I never saw with Bush (and for the record, I don’t agree with all of Obama’s policies so far)
Alec MacGillis: I know what you’re getting at here. There seems to be two different levels of evaluation going on — inside the Beltway, where expectations may have been out of proportion, and where many political reporters want to show that they’re going to give the rock star president a tough going-over; and around the country, where people seem willing to give the new guy some time to fix problems that preceded him.
One point I’d like to make, though, is that what we’re seeing is not a “tough going over” so much as an attempt at hazing. The questions Chuck Todd and Ed Henry asked Obama about “sacrifice” and his response to the AIG bonuses were not tough questions. Obama handled them easily and made the questioners look stupid in the process.
There’s a big difference between asking difficult questions about legitimate issues and trying to make the president look bad so that you can get a chest bump from Rick Santelli at the NBC commissary.